This vegan Rhubarb Ginger Upside Down Cake will tickle your tastebuds -- and your appetite for dessert -- with the tangy-sweet rhubarb and spicy-sweet candied ginger.
This vegan rhubarb ginger upside down cake is my mea culpa to the many readers who tried out this recipe, which I first posted two years ago on this blog, and wrote in to say they loved the taste of the cake -- but, something was off with the liquid measurements because, in some cases, the cake sank a bit in the middle, or simply took too long to bake.
I had been wanting to try out this rhubarb cake recipe again, but rhubarb is not an ingredient I can easily find even during the few weeks it's in season, so when I did see some ruby-red rhubarb stalks on my weekly grocery trip this past weekend, I grabbed them up to make this cake. Again.
I baked up the cake exactly according to the instructions I had posted, but I made two changes -- I reduced the liquid by half a cup, and I increased the oven temperature from 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
I got a perfect cake, which leads me to believe that I may have messed up the amount of water in the post the first time round. But -- I am here to make things up to you with this now-perfect vegan Rhubarb Ginger Upside Down Cake. I have even added new pictures of the cake I made this week, so you can see for yourself how gorgeous it is.
I do love baking with rhubarb because this lip-puckeringly sour stalk magically transforms during baking into soft, subtly tart sweetness.
In this rhubarb cake, it is marvelous and even a revelation.
As they bake up, the juices of the ruby-red rhubarb and the sugar caramelize into a thick, gooey syrup that glazes the top of this moist, voluptuous cake and flows down its sides.
You really don't have to worry about decorating this cake because it's so pretty to look at right out of the pan-- as indeed any upside down cake is. But the gorgeous color of the rhubarb, I think, makes this cake even more special (keep in mind that the color will depend on the color of the rhubarb you put in -- some rhubarb stalks are more deeply colored than others).
It is rather important that you bake this cake in a springform pan, because that just makes it so much easier to unmold without messing up the glossy, exquisite top. If some pieces of rhubarb come off, just put them back on -- no one will be able to tell the difference.
Once again, my apologies to readers who attempted this rhubarb ginger upside down cake and left me notes with their constructive criticism/feedback. This cake is for you! I hope you will make it again, and enjoy it.
More vegan cake recipes:
- Vegan Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake
- Vegan Lemon Yogurt Bundt Cake
- Vegan Carrot Cake
- Vegan Apple Cake
- Vegan Cucumber Cake
More vegan rhubarb recipes:
Vegan Rhubarb Ginger Upside Down Cake recipe:
Vegan Rhubarb Ginger Upside-Down Cake
- 2 ⅔ cup unbleached all-purpose flour (You can make this a whole wheat cake by using whole-wheat pastry flour or half all-purpose and half whole-wheat.)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 16 tablespoon vegan butter (at room temperature)
- 1 ¼ cup nondairy milk
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the rhubarb topping
- 4 cups (about 4-5 stalks) rhubarb chopped into 1 ½-inch-long and 1-cm wide sticks. You can also just cut into cubes.
- ½ cup brown sugar (I used coconut palm sugar this time which was wonderful)
- 3 teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup candied ginger (chopped, optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl, mix the chopped rhubarb, candied ginger, brown sugar and corn starch and set aside.
- Mix the milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle for a couple of minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, using the whisk attachment or a regular whisk, cream together the butter and the sugar until soft and fluffy, about two minutes.
- Add the milk-vinegar mixture, sugar, and vanilla extract and mix well.
- In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three batches, mixing for about 20 seconds after each add, and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula to ensure even mixing.
- Prepare a 10-inch springform pan by greasing the bottom and sides with oil or vegan butter. Cover the bottom with parchment paper which will make for much easier unmolding. Place the springform pan on a cookie sheet to catch any juices from the rhubarb that may leak out as the cake bakes.
- Place the chopped rhubarb in the bottom of the pan and spread evenly. You can make a decorative pattern, if you like.
- Pour the cake batter on top of the rhubarb and spread evenly. Smooth the top.
- Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then invert a dish or a cake stand over the cake pan and carefully but quickly flip the cake. It is important to unmold the cake while it is still warm otherwise the juices will start sticking to the pan.
- Open the springform pan and remove. Carefully lift off the bottom and the parchment paper.
- Garnish, if you like, with more strips of candied ginger. Et voila!
This cake is amazing - so easy to make with no weird ingredients, and tastes even better the next day as the ginger permeates the rest of the cake!
This is my go-to summer cake recipe now, tastes amazing, works every time, all my friends expect it when rhubarb season arrives!
That's so great to hear!!
Question: Do you think this could be delicious with 3 cups of rhubarb instead of 4? I have some frozen, but I don't think I have exactly the amount you call for here.
Yes, absolutely. Since the rhubarb is mainly the topping that's fine!
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I like your website. No fluff, just helpful info. Great job.
I have made this several times as written and it is absolutely delicious. Enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans.
I too have found it needs a bit more bake time before the cake tester comes out clean.
Has anyone tried making this not only vegan but also gluten free?
Made this rhubarb cake for the first time today as my parents came over for supper.
Absolutely fabulous desert, everybody loved it, will definitely be making it again. My neighbour gave me fresh rhubarb from his garden so I took some cake over for him and his wife to try. Printed off the recipe for his wife and my parents.
I used coconut nectar sugar for the rhubarb topping and used candied ginger.
Cant wait for tomorrow so we can eat what's left!
So happy you loved the cake! I envy the fresh rhubarb. 🙂 I bought a rhubarb plant last year but it didn't survive for some reason so I now need to look for it at the market. Can't wait to start making more rhubarb recipes.
Is it possible to get a metric weight for the vegan butter, 16tbsps seems very imprecise to us Europeans haha!
Added, it's 224 grams!
Thank you, I would also like to see metric (or imperial) measurements o if possible please.
Can’t wait to make this later, I love rhubarb and ginger but haven’t used them together before surprisingly.
Ignore me, I’ve just found the metric conversion tab above!
I couldn’t find rhubarb so I just used canned pineapple with no ginger and it was absolutely delicious! My family didn’t even realise it was a vegan recipe. Thank you so much! I will definitely make this again
So happy you loved it Alison!
I’m not a great baker and my attempt was a little heavy. How do you add the milk/vinegar mix it didn’t incorporate into the butter/sugar mix very well. Could that have been the problem?
It doesn't have to. It sounds like you overbeat the batter, which would have developed gluten in the batter. Next time keep all the mixing to a minimum once you add the flour and just use a spatula to mix (not the stand mixer) once you add the flour.
I made this Vegan Rhubarb Upside Down Cake for Father's Day desert. As of July 12, I had made it two more times per request of everyone who has ever tried it. Though not everyone in my family is vegan, including myself, I think this desert will be one that my family and friends will remember me by. ("Remember that rhubarb cake Grandma used to make?") It is that good. You have definitely perfected this recipe.
Awww. 🙂 Thanks so much, that is so lovely to hear and I am so happy you and your family have enjoyed the cake.
I got some rhubarb from my Mom's garden and was looking for an easy recipe. Made this cake last night (half recipe) and my kids and husband, who usually doesn't like rhubarb, loved it so much that they ate the whole thing and asked me to make it again today.
cake has turned out great but I had a lot of the sugar/cornflour mix left over Why?
Hi, glad you loved the cake! Do you mean the sugar and cornstarch you mixed with the rhubarb? You should add all of that to the cake pan when you layer in the rhubarb.
Amazing, couldn't believe it was vegan!! Light and moist, just like "normal" cakes - my fave vegan recipe ever !!
Thanks for the feedback! So happy you loved it.
Is there any way to use fresh ginger instead of candied?
This cake was so delicious! I'm rubbish at baking and this turned out perfect !
So happy to hear, Lauren!
I don't comment on recipes often, but this is so good. It was a big hit with vegans and omnivores alike.
Thanks for letting me know, Angie! Happy you enjoyed it.
Could I leave out the ginger and add some custard powder to the flour to make a rhubarb and custard cake please? If so, how much would I need to add and would I have to then reduce the amount of flour?
Thank you xx
Very pleased with the results. Excellent sponge recipe, good balance of sweetness balancing the tart rhubarb.
This cake is amazing! I never leave reviews but I am making this for the second time this week and just had to say how much I love this recipe. I didn't have a springform pan so I made it in a 9x9 square pan lined with foil and it turned out beautifully.
Thanks, Malinda, it must be so pretty with the square pan!
Marie Louise Heffernan
i have made this now 5/6 times . i am a gram person usually but cups system works well. I use a half sized mug . I also use an egg instead of some of the milk.
thanksa lovely recipe - so easy even my 12 yr old child can make it.
So happy to hear!
Hi. I would love to make this but understand Megan’s problem. Could you kindly advise what 16 tablespoons vegan butter is in grams.Thank you.
This cake is dangerously divine. I substituted the sugar with agave syrup and the vanilla essence with orange essence. If you have a surplus of rhubarb in your garden you cannot not make this cake. It gets a 20/10 from everyone who ate it.
Has anyone tried this in cupcake form? I've made it in the spring from and WOW delicious
I'm making this recipe for the second time, it was quite honestly the best cake I've ever made and possibly ever eaten!
Hi! Thank you for sharing this recipe - I found it looking for egg-free rhubarb cake recipes. My notes on the recipe:
- step 5 lists sugar but I think this is a mistake as the sugar is creamed in the previous step. The recipe itself would be a little easier to follow if the ingredients were listed in order of use.
- I'm not vegan and so used cow milk and butter, the cake batter came together as I would expect
- I also used the rhubarb that I'd had infusing in vodka and sugar for a month to make rhubarb liqueur. Even though the flavour and colour is reduced, I didn't want to waste all that 'fruit'. It gave off a fairly alcoholic odour while cooking but that all cooked off (mostly!)
- I needed to cook the cake for an extra 30 minutes on top of the hour listed for the toothpick test to come out clean.
The crispy caramelised bits on the edges are delicious and the cake is lovely and moist! I'll make this again when my rhubarb plant is flourishing (next time without the alcohol soak!)
Hi, is there any way you could convert the cups to grams? I would really like to try this recipe (and perhaps some others too!), but I don't know what the gram equivalent is to a cup measurement.
Hi Leah, click on "metric" at the end of the ingredient list in the recipe box for conversions.
Thanks, but it hasn't converted the butter. I have no idea how much 16tbs is! Strikes me as quite a lot.
16 tablespoons or 226 grams.
Hi, is there any way you could convert the cups to grams? I would really like to try this recipe but unfortunately I don't know what the gram equivalent is to a cup measurement.
Can't remember the last time I had a cake this good. The rhubarb and ginger are perfect together, and the texture is just right too. Thank you for a keeper.
Hi! Perfect cake!! What would you say is the best way to store the cake?
In the refrigerator, tightly covered.
Can I replace the butter with oil? Has anyone tried this? Really want to give this a go! Rhubarb and ginger sounds delicious
Marie Louise Heffernan
I used sunflower oil and two tablespoons of solid coconut poil. my word it was delicious
So happy to hear!
L'aura Marie Campisi
Hello, is this freezable after baking??
I made this cake last night. I followed the recipe as posted aside from having to bake it an extra 16 minutes. I do have a gas oven which tends to bake a bit more slowly. The folks at work love the cake. Lots of appeals to "open a bakery". Thanks for the recipes.
Do you recommend baking this on cast iron pan or should I stick to springform? Thanks.
You can certainly use cast iron, but unmolding could be trickier, since you want your top to look as pretty as possible. I would recommend springform as the first choice!
I also had a challenge. The batter looked thin at the start so I added extra flour. But even then it was too much for the pan and took too long to cook. I definitely think the milk amount is off.
This cake is delicious! I've made it twice now, the second time modifying the recipe to raise the temperature and increase the cook time, as I had the same results as many who commented above about the cake center remaining uncooked even after much more time. Raising the oven temperature to 350 helped, but it still needed 70-75 minutes to bake through. I used hemp milk; could be the type of vegan "milk" used makes a difference in cook time. I wonder if a tube pan might help, rather than the springform pan (which does leak a LOT of juice - could be helpful to increase the cornstarch in the topping directions). I also noted in point 5 the direction to add sugar to the milk-vinegar mixture, but as far as I can figure, all the sugar is creamed into the vegan butter (I used no-soy Earth Balance). So, that may be an error? At any rate, I've crossed it out and the results seem fine. I was intrigued with the tip to replace 2 Tbl flour with cornstarch to approximate cake flour - that's a keeper! This cake is so good I'm going to experiment with different fruit & nut toppers. Yum! Thanks for this recipe; I"ll use it again and again, I expect, and share it with everyone who demands the recipe after they taste it and swoon. Rhubarb & ginger are a wonderful pairing.
Is there really one and there quarter cups of milk in this? That sounds a lot.
Hello, This recipe looks fabulous! I am wondering how much 2 sticks of vegan butter is. I can't find vegan butter in my area but vegan margarine. How many cups (or grams) would 2 sticks of vegan butter be please?
This cake is amazing! I've made it for my mum and my parents in law and they all think it's gorgeous! If there are cookbooks in heaven, this recipe must have dropped out of one! 😉 Thank you so much. If only rhubarb was easier to find here in Russia (we only get it in one shop nearby on Tuesdays in the summer or something)
How much is a stick of butter in weight please? I'm over here so might be different to US thanks 🙂
This cake looks amazing, Vaishali. I love those beautiful colors of the rhubarb. It's a little late now for the season, but I am going to find some rhubarb just so I can make this.
Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe! I made it yesterday for a Mother's Day celebration and followed your recipe meticulously, but the batter needed almost twice as long in the oven and was still a bit gooey in the middle after taking it out. Do you have an idea what I might have done wrong?
The taste of the cake was superb nevertheless, by the way! ?
Hi Helen, thanks for the feedback. I am surprised about the increased bake time-- I have made this basic cake many times over the years, with different fruit, and it has always worked for me. The only possibility I can think of is that your oven may not be heating up accurately. Next time try raising the temperature to 350 degrees.
Yum I'll have to try this! We have a ginourmous stash of rhubarb in the fridge just waiting to be eaten.
Thanks, Tiffany, a stash of rhubarb-- I'm jealous! 🙂 Hope you try the cake!