Rhubarb Custard Upside Down Cake


For many years Hubs refused to join facebook. After many discussions¬†he finally caved in and joined. But, before that I was friend requested by the people he went to school with and because he wasn’t on facebook, I was tagged in photos like this one…

He's always been a stud.

He’s always been a stud.

This type of activity was one of my arguing discussion points in finally convincing Hubs to get his own dang page. I am still trying to train him to actually check his notifications. In order to do this I have refrained from telling him important things that he needs to know in person and instead tell him things via facebook such as…

I am going to Indiana in August.
We are having dinner with friends on Saturday night.
The house is slightly on fire.

So far he has not sucumbed to the siren call of the facebook notification sound. I guess I have to step up my game.

Anyways, this post is called Rhubarb Upside Down Custard Cake, so you are probably wondering what this has to do with Hubs and facebook. Well you see, one of his high school friends that I have become facebook friends with is Noah. Noah is a pretty awesome dude, he can build an addition on your house, he makes wine and he can bake a cake. Hub’s must have missed the wine making and cake baking class that Noah took in high school.

Noah posted this cake several years ago on facebook and I made it and it was amazing. Then the following year I wanted to make it again and couldn’t find the recipe so I had to pester Noah for it again. This same scenario repeated at least once more. Finally I made it and took photos and I am posting it here for you all to enjoy but mostly so I don’t have to ask Noah for the recipe again. I am also going to pin it on pinterest, because I can!

This cake is the perfect way to use up the copious amounts of rhubarb that a person might have lying around. I also like it because it’s a low sugar rhubarb recipe. Most rhubarb recipes have you dumping all kinds of sugar on it. This cake only has the sugar that a normal cake has and that doesn’t mean the rhubarb is so tart you can’t stand it. This cake is super eatable without gobs of sugar. It’s delicious, unique, super simple and easy to tweak to make it your own. So let’s start with what you need from the refrigerator, grocery store and/or backyard.

I like Duncan Hines cake mix the best. No, they did not pay me to say that. If they wanted to I wouldn't say no. But I would also be happy if they would share my blog. Sharing is caring Duncan Hines. Just saying! The Kemps cream is not from our cows but lots of our neighbors ship their milk to DFA and that goes into Kemps products. So woot neighbor cows!

I like Duncan Hines cake mix the best. No, they did not pay me to say that. If they wanted to I wouldn’t say no. But I would also be happy if they would share my blog. Sharing is caring Duncan Hines. Just saying! The Kemps cream is not from our cows but lots of our neighbors ship their milk to DFA and that goes into Kemps products. So woot neighbor cows!

Rhubarb Upside Down Custard Cake

1 box white, yellow, pineapple, lemon, orange or maybe even strawberry cake mix.

3 eggs

1/4c. Butter, melted

1c. water, lemonade, pineapple or orange juice

16oz container of Heavy Whipping Cream

Rhubarb, at least 3 cups worth.

So let’s make a cake! Preheat your oven to 350F. Mix the cake mix, eggs, butter and water or juice in a bowl like the box tells you. Your box may call for oil instead of butter but your box doesn’t know what it’s talking about and should be ignored. Butter is better than oil. Mix it good, mix it real good!… Sorry that was the Salt and Pepper talking. Anyways, pour the mix into a buttered cake pan. Probably a standard 9×13 would work best.


Rhubarb from one of the three massive plants I have. Who needs three rhubarb plants? I mean really? Also, be sure that your rhubarb plant is not a burdock plant. They look a like, they do not taste a like. Or so I’ve heard.


Chop up your rhubarb into smallish pieces. Rhubarb is really pretty, don’t you think?


Yep, rhubarb, it’s pretty. But the word rhubarb, that’s a weird word. Who the heck looked at the plant, tasted it and thought “I shall call this sour thing I just put in my mouth rhubarb!”. Then he died because he ate the leaves too and the leaves of rhubarb are toxic.

Easy Rhubarb Cake

So take your cake mix and sprinkle your rhubarb on top of it. Noah says to really load it up and I agree. I have about 3 cups of rhubarb on the cake here, it totally could handle 4 cups, I should have put on 4 cups.


The next step is the best part! Slowly pour all of the cream over the top of the cake. Make sure the cream covers all of the cake. All 16 glorious ounces of Heavy Whipping Cream, all over the cake. Like cake lotion. Delicious cake lotion.

Carefully place your cake into your oven. Did I mention that this cake is magic? No? Well it is. The cream and the rhubarb that were on top of the cake are going to migrate South while it bakes. I don’t know why or how it does it but it does and the results are delicious and magical. This would be why this cake is called Rhubarb Upside Down Custard Cake, because, magic!

Bake your cake for about 26 minutes and then check it to see if it’s done. If you stick a knife in the center make sure you don’t quite go all the way to the bottom because you’ll get cream on your knife and it will look like undone cake batter and then you’ll cook the cake too long and it will ruin your day and possibly your life and this is a really long sentence. Take the cake out of the oven when it’s done, duh!

I forgot to take a photo of this part. But it looks like a boring cake, you won’t see any evidence of the rhubarb or the cream on top. Let the cake cool and then put the cake in the fridge and eat it tomorrow.

Who am I kidding? Who has that kind of restraint? But seriously, this cake should be served totally cooled and it’s even better cold. When you slice the cake flip the piece onto your plate and it will look like this…


Ta-da! See the rhubarb?!?!?! See the custard?!?!?! They got married! Such a delicious union! Apparently they registered for paper plates instead of china. Rhubarb and Cream, such a practical pair!

So there you have it! A simple Rhubarb Custard Upside Down Cake. Play around with the recipe and make it your own. You won’t be disappointed!


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19 Comments on Rhubarb Custard Upside Down Cake

  1. LFFL
    July 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm (6 years ago)

    Looks good.

    • dairycarrie
      July 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm (6 years ago)

      It is!

    • dairycarrie
      July 14, 2013 at 10:33 pm (6 years ago)

      I think you could try other fruits so long as they wouldn’t bake to mush.

  2. Peggy Jackson
    July 14, 2013 at 10:24 pm (6 years ago)

    Oh my! When I lived In Baraboo and Waunakee, I had loads of rhubarb. Rhubarb Cream Pie was the go to recipe. This is soo much simpler and looks fantastic. Now if I can only find some rhubarb…

    • dairycarrie
      July 14, 2013 at 10:34 pm (6 years ago)

      Not sure where you are now but I thought everyone had Rhubarb!

  3. Becky
    July 16, 2013 at 6:24 pm (6 years ago)

    Is it possible to get a printable recipe for the Rhubarb Custard Cake?

    • dairycarrie
      July 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm (6 years ago)

      I think you should be able to copy and paste the recipe into a word doc to print if it doesn’t print well from here.

  4. the south dakota cowgirl
    July 21, 2013 at 10:25 am (6 years ago)

    A- Mazing. And I may hate you a little bit for sharing. I can’t get rhubarb in the store here and all my rhubarb plants died last year, so this next year when I get moved up to the barn into my new house, I will plant them in an actual garden, and I shall forever be able to get my hands on rhubarb. They say it grows wild in these parts too, but I’ve never found it. Maybe my botanist friend, Linda, can hook me up.

  5. elaine
    June 3, 2014 at 4:00 pm (5 years ago)

    Well, I wish I’d erred on the dry side. Carrie says to use a full cup of juice, Duncan says to use 1/2 cup. I went with Carrie. My cake is beginning to get a bit crisp around the edges and still jiggles in the middle. So do I, but it isn’t from excess *moisture*. I am now letting it bake on in 3-minute increments, hoping the middle will get cakey before the edges get too crispy. Now it’s bubbling cream around the edges. I hope this turns out to be some kind of servable dish as I am taking it to a potluck tonight. If it were just for home, I wouldn’t be concerned – I am happy to eat anything rhubarby whether it turns out as intended or not. Maybe there will be a crowd of such dedicated rhubarb lovers that it will be enjoyed no matter what it looks like. I am taking bowls and spoons, just in case. And some sour cream/whipped topping to disguise it if necessary!

      • elaine
        June 3, 2014 at 5:21 pm (5 years ago)

        My box says 1/2 cup water, 3 eggs, 7 T softened butter. I used 1 C apple-peach-mango juice, 3 eggs, 1 stick butter, melted, and 1 box DH Butter Golden cake mix. Poured this into pan, covered with diced rhubarb, poured on heavy whipping cream (Kemps, like your photo instructs!). It’s cooling now, I am about to pack it into a cooler with freezies to chill on the way to the event.

        I am taking along a lasagna pan, slightly bigger than my cake pan, and if the cake doesn’t come out of the original pan looking like your photo, I can flip it into the larger pan and change the label to “Rhubarb Custard Pudding Cake.” Also taking some Secret Recipe Lo-Fat Topping. And the bowls.

        I will let you know how it comes out when served, and what guests think of it (there are some fierce rhubarb recipe fiends in this crowd). One hour ten minutes to dinner and counting . . .

        • dairycarrie
          June 3, 2014 at 5:23 pm (5 years ago)

          Yikes! Hope it turns out! I wonder if that D.H. Mix is different from the others?

        • dairycarrie
          June 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm (5 years ago)

          Looks like that one mix is different from all the others. I’ll note that in the recipe. Sorry you had to be the one to find that out! Hope it still turns out and I really hope you’ll give it another shot because it is delicious.

        • dairycarrie
          June 3, 2014 at 5:43 pm (5 years ago)

          Looks like that one mix is different from all the others. I’ll note that in the recipe. Sorry you had to be the one to find that out! Hope it still turns out and I really hope you’ll give it another shot because it is delicious.

        • elaine
          June 3, 2014 at 9:43 pm (5 years ago)

          Oh, I had no doubt it would be delicious, and it was!.. Soon as I had cut it I took a sample serving to A) see how it would dish up, and B) see if it was fit for guests or if I would have to take it home and eat it all myself. It wasn’t runny, but did not come out as cake-over-custard. More like a rhubarb custard pudding topped with a thin layer of cake. Guests LOVED it. Turned out this was the only rhubarb dish brought this time, so of course rhubarb fans were pleased just to have something. I will do this again, and if I happen to pick up the Butter Golden cake mix, I’ll use 1/2 c. juice as per the package, and the finished product should be a bit more “shapely.”

          Next up, though, is the Rumchata Rhubarb Crisp!

        • dairycarrie
          June 3, 2014 at 9:44 pm (5 years ago)

          Perfect! So glad it turned out well!

  6. Linda Stephenson
    May 5, 2016 at 7:13 am (3 years ago)

    Linda here from L & S Gardens in La Pine, Oregon (heart of Rhubarb Country) and home to the biggest Rhubarb Festival in Oregon. I have 283 Rhubarb plants that I use for my Rhubarb jam and jelly business. I made your Rumchata rhubarb recipe – DELICIOUS !! I used half Rumchata and half orange cream. I served it at a staff meeting yesterday and they want more… Heading to the store to get a cake mix for your Rhubarb Custard cake.

    • dairycarrie
      May 5, 2016 at 8:19 am (3 years ago)

      So glad you liked it! The custard cake is also delicious!