Juicy sweet strawberries, tart rhubarb and creamy tangy buttermilk make this the perfect farmhouse style strawberry rhubarb cake. Simple to put together and elegant enough to place in the middle of the table to serve for dessert. It's the perfect spring time cake.
If you've been around here for any length of time at all, you know that I have a passion for a west coast simplicity with some serious streaks of English country style. So, this farmhouse style strawberry rhubarb cake is the best of both worlds. Simple ingredients, no fussy techniques, but perfect to serve in a rustic country way.
We're just starting to get the first of our strawberries in for the summer and the Yorkshire rhubarb is still hanging on for a little while longer. If you're not familiar with Yorkshire rhubarb, and it's likely that you're not, it's grown by candle light over the winter and essentially forced to grow. Very much the same way you can force tulips to grow.
But this rhubarb is famed throughout Europe and all of Britain for it's tart and juicy flavour and it's pale pink colouring. But, really any rhubarb will do for this cake. We're not going to get precious about forced vs out door rhubarb. All that matters is that you make this strawberry rhubarb cake ASAP.
This cake is super simple to make and it's almost a 1 bowl situation, but not quite. You will need 2 bowls, but trust me, that's as complicated as this gets. We're talking classic cake method here: dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in bowl 2. Mix together.
But we need to talk about a couple of cake baking tips to start with.
Strawberry Rhubarb Cake Tips:
- Make sure that all your ingredients are room temperature. I know that's a give for any baking, but seriously... it makes a world of difference to the rise that you get from your sponge and the ease that the whole batter comes together.
- Always pre heat your oven. ALWAYS! Again, this one is probably a given for a lot you reading this blog, but there are always new bakers and cooks learning they're way around the stoves and recipes and they may not know this just yet. Or someone may think it's not that important. So, let me just say... it's that important. It's a MUST in your baking practice.
- It's always a good idea to either grease and flour your baking tin, or to line said tin with a sheet of baking paper. For this recipe I just kept it rustic looking because that's totally how I love this cake to look. But, for something more refined then cut your baking paper to the size required to fit the bottom of your baking tin.
Those are some of the tips that I learned the hard way when I started baking in my teens. If I can help prevent some of the cake disasters from happening in your life, then I'm in.
This strawberry rhubarb cake is perfect for snacking on mid morning, or for a dessert mid week. And who am I kidding? I will munch on this cake before dinner, after dinner and well into the middle of the night. It's a hit with anyone who tries it and will make the perfect dessert centre piece to those spring picnics and get togethers.
This cake base is one of my absolute favourites because it can be customised in so many ways. The buttermilk base of it was matched up with some pears and gin in the winter and it was divine. Have a glut of peaches? This is your recipe! Cherries? Yup. This is perfect.
And this recipe will go stunningly well with all that fall orchard fruit. But we'll wait a few months to talk about all that. It's barely summer and I've got strawberries and peaches on the brain!
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Simple Farmhouse Buttermilk Strawberry Rhubarb Cake
- 1 cup (125 g) flour
- 1 teaspoon (1 teaspoon) ground cardamom
- ¾ teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 2 (2) large eggs
- ¾ cup (150 g) caster or granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup (80 g) buttermilk
- ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter
- 1 pint (473.18 ml) strawberries sliced
- 3 (3) stalks rhubarb sliced into 1 cm lengths
- confectioners sugar
- Preheat the oven to 160C or 350F. Place a piece of parchment paper or greaseproof into an 8-or 9-inch cast iron pan and grease with butter.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla extract. Pour in the buttermilk and whisk to combine.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined, then gently fold in half of the melted butter. Repeat with the remaining flour and butter. Pour the cake into the prepared cake tin and top with the sliced strawberries and rhubarb. Bake until the cake turns a deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 35-45 minutes. Transfer the skillet to a cooling rack and let sit for 5 minutes. The cake may be served warm or at room temperature, directly from the skillet; whichever you choose, be sure to dust with confectioners sugar before serving.