Hello, spring, there you are, doll. So thoughtful of you to show up. It’s only… almost JUNE.
Winter just ended for us in the pacific northwest. It was literally 10º and raining 7 days/week up until last weekend. But that’s in the past. Now we are spoiled with sunshine and you’ll find me existing indoors only for sleep, naps (wait, that’s also sleep) and … well, not much else.
Rhubarb is my kryptonite. It’s the first freshness of the season, an ecstatically-welcomed vibrancy at the market among last year’s sad potatoes and a million bunches of kale. Its tartness is like a wake-up slap to our winter-stew-numbed tastebuds.
When I was a kid, we lived on a budget. That meant we simply did not buy produce out of season. In a quiet town on the 1990s Canadian Atlantic, imported-from-Mexico fruit was both extremely expensive and very weary looking after its long trip.
In our home, there was never a strawberry in January. A peach in March was unthinkable. So I really learned to appreciate (obsess over?) the rhythms of our gustatory seasons and look forward to (ok, obsess over) the appearance of things like fiddleheads and berries.
When the first rhubarb appeared at our grocery store (probably in June, our growing season starts later there because brrr) my mom would stew the ruby stalks down to a pink compote and we’d pile it on hot, buttered whole-wheat toast for breakfast.
I can still taste the first sweet-tart bite.
I added ginger to this cake because I really like the flavour with rhubarb (orange goes really beautifully, too). I really love this Ginger Rhubarb Cake in the archives. It’s a moist, fluffy cake with a bit of virtue actually as yogurt replaces most of the butter (while adding another subtle layer of tang).
Happy weekending! Go buy some rhubarb if you haven’t already. This cake totally doubles as breakfast. xo
Ginger Rhubarb Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 1/4 cups full-fat greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp finely grated ginger preferably on a microplane zester
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 lb rhubarb 2 of the prettiest stalks reserved, remaining stalks chopped in 1/4" pieces
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 8x8" square cake pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together melted butter, yogurt, eggs, ginger, and vanilla extract. Scrape this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until nearly combined, with some floury streaks and patches remaining. Fold in the chopped rhubarb with a gentle hand (by this time the floury patches will be incorporated - it's important not to over-mix).
- Transfer the batter to prepared cake pan, and arrange remaining rhubarb on top. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until top feels springy when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan to finish cooling on a wire rack. Can be served warm with ice cream or at room temperature.