Fresh Rhubarb Upside-Down Baby Cakes | Dessert Recipes | PBS Food

Fresh Rhubarb Upside-Down Baby Cakes

Chef Johanne Killeen makes this fresh rhubarb upside-down baby cakes recipe for Julia Child's classic show "Baking with Julia."


Yield: 8 small cakes



  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 6 stalks fresh rhubarb trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Melted butter for greasing pans
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving


  1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 F. Brush a light coating of melted butter on insides of eight 4-inch-wide, 1-inch-deep cake pans. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together; reserve. In a separate bowl, stir vanilla into crème fraiche and set aside. Melt 4 ounces butter; add brown sugar and bourbon and cook over medium heat until the sugar melts. Stir in pecans and turn off the heat. Divide caramel evenly among the pans. Arrange rhubarb in circles over it; set aside. Put granulated sugar and remaining butter in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat on medium-high until light, fluffy, and pale. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately fold in dry ingredients and crème fraiche. Spoon batter over the rhubarb and smooth tops with a rubber spatula. Put the pans on a jelly-roll pan and bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. Immediately turn cakes out of their pans onto a rack. Serve with whipped cream if desired.