Rhubarb Almond Skillet Cake

DessertCakeRhubarb

This rhubarb skillet cake—scented with orange zest and crowned with ruby pink, tart rhubarb—is a keeper! It's made in the food processor, cooked in a skillet, and beautiful, too!

Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

This moist cake—scented with orange zest and crowned with ruby pink, tart rhubarb—is a keeper. It has plenty of appeal and it earns it! You can whip it up at the drop of a hat in the food processor. Very little washing-up is required, and I always vote for that.

HOW TO BUY AND STORE RHUBARB

Rhubarb is in season primarily from April to June in the U.S., but you can sometimes find it a little earlier or later than that. Look for stalks that are less than two inches in diameter and that are blemish-free and firm. You don’t have to peel them. Their color can range from green to pink to deep red.

If the stalks have leaves, they should look fresh, not wilted. The leaves of rhubarb are poisonous, so be sure to remove and discard them. Store the stalks, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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HOW TO FREEZE RHUBARB

If you have a good haul of rhubarb, you can cut the raw stalks into pieces, spread them on a parchment-lined baking sheet to freeze, and pop them into freezer bags once they are frozen. They should keep for up to 12 months.

GRINDING YOUR OWN ALMONDS VS. ALMOND FLOUR

Personally, I prefer the flavor of toasted almonds and the slightly coarser texture that comes from grinding the nuts in the food processor to make my own almond flour. But if you don’t have the time or the inclination to make your own, you can substitute store-bought almond flour in this recipe.

Almond Flour Cake with Rhubarb - slice of almond cake on white plate

CAN I USE A CAKE PAN IF I DON’T HAVE A SKILLET?

You can use a 9- or 10-inch round cake pan that is at least two inches deep for this cake. I suggest buttering the pan and then lining the bottom with a round of parchment paper to fit. Check the cake for doneness after about 40 minutes, since baking time can vary according to the pan you use.

HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE THIS CAKE

The cake is best eaten on the day it is made, but having said that, it keeps well for two to three days, covered tightly with foil stored at room temperature. To freeze the cake for up to three months, wrap it in plastic wrap then aluminum foil.

WANT MORE RHUBARB RECIPES?

Rhubarb Almond Skillet Cake Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • Butter (for the skillet)
  • 2/3 cup whole almonds with skins or 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • Zest of 1 medium orange
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) room temperature unsalted butter, cut into slices
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 stalks rhubarb (8 ounces), leaves removed, cut into 1-inch slices (about 2 cups)
  • Powdered sugar (for sprinkling)

Special equipment:

Method

1 Heat the oven and prep the skillet: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Generously butter a 10-inch ovenproof skillet with a heatproof handle.

2 Toast the almonds: Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they smell toasty. Cool briefly.

3 Grind the almonds: In a food processor, add the almonds, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, and orange zest. Process until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Remove 1/4 cup of the almond-sugar mixture for the topping and set aside.

Almond Flour Cake with Rhubarb -- almonds, sugar and orange zest in food processorSkillet Cake with Rhubarb - toasted almonds ground in food processor

4 Combine the almonds and flour: Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the almond-sugar mixture in the bowl. Whisk to combine.

5 Make the batter: In the food processor, process the butter and the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar for 1 minute, or until light and fluffy. One at a time, add the eggs, processing for about 30 seconds after each addition and scraping down the sides of the food processor with a spatula. Add the vanilla and pulse to mix it.

Add the flour mixture to the food processor and briefly pulse the machine 4 to 5 times, just until the batter is smooth. It will be thick.

Skillet Cake with Rhubarb - rhubarb cake batter in food processor with pink spatulaSkillet Cake with Rhubarb - rhubarb cake batter in food processorSkillet Cake with Rhubarb - rhubarb cake ingredients in food processorRhubarb Cake Recipe - rhubarb cake batter in food processor

5 Transfer to the skillet and top: Scrape the batter into the skillet, spreading it evenly in the pan with the back of a spoon or small spatula.

Sprinkle about half of the reserved almond-sugar mixture over the batter in the pan. Distribute the rhubarb over the top of the batter. Sprinkle with the remaining almond-sugar mixture.

Rhubarb Cake Recipe - rhubarb cake batter in white skilletRhubarb Cake Recipe - rhubarb cake in skillet

6 Bake the cake: Bake the cake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Set the skillet on a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into wedges. Serve from the pan.

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Sally Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of three cookbooks (Food for Friends, The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press, and The Cranberry Cookbook). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.

More from Sally

18 Comments / Reviews

No ImageRhubarb Almond Skillet Cake

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Eve-Ann

    hello from Belgium :) would like to make this recipe but need to convert the quantities. are “cups” in US standard ? or UK standard ? thank you ! looks delicious.

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Carrie Havranek

    Sally, this was great. I drizzled some rhubarb simple syrup over the top, which amped up the rhubarb flavor nicely!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Joe

    Have made this 3 times now. The last time I used gooseberries that I had in the freezer. It’s my new specialty.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Matilda

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I made it with my niece and she thought it was so fun to get to crush the almonds :) I added in a tbsp of olive oil and 2 tsp of lemon juice to lighten the batter a bit, but I’m not sure if it made a big difference. It turned out very tasty either way!

    We grow rhubarb in our garden but are very uncreative, so I’ve gotten tired of the standard rhubarb pie. It was great to try something new with it. Will definitely make this recipe again since we have plenty of rhubarb left!

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (2)
  5. Ingeborg

    Dear Sally

    I made this cake today and it tastes just lovely. Mine however came out a bit on the dry side, so I drizzled it with some syrup and lemon juice, and it not only made it more moist, but also brought out the lovely taste of rhubarb.

    Best regards
    Ingeborg

    Show Replies (1)
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