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Springtime, Rhubarb and Wide Open Spaces

My dad grew up on a farm in rural Minnesota. And though he's spent the last 35 years living in the cities with his wife and four children (most of whom you couldn't pay to go camping) - as the saying goes, you can take the man out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the man. My dad still loves working with his hands, itches to be outside regardless of the weather and is delighted by fresh produce. So, when I was considering tackling this Rhubarb Cookie Cake recipe - it is the season, after all! - he was the person I wanted to bake it for.

After a recent family dinner at my parents' house, I got out my ingredients and prepared a rhubarb recipe for the first time in my life - all the while talking to my dad about his memories growing up on the farm. Amongst other things, he told me about the fresh rhubarb they would pluck from the garden, wash, then dip in sugar to eat for a sweet and sour treat! "It's the original 'sour patch kids' candy," he said. Oh, I have so much to learn about country life.

To make this yummy spring dessert yourself, take advantage of the quick-growing rhubarb in your own backyard!  Simply pluck a few stalks of rhubarb when they are firm and pink-to-red like this. (If you do not have access to fresh rhubarb, you may also find fresh or frozen rhubarb at your local grocery store.)

Fresh rhubarb

Immediately remove the leaf from the stalk and dispose of it. Rhubarb leaves are toxic, so they must never be eaten – raw or cooked. Wash the stalks, then cut them into chunks. These can be used immediately in your baking, or you may refrigerate them until you're ready to start - like I did.

Slice the fresh rhubarb

When you're ready to begin your dessert, heat your oven to 350 degrees F. While the oven is warming up, you'll be preparing your cookie crust. Set out your cup of flour and 1/3 cup of sugar. Begin melting your butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir constantly until it begins to brown. The browning butter sneaks up on you, so you'll be glad that you have the other crust ingredients ready and waiting.

melt butter

As soon as the butter browns, move it off the heat and add the sugar and flour. Mix the ingredients thoroughly.

Add flour and sugar

When the ingredients are completely combined, you'll have a nice shortbread batter.

Cookie crust batter

Spread it evenly along the bottom of your greased 8" square pan.

Spread cookie crust in pan

Now it's time for the cake filling ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, sugar, flour, baking powder and ginger.

Mix rhubarb and sugar

When those ingredients are completely mixed, add two eggs and beat the mixture until smooth.

Add egg to rhubarb mixture

Pour the filling over the crust, then sprinkle the top with brown sugar. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Pour rhubarb mixture over cookie crust

While the cake is baking, prepare your whipped cream. Simply beat together the whipping cream and brown sugar on high speed until the mixture begins to thicken and soft peaks form.

Whipped cream

When the 40 minutes are up, check the cake with the toothpick test. Prick the cake with a toothpick (careful to select a spot that doesn't have rhubarb). If the toothpick comes out clean - no batter on it, your cake is ready. Allow it to cool for 30 minutes before cutting.

The toothpick test

Slice the cake and serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Rhubarb Cookie Cake

My dad loved his special rhubarb dessert so much that he claimed he would be eating Rhubarb Cookie Cake for lunch and dinner until it was gone! So, if you too love the flavor of  fresh rhubarb, this dessert will have you coming back for more - and you just might catch that itch to get outside and enjoy the spring sunshine!

Dad's loving the rhubarb!

Try this Rhubarb Cookie Cake recipe for yourself, then rate and review it.

Check back in a few days when Becky and I tackle a time-honored recipe together. You won't want to miss these delicious "Gramma's Rolls"!

Amanda is paid to write for the Land O'Lakes Recipe Buzz™ Blog.


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i just made this recipe with my fresh rhubarb..its looks sooo good! will serve it with cool whip later..easy to make and i love recipes that can be made from scratch ,and in an 8 by 8 in. baking dish...too hot to eat right now though!

Posted May 16 2011 by sandi
Test Kitchen Comment


Glad you were able to put that fresh rhubarb to work, Sandi! This is a really nice spring recipe. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool. You can tell that I got impatient since the whipped cream began to melt a bit on the warm dessert. Hope you are pleased with the outcome! Let us know by rating the recipe — those ratings help others find great recipes like this one!
Posted May 17, 2011

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