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Rhubarb Upside Down Cake slice on a plate

Rhubarb Hazelnut Upside Down Cake

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Cakes & Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English


A wonderful nutty, light hazelnut sponge topped with sweet, tart rhubarb and a drizzle of blood orange syrup – this makes a surprisingly delicious and flavourful dessert.



For the Rhubarb

1 tablespoon softened butter

2 tablespoons caster sugar

400g rhubarb, trimmed

For the Hazelnut Cake

1 cup (120g) plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (100g) ground hazelnuts

3/4 cup (180g) butter at room temperature

1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar

3 eggs at room temperature

1 egg yolk at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 Blood Orange, zest

1/4 cup (60ml) milk at room temperature

For the Blood Orange Syrup

1 cup (240ml) blood orange juice (about 3 to 4 oranges)

3 tablespoons sugar

Creme Fraiche to serve, optional

Chopped hazelnuts to serve, optional


For the Rhubarb

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Grease a 20cm square cake pan and line the base and sides with a layer of baking paper. Spoon dollops of butter evenly over base of the lined pan. Sprinkle with 2 caster sugar. Arrange rhubarb in a diamond pattern over the sugar, trimming to fit.


For the Hazelnut Cake

  1. Add the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt and ground hazelnuts into a medium bowl, and stir until combined. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl, with an electric mixer or handheld beaters until pale and fluffy, this takes approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, ensuring the eggs are fully combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addiction. Add the vanilla and blood orange zest and mix till combined.
  4. Slowly add the flour in three additions, alternating with the milk. Begin and end with the flour and mix until just combined.
  5. Pour the cake batter over the rhubarb and spread evenly with a spatula.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Let the cake rest for 10 minutes. Gently run a thin bladed knife around the edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a plate. Remove the parchment and cool completely.


For the Blood Orange Syrup

  1. Stir the juice and sugar in a small saucepan, over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil the syrup until it thickens. Make sure to skim away any froth that developes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  2. To serve, drizzle blood orange syrup over the cake and dollop with creme fraiche or cream and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts. Enjoy!

Keywords: Upside-down cake, rhubarb, blood orange, rhubarb upside-down cake

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