For 20 years, we lived in the country where my husband grew all kinds of fruits and vegetables.  One of my favorites was rhubarb, so when we relocated to a smaller house and yard almost 7 years ago, I planted some rhubarb and have some to use throughout the summer – plenty for one person.  But in 1989 when we had a lot of home-grown everything, I tried some different ways of using rhubarb and won a ribbon for this cake at the Ohio State Fair.


  • 6 Tlbsp. butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1-3/4 cup sliced rhubarb
  • 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening (Crisco)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • Whipped cream and fresh strawberries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter in a 9″ skillet.  I like to use a 50+ year-old cast iron skillet for this.

Stir in brown sugar.

Lightly mix together the rhubarb and strawberries.

Arrange the rhubarb and strawberries over the top of the butter/brown sugar mixture.  Note:  Don’t do as I did once and try to increase the amount of fresh strawberries – it makes the topping too juicy.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In large bowl of electric mixer, cream shortening, sugar and egg.  Add dry ingredients and milk alternately, starting and ending with dry ingredients, beating after each addition.  Add vanilla and blend.  Spread batter over the fruit.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until top of cake is golden brown and cake tests done when a toothpick is inserted in the center.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto large serving plate.  If some of the fruit sticks to the pan, just scrape it out while it is still warm and add to the top of the cake.

Let cake cool to room temperature and serve with some whipped cream and a couple of fresh strawberries.

This makes a really nice summertime dessert.