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Rhubarb Olive Oil Cake

Before any other sumptuous spring fruits start to find their way into gardens and onto our plates this spring, don’t forget to give rhubarb some well-earned attention. Rhubarb is a hearty and undemanding perennial vegetable known for adding its sour, pucker-inducing flavor to our beloved springtime and early summer recipes. Although the time-honored strawberry rhubarb combo is sure to please, don’t hesitate to use those voluptuous rhubarb patches in baked goods before strawberry patches are productive enough to fill farm stands. This rhubarb olive cake recipe has all the makings to become a springtime baking staple. The cornmeal adds texture to the lightly sweetened cake, studded with chunks of rhubarb that surprise while satisfying. The 40-45 minutes of cooking time allows plenty of opportunity to encourage everybody to try a chunk of raw rhubarb too, one of the garden’s most surprising and awe-inspiring flavors. Be sure to have the camera ready for the pucker!

Rhubarb Olive Oil Cake

Makes one 9×9 square cake

Ingredients

3/4 cup all purpose flour

¾ cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Pinch of salt

3 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups milk

1 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3-4 stalks of rhubarb, diced

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×9 inch pan.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until they are light yellow and well blended. Whisk in the milk, olive oil, and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and continue to whisk together until just blended.
  5. Evenly place the diced rhubarb into bottom of pan, and pour batter on top. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges.
  6. Let cool completely, before flipping out onto a cooling rack and slicing.