Of Cats, Cuddles, and (Rhubarb-Free) Cake

Dorie says to serve the cake with strawberries and crème fraiche. Probably makes more gustatory sense when you actually make the cake with rhubarb.

Dorie Greenspan says to serve her rhubarb cake with strawberries and crème fraiche. Probably makes more gustatory sense when you actually make the cake with rhubarb.

I’m writing this post while sitting in someone else’s kitchen, with a tiger-eyed cat chirruping earnestly in my ear. I’m cat/housesitting for a few weeks, and staying in this wonderfully renovated circa 1900’s house, getting all the cat cuddles my heart desires.

But this means I’m not in my own kitchen as much, except when I pop back to my condo to replenish my supplies. Bringing things back and forth between residences also means I’m bound to forget one thing or another, and in this case, while I didn’t forget the rhubarb for today’s recipe, after checking three local stores over two days and not finding any rhubarb, I ran out of time to go searching farther afield.

All this is an intro to why I made today’s bake-a-long recipe with fresh pineapple instead of spring-has-sprung rhubarb. The official recipe is the Rhubarb Upside Down Brown Sugar Cake from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi cookbook, but as mentioned above, I turned it into a Pineapple Brown Sugar Cake.

So…basically a pineapple upside down cake, except with a brown sugar batter and using fresh pineapple.

Very French, oui?

Very North American, more like. Le sigh.

Mixing up the batter to pour over the caramelized fruit.

Mixing up the batter to pour over the caramelized fruit.

Actually, it turned out pretty well! The cake was pillowy soft, and smelled deliciously of butter, and the pineappple was just right as I had cut it up the previous night so it lost the just-cut tongue-numbing sharpness.

Some for me, plus more for me! I like cake. :)

Some for me, plus more for me! I like cake. 🙂

That said, I loooove rhubarb and I think the original recipe must be just wonderful, with a contrast between the tang of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the caramelized brown sugar topping. My mouth is watering as I type this, just dreaming of some tart rhubarb. When I was a kid, my best friend and I would pick fresh rhubarb from one of our gardens and eat it raw, dipping the end of the stalk in sugar to cut the tartness. Mmm! And then our mouths would be puckered for hours. But it was worth it!

But enough with the reminiscing. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go cuddle a cat. And eat some cake!

Next Post: Nutella Rice Krispies squares, I think. So easy. So tasty. So quickly devoured.

26 thoughts on “Of Cats, Cuddles, and (Rhubarb-Free) Cake

  1. Christie

    Wow-this looks great as a pineapple upside down cake. I can’t believe you used to eat fresh rhubarb, pretty impressive.

  2. Zosia

    It was very good with the rhubarb but I can imagine how fabulous it was with the pineapple – there’s a reason pineapple upside cake is a classic.

  3. Summer

    What a great idea to use pineapple. Your cake looks terrific and I think pineapple somehow captures the general idea of fragrant tartness. It look beautiful.

    1. Margaret Post author

      Thanks! This little friend is definitely cuddly, and will let me know when it’s time to be cuddled. I respond by cuddling her, along with cake for me. Best of both worlds!

  4. Amy

    The pineapple looks beautiful! I’ll have to try pineapple next time, maybe then my family will try it. (The rhubarb seemed to scare them)

  5. Diane Zwang

    I am glad that I am not the only one that had trouble locating rhubarb. Pineapple was a great substitution. I can’t wait to make this cake again so I am sure you will enjoy it when you can get some rhubarb.

  6. Teresa

    I loved this with rhubarb, but pineapple is the most famous kind of upside down cake for a reason – this must have been wonderful!

  7. Katrina

    Hi, I didn’t get over here when we posted these and wanted to make sure I did today while checking out the brownies. You asked about my GF flour and I totally thought it had xanthan gum, but I just checked and the one I used for this cake doesn’t. Hmm. It’s a boxed brand I got at the grocery store called Sun Flour Mills GF Pastry Flour. I would secretly prefer pineapple upside down cake to rhubarb. 😉

    1. Margaret Post author

      Awesome, thanks Katrina! I’ll have to look for the Sun Flour Mills pastry flour. Or rather, tell the DH to look for it when he goes shopping. 🙂 Thanks for remembering and getting back to me — much appreciated!

  8. Pingback: Rhubarb Revisited, or Not: Apricot Upside Down Brown Sugar Cake |

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