Rhubarb Skillet Cake

June 23, 2020


The quiet hero of this cake is the rhubarb, brilliantly colored and upstate grown. Roughly chopped, it is folded into the cake and used to adorn it. A few ingredient additions including browned butter, toasted almond meal, buckwheat flour and cardamom form the perfect subtle stage to honor this tart spring vegetable. Celebrate it while you can. The best part is this cake comes together quickly and beautifully in a 10” cast-iron skillet.

1 stick unsalted grass-fed butter
½ cup natural almond meal
1 ½ cups chopped Local Roots rhubarb (½” or 1” pieces, depending on preference)
|1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
¼ cup buckwheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 Local Roots pasture raised eggs
1 cup all-natural milk
Powdered sugar, to finish (optional)
Whipped cream, to serve (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and center a rack in the oven.
  2. Meanwhile, brown the butter. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt the butter, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula. The butter will begin to foam, keep stirring until the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma, about 3-5 minutes. The foam should subside a bit and you should see visible browned bits, turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove.
  3. Remove 1 tablespoon of the browned butter from the pan and use it to grease the base and sides of a 10” cast-iron skillet. Pour the remainder of the butter with all the browned bits into a large heat-proof bowl, reserve the pan (careful as it will be very hot). Add one regular-sized ice cube to the bowl and whisk to cool down the butter and dissolve the ice cube completely. Set aside.
  4. To the now empty but lightly-greased small saucepan add the almond meal and lightly toast, stirring over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes. It should look lightly golden and give off a pleasant aroma. Scrape out almond meal into a medium bowl and set aside to cool.
  5. In a small bowl combine chopped rhubarb with 2 tablespoons sugar and toss to coat, this will help bring out the sweetness during baking and encourage caramelization, set aside.
  6. To the cooled almond meal add the all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom and whisk to combine, have ready.
  7. To the large bowl with the browned butter add the remaining 1 cup sugar, whisk to combine then add the eggs, one at a time, whisking between additions. The mixture should be smooth and silky looking with little browned bits.
  8. Stream the milk into the butter emulsion, while whisking.
  9. Add all the flour mixture and whisk until you form a smooth batter. Switch to a spatula and fold in about half of the rhubarb.
  10. Pour this batter into your greased skillet and even out with a spatula. Adorn the surface with the remaining rhubarb.
  11. Bake for 30-40 minutes, rotating after 20 minutes to ensure even coloring. The cake should pull away from the sides of the pan, appear just golden at the edges, spring back easily to the touch and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
  12. Remove pan from the oven and let cool. Top with powdered sugar and serve directly out of the skillet with barely sweetened, salted whipped cream if you so desire.

    Recipe by Local Roots NYers @lpelican 

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