Saturday, May 27, 2017

Easiest Rhubarb Cake: a spring favorite #recipe #mystery #giveaway

Thanks to Sheila  Connolly for the reminder earlier this month that the rhubarb in our backyard can turn into something delicious.  We have an exuberant plant!  Have learned a few things about harvesting it:  twist off the stalks, don’t cut.  Harvest before it ‘flowers’ or the rhubarb will be tough.  Discard the leaves: they can be toxic.  And the good news: rhubarb loves the freezer.  

Easiest Rhubarb Cake


2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
½ cup plus one tablespoon sugar
½ cup plus one tablespoon flour
1 – 2 tablespoons chilled butter
1 cup chopped fresh (or frozen rhubarb)
¾ tsp good quality vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract


Chop the rhubarb.

Beat eggs until light and fluffy. 

Gradually beat in sugar until thick. Add vanilla and almond extract. Beat in flour (don’t overbeat) Ooops! This photo has vanished!

Pour into greased 8 inch baking pan.  

Arrange a layer of rhubarb on the top.  Top with dabs of butter.  I like to use these little red pans I got more than twenty years ago in England.  The cakes do turn out better if you make one at a time, rather than doubling the recipe. I don’t know why.   Of course they can bake together.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.   

When the cake is cool, dust with icing sugar.  The sweetness counteracts the tartness of the rhubarb.

Serve as is or with whipping cream or ice cream.  I think it would be nice with some lemon zest added too.  I'll do that next time and, of course, there is always a next time with this little cake. 

The rhubarb cake freezes beautifully. I usually freeze the second one if I can save it in time. And now on to related topics: tulips. Ottawa,  mysteries and giveaway.

May is our month for rhubarb but it's also our month for tulips and in Ottawa, we have the Tulip Festival which is at the heart of my first published mystery: Speak Ill of the Dead, a Camilla MacPhee book.   

Of course, being a lawyer and victims' advocate, Camilla is a bit grumpy and doesn't care for all those tulips or tourists. Now she's trying to save her friend, Robin, from murder charges.  I still like tulips though and I am still happy with my first book. To honor its May origins I will have a draw from your comments today.  Tell me why YOU would like to read a book about a grumpy lawyer with an interfering family living in Canada's capital or just say something about rhubarb or cake and your name goes in the hat.  I look forward to hearing from you!  If you have already read it, we can make a deal.  DON'T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL!

Mary Jane Maffini is the author of thirteen books in three mystery series and co-author of the book collector mysteries along with her daughter, Victoria, writing as Victoria Abbott.

Here are the Camilla MacPhee books Be careful: may contain humor, difficult relatives and the world's worst office assistant.  Also animals.

Visit MJ at and MJ and Victoria at  Victoria Abbott

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