Top 9-Free Upside-Down Rhubarb Cake

Rhubarb is nicknamed “pie plant” for good reason. But true rhubarb fans know these fleshy stalks are versatile beyond pie filling. It adds delightful tartness to this seasonal cake, which is balanced by warm hints of cinnamon and ginger. Photo: Andrew Grinton

Makes: 1 (9-inch) cake
Free of: gluten and all top allergens

See Also: Allergic Living’s Allergy-Friendly Spring Recipes


  • 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 12 oz rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 3/4 cups gluten-free, all-purpose flour blend (such as King Arthur)
  • 1 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (omit if using a flour blend with xanthan gum)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup aquafaba (see Recipe Tips)
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 8 tbsp dairy-free, soy-free margarine or buttery sticks (such as Earth Balance), softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened hemp milk beverage

Recipe Tips

Drain a 15-ounce can of low-sodium chickpeas, reserving the liquid (aquafaba) for use in this recipe. One can should yield slightly more than 1/2 cup of aquafaba.

If egg allergy is not an issue, use 4 egg whites in place of aquafaba. Beat egg whites for 1 minute on medium-low or until frothy. Gradually add sugar while beating on medium-high for 2 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved. Then increase the mixer to high and beat 1 minute, or just until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat egg whites.


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together ½ cup sugar and cornstarch. Add rhubarb and stir to combine. Transfer rhubarb to prepared cake pan and even out.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, xanthan gum, salt and cloves together into a medium bowl.
  4. Place aquafaba and cream of tartar in a medium mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase to high speed and beat 5 minutes, or until soft peaks form. Slowly add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat 2-3 minutes, or until shiny stiff peaks form.
  5. Place margarine and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until light in color. Add vanilla and beat to combine. Add half of dry ingredients and half of milk beverage and beat on low speed until just combined. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and milk beverage.
  6. Increase hand mixer speed to medium and beat 1 minute, or until batter is smooth. Gently fold in aquafaba mixture. Spread batter evenly over rhubarb.
  7. Bake 55-65 minutes, or until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the cake center comes out clean. Let cool 20 minutes.
  8. Carefully invert cake onto a serving platter and remove parchment paper.

and Joel Schaefer are the husband-and-wife culinary team behind Chef Joel is the former Special Dietary Manager at Walt Disney World who developed the food allergy program used across the Disney properties and cruise line.