I feel so lucky to have a small but beautiful garden where I can grow strawberries and rhubarb. It was completely delightful to head outside and pick what I needed to make this recipe. Although I have only a small space, I continue to be impressed with just how much food we can produce in our compact garden. We just started to grow strawberries a few years ago, but the rhubarb I have had for a long time. It has in many ways become a travelling rhubarb plant. I have moved it many times, never ready to let go of it, but always leaving some behind for the new caretakers of my previous gardens. Do you have any plants like that?
The rhubarb is a special plant for me. It was given to me by my Mom many years ago. It is a beautiful bright plum red rhubarb plant (the varietal is Valentine I believe) and it is what my parents grew in their garden when I was a child. I remember well how my siblings and I used to take a small stalk and dip it into sugar, nibble on the end and then make outrageous facial expressions in response to the tart, sour, mouth puckering, tannic taste. The sugar combined with the snappy rhubarb flavour started my love for rhubarb at a very young age. My Mom used rhubarb a lot in both savoury and sweet dishes, and I learned many excellent recipes from cooking with her. I can still taste her blueberry rhubarb pie that we loved so much. Unfortunately she is no longer with us, but I know how much she would love a fruit topped vanilla cake.
This yogurt cake is light, yet moist and delicious but not too sweet to highlight the bright but intense flavours of the roasted rhubarb and strawberries. The moist texture comes from the yogurt, which is wonderful in baking. Like buttermilk, it adds a special tang which brightens flavours and makes cake taste richer than it really is. This cake can be topped with any fruit, although I think it is especially divine in late spring when both the local strawberries and rhubarb are ready to harvest. Roasted strawberries and rhubarb honestly just taste incredible. The roasting intensifies the flavours, which become a little bit caramelized. They are delicious on their own or on top of this pretty cake.
Yogurt Cake with Roasted Strawberries and Rhubarb
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
1 1/2 cup fresh rhubarb, finely diced
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 6% MF
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup maple syrup or sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour, all-purpose
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
To make the roasted strawberries and rhubarb, wash and hull strawberries and cut in half. Wash and finely chop rhubarb and add to strawberries. Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup and toss to coat. Line a pan with parchment paper and arrange fruit on it in a single layer. Roast in oven for approx 20 minutes. Fruit should be soft with some juices running but still holding its shape. Let cool while you make the cake batter. Adjust oven temperature down to 350 degrees.
Prepare pan by rubbing with butter. In a medium size bowl, beat one egg and add yogurt, maple syrup and cooled butter. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour all at once into wet ingredients and mix well until lumps are out but not too much. Pour into prepared pan, top with roasted fruit and place in oven. Bake for 30 minutes until middle has risen and toothpick comes out cleanish (1 or 2 crumbs are ok). I like to use a cast iron pan but it also works with a cake pan or pie plate.
Tip: If you use a cast iron pan, melt butter in it and scrape most of the butter out into the batter but leaving enough to coat it so the cake does not stick.
Nutrition Facts based on 1 serving (the cake cut into 10 slices)
Serving Size 109 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 159 Calories from Fat 41
% Daily Value
Total Fat 4.5g 7%
Saturated Fat 2.7g 13%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 235mg 10%
Potassium 307mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 25.1g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1.2g 5%
Vitamin A 3% • Vitamin C 24%
Calcium 13% • Iron 7%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet