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Rhubarb, almond and polenta upside-down cake RECIPE

Ideal for spring Sundays, but equally tasty every day of the week, this rhubarb, almond and polenta upside-down cake recipe is one of our favourite ways to use in season rhubarb.

Serves 10 Total Time 1 hr 20 mins, plus cooling time


  • 200g unsalted butter, room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g golden caster sugar, plus 2tbsp for sprinkling
  • 400g rhubarb, ends trimmed
  • 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 100g polenta
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • zest of 1 orange 
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • crème fraîche or clotted cream, to serve


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Grease the base and sides of a 23cm round loose-bottomed cake tin. Line the base with baking paper and grease the paper. Sprinkle 2 tbsp sugar over the base and arrange the rhubarb in a neat layer, trimming the stalks as needed and making sure they are tightly packed. Set aside.
  2. To make the sponge, use an electric whisk to beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, a little at a time, beating as you go. Using a large metal spoon, fold in the almonds, polenta, baking powder and zest. 
  3. Spoon the mixture over the rhubarb, gently spreading it into an even layer, while trying not to move the rhubarb. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 mins-1 hr, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. 
  4. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 10 mins, sitting on a wire rack, then turn out onto a serving plate so the rhubarb is on top. Heat the golden syrup slightly in a small pan or in the microwave, then brush it over the rhubarb. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature, with a dollop of crème fraîche or clotted cream.
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