Monday, June 28, 2010

Vegan Monday: Strawberry Rhubarb Cake

I kind of think every once in a while there is a recipe so well constructed that you can do virtually anything to it and it still turns out wonderful. That is the case of Maya*Made's Grandmother's One Bowl Apple Cake. Ever since I first saw the recipe, I have made it every which way, this way being my favorite, and used pretty much every type of fruit I've had on hand. I think old-fashioned recipes such as this one really are gems, and deserve the highest place in the home kitchen. Without ingenious and industrious forebears, we likely wouldn't have pantry staple cakes such as this one, and it is something I am supremely grateful for.

When I unloaded the car yesterday afternoon after being self-bombarded with strawberries and a nice big bag of fresh rhubarb from my Parents' garden, I didn't really figure that I'd be making a vegan cake for myself in the midst of many other projects that brought me deep into the night before calling it a day.

But this cake is so gloriously simple, that you can in fact do it when you have 15 other things going on, and it will turn out. It is moist, reasonably healthy, and studded with fruit that bakes into even sweeter goodness. Since I added nutmeg, I could have sworn that there was pumpkin in the batter - a trick that could flummox even the most experienced foodie palate.

Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Cake (adapted from Maya*Made's Grandmother's recipe)
  • 1 c. diced rhubarb
  • 1 c. chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 c. agave syrup, light or dark
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 flax egg (1 T. flax meal mixed with 3 T. water)
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg, freshly grated if possible
  • pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350. Coat an 8 inch baking tin with cooking spray, or coat lightly with oil.

Stir dry ingredients together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, stir strawberries, rhubarb, vanilla, flax egg, oil and agave syrup together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix to combine. It is a thick batter, so try to be gentle and not over mix.

Press into the cake tin. You may wish to wet your hands lightly with water and press it in gently this way. Bake for about 30 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean.

Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack and cooling completely.

Since it is a very moist cake, I would suggest storing any leftovers in the refrigerator - even though I am inherently against cake refrigeration...

A bite of cake doesn't seem like a world changing thing, but I love to imagine Maya*Made's Grandmother and how she happened upon this recipe. Each time I make it, I feel some strange connection to another family's traditions, even if I am tweaking it each and every time I make it. It will always be Maya*Made's Grandmother's Cake, and I will always be thankful for it.


  1. *sigh*
    How I love rhubarb season. It's FULL of delicious treats like this, and so many of them come loaded down with familial memories and cultural traditions. Somehow, recipes taste better when they've been passed along, wouldn't you agree?

  2. Rebecca, this cake looks sooo good and reminds me a lot of an apple cake my mom makes. She actually bakes it in a metal tart pan which makes it slightly crunch on the outsides. Sooo good! I am now inspired to make this.

  3. Ms. Meanie, I never thought to try baking it in a tart tin... That is a great tip, my friend!

  4. Looks great. The cake idea is definitely not something I have tried or had before.

  5. yummy! I hope you will submit this recipe to my new "vegan finds" website:


  6. Thanks Kathy! Finding Vegan looks nice - look forward to looking around more over there!!

  7. Yippee. Have just put the 100% rhubarb version of this in the oven. Will let you know how it turns out.(Strawberries not yet in season down London,UK ways)

  8. I used 100% spelt flower instead of wheat, and it came out great!


Communication is a good thing, most of the time...