The only desserts I like to bake are simple fruit cakes. They’re easy, low-maintenance and fairly light. Why bake huge cakes or batches of cookies for a household of two? My go-to recipes are this apple charlotte (can be made with a variety of fruit), this curd-cheese cake with apples, and, now, this rhubarb cake. The recipe, from the Estonian food blog Nami Nami, caught my eye because it calls for kefir or buttermilk. I love using cultured dairy in baking—it makes cakes more tender and balances excess sweetness.
Here’s my tweaked recipe. The rhubarb is from Witte's Vegetable Farm in Cedarburg, Wis. (at $1.50 per pound, it’s a very good deal).
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1.5 tsp. baking power
100 grams butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, beaten
200 ml milk, yogurt, kefir or buttermilk (I used 50/50 milk and sour cream)
1 lb. rhubarb, finely diced
Preheat the oven to 370. Mix the dry ingredients (flour through baking powder) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, add the milk ingredients to the butter; mix. Add the eggs and stir well.
Combine the dry and wet ingredients; mix. Fold in the rhubarb. Grease a 10-inch pie pan. Pour the batter into the pan; sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake 50-55 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden-brown and a toothpick or knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
If you like, sprinkle with powered sugar before serving.