Strawberry Rhubarb “Baby” Cakes

strawberry rhubarb babycakes

Ever since I picked up my little cake pan tray, below, I’ve been dying to make something in them. When I came across a pic of Panera’s Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Cakes, the anticipation became an obsession. They were so darling!

strawberry rhubarb muffins or baby cakes
Strawberry Rhubarb Baby Cakes

My Strawberry Rhubarb “Baby” Cakes aren’t really a copycat of Panera’s because I just wasn’t feeling the cinnamon. Instead, I went with a little orange. I thought the floral citrus would be so fantastic with the strawberries and rhubarb and I hafta say I was right – it played so nicely without overwhelming.

Really, though, aren’t these little Strawberry Rhubarb Mini Loaves or “Baby Cakes” darling? I love these little cakes: not quite a quick bread, kind of like a muffin and almost a coffee cake. I don’t know if they’re a breakfast brunch dish or a dessert or both!

I think think they’re one of the best recipes I’ve made so far this summer, although admittedly it’s only mid-June.

strawberry rhubarb muffins or baby cakes
Strawberry Rhubarb Baby Cakes

Of course, everything on my blog is always “the best” or “loved” because if I don’t love it, it doesn’t make the cut for a blog post. I might need to come up with more superlatives, lol! The only thing I think I’d change is I might add a little more strawberry and rhubarb next time – but not too much more. Maybe 1/4 cup of each.

I did not test this recipe in a loaf pan but I think it would be fine – If I weren’t making the little loaf cakes, I think might try it in a 8 x 8″ or a 9 x 9″ and double the streusel. Either way, you’ll need to increase the baking time. The best option might be a muffin tin. If I make these again (and I will) I’ll try it in a more standard pan and let you know – and if you give it a try, please let me know how it worked.

Strawberry Rhubarb Baby Cakes

Strawberry Rhubarb Baby Cakes

  • Servings: varies by pan size
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 1/2 cups flour, divided; 2 1/4 for the cake plus another 1/4 cup to toss with the strawberries and rhubarb)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 1/4 cups rhubarb in a small dice, no larger than 1/2″
  • 1 cup strawberries, cut into slices, then diced into about 3/8 to 1/2″

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray cake pans with non stick spray and set aside.

Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt and orange zest.

In another bowl, beat egg with sugar and oil. Gradually stir in buttermilk and orange extract. On low-speed, add the dry ingredients until just combined, scraping down and beating only until just combined. Do not over mix.

Toss the rhubarb and strawberries in the additional 1/4 cup of flour. Depending on whether or not the fruit is very moist, it may absorb all the flour or not. Fold in the fruit along with any remaining flour.

The batter will be quite thick; scoop into prepared pan, sprinkle with streusel and bake for 25 minutes or so. Cool and drizzle with glaze, if desired.

Not tested:

  • Loaf pan: bake for 50 to 55 minutes, cover loosely with tin foil if browning too quickly. Test with a toothpick.
  • Sheet pan: bake about 45 to 55 minutes. Test with a toothpick.
  • Muffin tin: bake around 18 – 20 minutes.

For the glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk, or enough to reach desired consistency

Melt butter, add powdered sugar and a little milk and mix with a fork. Add more milk to thin to desired consistency. If it gets too loose, add a little more powdered sugar. The glaze should be quite thick and stiff.

Spoon into a Ziploc bag, make a small snip across a corner and pipe as desired onto the cooled cakes.

(Hint: I loosened the cakes in the pan for easy removal, then glazed so that when I removed them the glaze would only be on the top portion.)

Nutrition Facts
Servings 8.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 203
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10 g 16 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 8 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 25 mg 8 %
Sodium 341 mg 14 %
Potassium 62 mg 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 26 g 9 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g 1 %
Sugars 24 g
Protein 2 g 5 %
Vitamin A 1 %
Vitamin C 17 %
Calcium 4 %
Iron 1 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been

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I’m posting this recipe on Fiesta Friday Blog Link Party, hosted this week by Ai @ Ai Made It For You and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.

25 thoughts on “Strawberry Rhubarb “Baby” Cakes”

  1. New cake pans! that’s a call to bake up something like this Mollie– so cute and sweet! And “mini” cakes sounds like a good portion control help– Always fun to see what you come up with! Hope all’s well with you…. hugs blog-buddy!

  2. Your baby cakes look delicious!! I love rhubarb, but unfortunately can’t really find them in Japan. I’ve only found frozen diced green rhubarb… but if I ever find fresh red rhubarb, I’m making these! Thanks for sharing! Happy FF!

    1. Oh, I thought rhubarb came from Asia – but then there’s been so many crosses and “improvements” to basic rhubarb. A lot of our garden rhubarb is pretty green with just tinge of pink, but one of the newest varieties is quite red. I think it’s called “ruby.” Regardless, most of it tastes the same, but the older varieties tend to be tougher I think…

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