Honey, rhubarb and strawberry upside-down cake

Not only does this upside-down cake look beautiful, it's also incredibly tasty and unbelievably moist. The mascarpone layer and topping of strawberry and rhubarb makes this an irresistible dessert!

By Rachel Savage
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 45 mins cooking plus cooling time
  • Serves 12 - 16
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  • 2-3 medium stalks rhubarb, washed, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 punnets strawberries, hulled
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • finely grated zest 1 lemon
  • 200 g butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey, plus 1-2 Tbsp extra for cake filling
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 150 ml milk
  • 4 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 cup mascarpone, whipped cream or yoghurt (we used a mix of mascarpone and unsweetened yoghurt)
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • fresh edible flowers, to decorate


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 165°C fanbake. Grease and line the bases of 2 round 20cm cake tins with baking paper.
  • 2
    To create a lattice pattern on the cake, cut 2 long pieces of rhubarb to form an 'X' shape and place in the base of 1 tin. Cut and fit other rhubarb pieces to complete the lattice. Cut remaining rhubarb into 1-2cm lengths and set aside in a small bowl.
  • 3
    Halve 4 small strawberries lengthwise and place, flat-side down, in some of the lattice squares. Cut enough strawberries into small cubes to make ½ cup and add these to the bowl of rhubarb. Reserve the other strawberries for later.
  • 4
    Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl and fold in lemon zest.
  • 5
    Cream butter and sugar together using a cake mixer or a large bowl and an electric mixer – both at medium speed. Meanwhile, gently melt the ⅓ cup honey.
  • 6
    Beat creamed mixture until pale and fluffy, scraping down the edges of the bowl when needed and making sure mixture is beating evenly.
  • 7
    While mixing, dribble in the honey. Once combined, add eggs one at a time (wait until one is incorporated before adding the next), followed by the vanilla.
  • 8
    Combine milk and yoghurt in a jug, then, with beaters still running, add a little to creamed mixture. Then add a little of dry ingredients, and continue alternating until all the dry ingredients and milk mixture has been incorporated.
  • 9
    Once ingredients are well combined, fold the bowl of rhubarb pieces and cubed strawberries into the mix.
  • 10
    Divide mixture equally between the tins. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when poked into the centre of the cakes. (Halfway through cooking switch cakes around and rotate tins to ensure they rise evenly.)
  • 11
    Remove from oven and place tins on cooling racks. When they are no longer hot, run a knife around the inside edge of each tin and invert cakes onto cooling racks. Gently peel off baking paper from the tops, cover with a tea towel and leave to cool completely.
  • 12
    Finely chop enough of the reserved strawberries to make ½ cup (you might not need all the strawberries). Spread mascarpone (or cream, yoghurt or a mixture of these) over the cake that doesn't have the lattice, then sprinkle with the chopped strawberries and mint.
  • 13
    Melt the extra 1-2 Tbsp honey and drizzle over the filling, then carefully place the lattice-patterned cake on top. Decorate with fresh edible flowers.

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