Gluten Free Rhubarb Tray Bake

Rhubarb is delightful in many deserts. I have been cooking with rhubarb a lot this season and I want to share a simple recipe, which can be considered as an upside down cake, but with its simplicity it is more like rhubarb tray bake. I used the recipe of previously published universal batter for cakes  made from Well and Good self-raising flour (here and here).


All you have to do is prepare baking tray, beat eggs with sugar and apple puree/sauce, chop rhubarb, mix wet and dry ingredients, pour them over rhubarb and bake. For the final touch I like to brush the top rhubarb layer with plum jam, and after 10-15 min rest the cake is ready to slice.


Universal gluten, dairy  and oil free batter

for 18cm x 30cm baking tray

  • 3 large eggs
  • 140g unsweetened pure apple puree (in new packaging every individual tub contains only 113g, so you have to open the second tub)
  • 150g sugar (I always use 140g granulated sugar and 10g vanilla sugar)
  • 180g gluten free Self Raising Flour by Well and Good (quantities for self raising flour of other brands can be different, because whole grain and starches ratios and mix vary)
  • zest of 1 lemon (optional)

Extra ingredients for rhubarb layer

  • bunch of rhubarb, 350-400g chopped pieces
  • 2 table spoons of unsalted butter (or non-dairy equivalent)
  • 3-4 table spoons of sugar
  • 1 tea spoon cinnamon powder
  • 2-3 table spoons of lemon juice to sprinkle over rhubarb
  • extra sugar to dust sides of the pan
  • 4-5 table spoons of tart jam (I used homemade plum jam with reduced sugar content)


  • generously grease 18cm x 28/30 cm baking tray (I have found that baking in Pyrex glass dishes allows to monitor bottom layer, which is helpful in baking upside down cakes)
  • cut the sheet of baking paper to fit exactly the bottom of the baking dish/tray
  • place baking paper on the bottom of the pan, make sure it sticks to the bottom and stays in place
  • apply sugar to the sides of the baking tray, shake the excess off (because the sheet of baking paper is dry, excess of sugar is easy to remove)
  • grease baking paper with butter
  • chop rhubarb sticks in 1cm or even smaller pieces
  • spread rhubarb evenly on the bottom of the baking dish
  • sprinkle rhubarb with lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon
  • beat eggs, apple puree and sugar on high for 10min,  until the mixture thickens, becomes pale and triples is volume
  • transfer wet ingredients to a wide bowl
  • add lemon zest
  • add self raising flour and fold it into wet ingredients, the batter will lose volume even with careful folding, do not worry about that, just make sure that the flour is well combined with the mixture
  • pour the batter over rhubarb, the batter will be quite thick, but it is better to pour it, than to spoon, to avoid air pockets
  • flatten the surface of the batter with spatula or palette knife
  • bake in preheated to 165-170C fan forced oven, for 35 min (in my oven), or until the surface of the bake is golden brown and firm to touch, and the sides of the bake start to separate from the sides of the pan
  • rest cake in the baking dish for 5-7min
  • cover baked slice with a sheet of baking paper
  • put a wire rack on top
  • turn the cake over to wire rack
  • gently take the pan off
  • peel the sheet of baking paper from the top
  • apply jam to a hot cake with a brush, fill in some gaps between rhubarb pieces with jam


  • let the cake rest for 10-15 min
  • slice and enjoy


I have baked cakes from this batter many times now, it is a very reliable bake. With thick tart rhubarb layer and soft sponge as the base, this tray bake is as nice, as plum upside down muffins, but easier to prepare. I like the intense tart flavour of rhubarb and its vibrant colour in cakes. I enjoyed the bake with a glass of milk.



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