Jennifer Causey
Active Time
25 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 45 Mins
Serves 12 (serving size: 1 cake slice and 1 tbsp. yogurt)

A hint of fresh thyme gives this rustic cake a faint herbaceous quality that complements the warmth of cardamom and ginger and the tang of rhubarb. Be patient when turning the cake out of the pan; it may take several minutes for it to fully release. The surprise ingredient in the batter (mayonnaise) is an old-school trick for creating a supermoist cake. A dollop of Greek yogurt cuts through the richness of the cake—but you can omit it if you’d like.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Step 2

Prepare the topping: Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Combine rhubarb, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl. Toss to coat; set aside.

Step 3

Combine 1/4 cup butter, brown sugar, chopped thyme, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Cook over medium, stirring often, until butter is melted. Pour mixture evenly into prepared pan.

Step 4

Prepare the cake: Whisk together flours, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, 1/2 tea-spoon ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl; set aside.

Step 5

Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, mayonnaise, and 2 tablespoons butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium speed until well incorporated and smooth, 4 to 5 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in zest and vanilla until just combined.

Step 6

Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to granulated sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition.

Step 7

Arrange coated rhubarb pieces in a single layer on butter mixture in pan, including any excess sugar from bowl. Pour batter into pan; smooth with a spatula. Gently drop pan on counter several times to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350°F until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 8

Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen it from sides of pan. Place a serving plate upside down on top of cake; carefully invert pan onto plate. Let stand until cake releases from pan, about 5 minutes; carefully remove pan. Sprinkle cake with thyme leaves. Serve with yogurt.

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