Strawberry Rhubarb Cake: Memories of Nana

This past week, I was invited to partake in a 2021 Bake-Off from Crushed Caramel. It’s a yearly competition, and I was honored to be asked to be a part of it. This year’s theme was “Recipes from your childhood”. I knew which recipe I would enter with. It was a recipe that I remember my Nana Page making every summer when we were little. I remember fondly, Nana stirring the sugar into the chopped rhubarb on the stove and if we made a face and the rhubarb was too sour/tart, she’d laugh (the best laugh you ever did hear) and say, “we need more sugar!” We would watch her make the cake (from a cake mix) and defrost the frozen strawberries and layer everything at the end. I loved making that recipe with her. It always felt more like summer when it was time to make that cake! I now grow my own rhubarb and make a new gluten free/ sugar free, homemade version of this cake & it still makes me think of my Nana. When I was stirring the rhubarb and “sugar”(the granular sugar alternative), I thought of her laugh, smiled widely and said ,”Nana, it’s just right”. I imagined her right next to me making that recipe.

This cake was perfectly moist and just the right amount of sweetness. Hope you enjoy!!

Strawberry Rhubarb Cake

Ingredients for cake:

2 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour

1 cup Swerve granular sugar alternative

1/2 cup Swerve brown sugar alternative

2 1/4 tsps baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup grass fed butter, room temperature

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled ( plus extra to grease the baking pan with)

2/3 cup plain almond milk

4 large eggs, room temperature

2 tsps vanilla extract

Other ingredients:

1 package of fresh strawberries, rinsed, dried, and sliced

2 cups of fresh rhubarb, rinsed, peeled if stringy, chopped (Do not use leaves of rhubarb-the leaves are poisonous!) *Make sure to cut off & discard both ends before chopping

Swerve granular & brown sugar alternatives to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13″ x 9″ pan with coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together in a large bowl the flour, sugar alternatives, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add the butter, coconut oil, almond milk and beat on medium with hand mixer until just blended.
  4. Add in each egg, one at a time, blending after each egg til just blended in. Add in the vanilla. Blend for a minute or so more until just blended well. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl for any loose unblended flour to incorporate into the mix.
  5. Set bowl aside.
  6. Clean and slice fresh strawberries. Set aside.
  7. Prepare the rhubarb (see notes in ingredients). Place chopped rhubarb in a small saucepan with a mix of granular and brown sugar alternatives to taste. Keep tasting with a new spoon each time til you find the right balance for you. I always eyeball it and taste once or twice.
  8. When rhubarb is softened and sweetened to your liking, pour at the bottom of greased cake pan. Place the sliced strawberries on top of rhubarb. Pour cake batter over the fruit and spread out evenly in pan. Bake in preheated pan for 30-35 minutes, until tested with toothpick for doneness. It should spring back easily and be soft and moist when done.
  9. Cool in pan until completely cooled.
  10. I like cooking frozen strawberries in a saucepan with a little Swerve granular sugar alternative a heating until soft and warm and with a bit of syrup from it and pouring on slices of cake. I even like eating the cake without a topping.

** My Nana always put mini marshmallows on top before baking, but I don’t use that. If you decide to, use Dandies vegan mini marshmallows, enough to cover the top of the cake. It’ll brown and gooey on top when cake is done. Still check for doneness at end of baking.

Thank you, Nana for the memories! I miss your laugh. xo 🦋❤️

This Gorgeous Lady is my Nana. My Grandfather had this painting done of her photo. ❤️

7 Comments Add yours

  1. cheapdad says:

    Great memories of Nana!! One of the sweetest people I’ve ever met!! This cake came out wonderfully!! So moist and just the right amount of sweetness. Delicious!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gina says:

      Thank you Sweets! She sure was! I’m so happy you enjoyed it! ❤️🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  2. CARAMEL says:

    ❤ This is so delightful Gina!!! It was so special to read your precious memories of your Nana's baking. I love that your Grandpa has that painting of your Nana commissioned. It is so touching!! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Gina says:

      Thank you so much, @CARAMEL!! That’s very sweet of you to say! My grandparents were so very much in love and so sweet! I was very blessed with 2 sets of very special grandparents. Thank you. ❤️

      Like

  3. LouAnn Pecia says:

    This was so sweet of you Gina. I know my Mom is looking down on you and is very proud. And knowing her the way I do I’m sure she is laughing and thinking I want some of her cake with a cup of coffee. I love that picture of her too. I was very blessed with loving parents. I wish you good luck in the contest knowing this cake is always made with love ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gina says:

      Oh Auntie Lou Ann, this is super emotional to read and very very sweet of you to say!!! I can picture her with her coffee. I loved her laugh so much! It’s my favorite photo of her, she was so beautiful, inside and out! I imagine Grandpa having this painting done. Their love was so lovely!! Yes, you were blessed. I was so blessed to have them as grandparents. They were the best! Thank you. Always with love, yes. Thank you for your beautiful, sweet sentiments and well wishes. ❤️

      Like

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