Today let's make a rhubarb poke cake! Right now rhubarb is plentiful! The tangy stalks can be made into seemingly endless goodies from jam to sauces, breads, pies, and desserts. Here's a striking cake that looks great from every angle!
In our world, summer means All-American pastimes! Picnics, baseball, lazy lake days and firelit nights on the patio with fireflies winking. This is a perfect summer cake!
Rhubarb is super puckery tart. I've heard tell of kids who pulled and ate it raw, right from the plant! Holy cow! I must have been a wimpy child because the very thought of it makes me shudder. That's why most recipes call for added sugar.
This cake needs to be refigerated but take it out a little bit before you serve it for the very best experience! It would make a great dessert for any of our American holidays! Go crazy and stud topping with blueberries and add some tiny American flags if you want to make it extra fancy!
Start by making the the yummy sauce/poke/topping. Put 2 cups of finely diced rhubarb in a saucepan with a cup of sugar. Let it sit at least an hour to allow the sugar to draw out the juices.
Then add the water and simmer until the rhubarb is very tender and starts to break up. Next, turn up the heat a bit and add jello, stirring until the jello is completely dissolved. Set it aside while cake bakes.
Bake the cake according to the directions on the box.
Use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the cake while it's still hot. This makes little craters for the rhubarb sauce to soak down, down, down into the cake, infusing it with flavor!
Next, pour rhubarb sauce over the cake and use a rubber spatula to encourage all that yummy sauce to seep down in the craters you made for it. Don't refrigerate the half cup of sauce you saved if you want to make the snazzy design on top. (If you forget, add a LITTLE bit of warm water and stir it up until it's dribbly again.)
Now go relax awhile but make sure your tub of whipped topping isn't frozen. It's best to let it defrost in the refrigerator so it doesn't go flat when you try to rush it. Experience speaking here, friends. Do what I say, not what I do, are you with me? Take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge now.
When the cake is cool, gently swirl the whipped topping over the cake all the way to the edges. Lick the spatula. (It's required.)
The squiggly design on top is one part Simple Simon, one part Fancy Nancy. I've had the best results dribbling the topping from a small measuring cup with a pour spout. Make four or five lines of dribble lengthwise on the cake and it does not need to be perfect! Skips won't matter.
Now, use a table knife and pull it lightly through both the topping and the dribbled lines. First one way, then in the opposite direction until you run out of cake. Isn't that simple and festive? A cake this cute is a party when it's not even a party!
Knock yourself out, impress your friends! Stud the top with some fresh blueberries. You could even add some tiny paper American flags and they might just crown you Firecracker Queen of the picnic!
What is your absolutely favorite thing to bring to a summer picnic? How do you celebrate the Fourth of July?
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Love, GB (Betty Streff)
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