Farewell to Kat

June 28, 2011

Author: Neighborhood Farm Initiative

Category: General News Recipes

We’re bidding adieu to our beloved School Garden Liaison Kat this week as she leaves DC to attend grad school at UNC-Chapel Hill. We’ll miss her almost as much as the students in garden club will.

The thing about Kat is that she is not just a great garden teacher, but she has also been crucial to NFI’s success in all sorts of ways. From starting up the Field to Fork market table to leading our youth crews at Lederer Youth Garden last summer, Kat’s been a huge part of our small staff.

At a recent volunteer appreciation celebration, super volunteer Kristin G. made this awesome Strawberry Rhubarb Cake for Kat, since we heard she’s into the strawberry rhubarb combo. (Pssst: Did you know that rhubarb is a perennial vegetable? The stalks are edible but the leaves contain oxalic acid, which is toxic to humans.)

Thanks to Kristin for sharing the recipe!

Strawberry Rhubarb Kat Cake
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for buttering pan
1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut on a very sharp diagonal about 1/2 inch thick
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice (I used a lemon because I didn’t have an orange. I’m not sure how much a difference it made, but it tasted good to me!)
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the topping: Stir together butter, flour, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until moist and crumbly.

Make the cake: Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep) (I used a bundt cake pan and I was happy I did because it definitely grew higher than 2 inches) . Dot with 4 tablespoons butter (cut into pieces). Toss rhubarb with 3/4 cup sugar; let stand for 2 minutes. Toss again, and spread in pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Beat remaining stick butter and cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in zest and juice. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, until smooth. Spread evenly over rhubarb. Crumble topping evenly over batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and top springs back when touched, about 1 hour. Let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake, and invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan. The rhubarb will be too hot to handle safely right after baking. But if the cake sits much longer, it may stick. (I think it would look pretty if you dressed it up with powdered sugar once it’s flipped on a plate and cooled)

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