Last Monday evening a group of us who work for the diocese went to see the documentary “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word.” It truly is an inspiring film with a number of powerful and thought-provoking messages. If it is playing in your area, I highly recommend going to see it.
At dinner before the movie, the conversation turned to recipes and rhubarb. Alice Coudron, a consultant for planned giving and major gifts in the Catholic Foundation, mentioned this rhubarb cake recipe and several of us who are familiar with it raved about how scrumptious it is! Alice generously volunteered to get up early the next morning to bake one for colleagues working in the Pastoral Center
She did not disappoint. The next morning, the warm, enticing treat was waiting for us on the kitchen counter in the staff lounge. One co-worker called it “awesome.” I agree.
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/3 to 1/2 cup oil*
1 cup water*
5 cups raw rhubarb, finely chopped
1 to 1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
Additional whipping cream, whipped, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mix cake (using oil, eggs and water) following the directions on the box. (*Various brands of cake mix may call for different amounts of oil, eggs and water.)
Pour the cake batter into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch pan. Toss diced rhubarb evenly over cake batter. Sprinkle sugar over rhubarb and then pour cream over sugar.
Bake cake at 350°F for 45 to 50 minutes. (Test for doneness by inserting toothpick into center of cake — it should come out clean with no streaks of batter.)
Serve topped with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.
Yield: 15 servings
A note from Alice:
This is such a simple recipe. It takes less than five minutes to make once the rhubarb is cut up. My family likes it best when it is served warm from the oven. Serving it with canned whipped cream or whipped topping is easier and quicker than whipping the cream. (Refrigerate the uneaten portion.)
A note from Carol:
Alice is well known in our building as an excellent cook and baker. She frequently brings treats to share. While discussing the cake recipe, she told me that this year her graduating class, from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, celebrates its 50th reunion. She double majored in math and home economics. After graduation, she taught microwave classes for Litton throughout the Twin Cities. Microwave ovens had just began appearing on the market for home cooks at that time. Her demonstrations included prime rib roast, shake and bake chicken, stuffed green peppers, a head of cauliflower with cheese sauce, corn on the cob in the husk and a broccoli, cauliflower, carrot combination with Hollandaise sauce.
Carol Jessen-Klixbull is a copy editor at The Visitor. She is a former Family and Consumer Science teacher who has a passion for all things “food.”