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If you're making a rhubarb cake in the spring or summer, you may find that friends, family or neighbors have excess amounts of this vegetable in their garden to give you so you don't have to purchase it in a store. Rhubarb is grown in many parts of the world, but it generally grows especially well in cool to warm climates rather than hot ones. While some areas use rhubarb for medical purposes, others such as Scandinavia and North America commonly make cakes and other desserts with the vegetable, so these areas are typically good recipe sources. A rhubarb cake can be especially moist in texture, whether the fresh or frozen vegetable is used. Many different possible flavorings may be added to vary the types of rhubarb cakes baked.
For instance, cinnamon combined with rhubarb tends to provide a natural sweetness that also makes the cake have a wonderful aroma during baking. Fruits are another popular addition to rhubarb cake recipes since the vegetable is more like a tart fruit itself. Sweet, fresh apples chopped and stirred gently into the already blended cake batter can make an especially delicious rhubarb dessert. Apples, cinnamon and walnuts used together in rhubarb cakes can provide sweet flavor plus some crunch to contrast with the moist texture.
Coconut and orange juice added to rhubarb cake batter can provide a refreshing change. Some grated orange or lime rind added to any rhubarb cake recipe is usually an excellent flavor enhancer. Another way to vary rhubarb cake recipes is to add a topping such as coconut and rolled oats. A sugar and cinnamon mixture may also be sprinkled on the top of a rhubarb-rich cake. An easy way to serve a store-bought or homemade rhubarb pound cake is to slice it in half lengthwise and add a jam filling such as strawberry or blackberry.
If milk is called for to thin the batter, using buttermilk instead can be a better choice since it complements the vegetable's tartness. If you're using frozen rather than fresh rhubarb to make a cake, you'll probably need less liquid than the recipe advises. Frozen rhubarb also typically takes less cooking time than the fresh version, so this is important to remember when you're preparing the stems to add to a cake or other dessert. Rhubarb leaves should never be used fresh or frozen in baking or cooking, as they are poisonous.
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