Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Rhubarb Cake with Orange Sauce

This recipe for Rhubarb Cake with Orange Sauce comes from one of Grandma’s sisters. Grandma and her sisters had a definite sweet tooth. This cake with the sauce is delicious, and “plenty sweet”. The orange sauce would be amazing on ice cream or angel food cake or even plain.

Rhubarb –  I’ve got a LOT of it this year. I can’t believe how big my rhubarb is!

It was big last year, and I might have made the same statement then, but seriously – the stalks are HUGE! It’s so fun! That means even more rhubarb recipes and maybe even another batch of Rhubarb Jam this year! I can’t believe it’s time for rhubarb, but here we go with the rhubarb recipes!

Wow – so good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Cake with Orange Sauce

Rhubarb Cake

Cream together:

1/2 cup shortening (I used butter)

1 1/2 cups brown sugar


1 beaten egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with 1 teaspoon orange juice or vinegar)

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir in:

2 cups chopped rhubarb

Spread batter into a 9″ x 13″ pan.

Sprinkle on top of batter:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Serve with Orange Sauce.

Orange Sauce

Heat together:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup brown sugar

4 Tablespoons butter

Cook until mixture thickens (I heated it until it started to boil – it thickens more as it cools).

Rhubarb is just so pretty.

The batter is quick to pull together and it doesn’t take a lot of rhubarb.

Oh yum. How can you go wrong with an Orange Sauce that’s a bit like a caramel, but with the flavor of orange?

Go ahead. Pour it on. It. Is. So. Good. I’m not even kidding. This is one very simple, very quick recipe that you just HAVE TO try. You’re going have to trust me on this one. You’re going to love it and your whole family is going to love it and all of your friends are going to love this Rhubarb Cake with Orange Sauce.





Rhubarb Bars

I can’t believe it! It’s finally here! Rhubarb season! Time to make the first recipe of the season – Rhubarb Bars. My plants are as big as they’ve ever been, and while I know I say that every year – this time I mean it!

Rhubarb is one of those things that my grandmas used to help them survive the Great Depression. They planted rhubarb, and while it still took some sugar to bake with it and to eat, it was a fruit they grew themselves and it was free – they didn’t have to use their limited resources to buy it. I’m sure friends and family gave each other parts of the plants they grew – just like sharing perennials – so they didn’t originally have to BUY the plants. That’s probably why Grandma and her sisters had so many recipes for delicious treats like Rhubarb Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Rhubarb Bread, Rhubarb Muffins, Rhubarb Cream Delight, Rhubarb Crunch, Rhubarb Crunch #2Orange Rhubarb Pie, Rhubarb Jam, Rhubarb Torte, and Rhubarb Sauce. When I planted my first rhubarb plant many years ago, I did buy it because neither grandma or my mom still had rhubarb for me to get a piece of. I put it on the south side of our garage and it grew pretty well, but only had pencil sized stalks. I was telling Grandpa about it and he told me to pick almost all of it before it froze in the fall, so it had to grow new stalks every year. Well, I shouldn’t have been surprised that the old farmer knew what he was talking about – it’s grown bigger every year (I’ve since split it into two clumps and even given some pieces to friends) and this year the stalks are about an inch wide. This is so exciting! More rhubarb to make more recipes! Let’s get started.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Bars

In a saucepan, dissolve in 1/4 cup water:

2 Tablespoons corn starch

Mix in:

3 cups cut-up rhubarb

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook until thick.


Mix together until crumbly:

1 1/2 cup oatmeal

1 1/2 cup flour

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup shortening (I used butter)

1/2 cup nuts, chopped (I used walnuts)

Pat 3/4 of this mixture into 9″ x 13″ pan.

Pour in the cooled rhubarb mixture.

Top with remaining crumbs.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

I didn’t press the crust in too hard, just patted it in. Next goes on the delicious and jammy filling, which seemed like it didn’t thicken up enough, but was just fine in the end. I almost would have suggested an extra tablespoon of corn starch because of that, but I soon realized why it wasn’t necessary. After baking, we couldn’t wait to try the bars. We cut them while they were still warm and they were really crumbly and soft. My advice – WAIT until they’re totally cool and they’ll be more like a bar and easier to cut.

This is before and after baking. These are almost like a jam bar with that filling in there.

Oh wow – these smell so delicious while they’re baking – and aren’t they pretty?!!

Get out to your garden and start picking those beautiful stalks of rhubarb. Then start your rhubarb baking and try these bars. They’re so delicious – just like Grandma used to make! You’re going to love these Rhubarb Bars!








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Orange Rhubarb Pie

I love that Grandma and her sisters were so willing to try new and unique recipes to serve their friends and family. Speaking of those sisters, I found a new photo from the mid 1930’s of grandma and two of her sisters at her older sister’s wedding. I absolutely LOVE the look on Grandma’s face on this one (she’s the one on the right). This is a bit of a candid photo, especially for a wedding, and we know that they didn’t take candid photos very often. Usually these type of photos were fairly formal, but that’s why I love it so much! This shot was taken out the back door of the church they were members of their whole lives. Look at those glorious bouquets they’re carrying! I wonder if the flowers came from their own garden?


They look like they’re having a great time and that they’re very happy for the sister getting married! They were a very close family and each wedding had to be a very exciting event. It wouldn’t be too long after this and Grandma would be marrying her handsome groom, too!

This recipe for Orange Rhubarb Pie is no exception to the sisters trying different kinds of recipes. It’s not like any pie I’ve ever made before, and I love it! My family loved it, too. In fact, my husband loved it so much that he declared it his #2 favorite behind Blueberry Pie. Now that’s really saying something!

Orange Rhubarb Pie

Orange Rhubarb Pie 2

This is a very delicious pie!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Orange Rhubarb Pie


1 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir together:

3 Tablespoons orange juice concentrate

1/4 cup butter, melted

3 egg yolks, slightly beaten

Add to the dry ingredients.

Stir in:

2 1/2 cups rhubarb

Beat to stiff peaks:

3 egg whites

Gradually add in:

1/4 cup sugar

Fold egg whites into rhubarb mixture.

Pour into unbaked pie shell (I used the pie crust recipe on my post Apple Pie with Old-Fashioned Pie Crust).

Top with:

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, turn oven down to 325 degrees and bake 40 more minutes or until brown.

Cover edges with foil if needed.

Store in refrigerator.


This is the unique part of the pie – folding in the egg whites instead of making a meringue.


When I made the pie crust from the recipe noted above, I halved the recipe to just get one crust. Or you can do two crusts, freeze one, and have an extra one ready when you feel like making another pie. I had a bit of the filling left over so I put it into a small ramekin and baked that, too. See how puffed and golden brown the filling gets!


This pie is perfect with a bit of softly whipped cream. That little bit of citrus in there is so good and unique!


The pie was soft and light and eggy and absolutely delicious!


This was the pie on the second day. You can see that it firmed up a bit and was still delicious! Putting it into the refrigerator was a great idea. I would do that before serving next time, just because it firmed up and I liked that better. You really should try this unique pie at your next family gathering! It’s a bit different, but that’s what you’ll like about it!



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Rhubarb Cream Delight

This card had a bonus. The recipe for Rhubarb Cream Delight was on the top and on the bottom was a recipe that I shared last year called Rhubarb Crunch. The recipe for today calls for 4 cups of rhubarb (which is a lot when your plants aren’t so big) and since my rhubarb is a bumper crop this year, now is the time to do this one. I’m not sure why I have so much this year or why it’s so much bigger than it has been before, but I’m not complaining. I’m thrilled! This is a photo of one of my rhubarb bunches (I have 2!).


I love anything made with rhubarb and I never seem to have enough of it. I did split the plant a couple of years ago and gave some to a friend of mine who also loves rhubarb. Maybe that helped with the growth spurt, or maybe it was our mild winter. I might have to try to split them again – maybe next year. But for this year, I’m going to enjoy the abundance and use it up!

Rhubarb Cream Delight

This dessert is ridiculously good!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Cream Delight

For the crust:

Mix together:

1 1/2 cup flour

3 Tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup margarine, softened (I used butter)

Pat into 9″ x 13″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

For the filling:

2 cups sugar

4 egg yolks, beaten, whites reserved

2/3 cup cream or evaporated milk

3 Tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

4 cups rhubarb, chopped

Cook and stir until thick (she has that you can use the microwave, too, but I wouldn’t – that’s just me).

Pour onto crust while hot.


the 4 reserved egg whites (I would maybe add 1-2 more egg whites because the meringue was a bit thin)

1/4 cups sugar

Beat until stiff peaks form.

Spread on top of filling.

Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until browned on top.


This crust is a bit tricky to get into the pan – I used my hands to carefully pat it in.


The filling ingredients are so easy to just dump and mix.


Here we go – all ready for the meringue.


It seems strange to put the meringue onto a filling that isn’t baked, and there isn’t a lot of meringue, so spreading it was a little tricky. I tried to make peaks like you would if making a pie, but there just isn’t enough of it. Next time I’d just spread it out. That’s why I would add an extra egg white or two to give yourself a bit more. That may affect the baking time just a bit so I’d give it an extra 5-10 minutes if you do add extra whites.


This crust seriously melts in your mouth and the filling is so luscious!


Put this one in your recipe arsenal – it’s so delicious! I may not have a ton of rhubarb every year, next time I’ll beg, borrow, or yes, steal more from neighbors, friends, and family just so I can make this again. You’ll want to make this every year, too! Your guests will be glad you did!!!


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Rhubarb Crunch #2

It’s rhubarb season and here is the first rhubarb recipe for this year. This recipe is for Rhubarb Crunch, but since I have already made a one called Rhubarb Crunch, this one will be called Rhubarb Crunch #2. I’m amazed when I think about how many rhubarb recipes Grandma has in her file, because I do remember her rhubarb plant and it wasn’t that big. There is the possibility that she had more plants at one time, but I can’t imagine how she made so many recipes from that one plant. It was down by the driveway in the garden that you passed as you came into the farm and it was a kind of shady spot. The stalks on that rhubarb plant were big, and the leaves on the stalks were gigantic. Maybe it WAS big enough to make all of those recipes.

My plant is much bigger this year than it has ever been. I started it about 12 years ago and it was pretty small for a long time. I complained about it to Grandpa once, and he told me to pull some of the stalks out toward the end of the season. I tried it and it worked! Of course it did – you want something to grow better? Ask the farmer what to do!! I think that poor little plant just needed to breathe and get more air and sunshine! Hmm – that sounds like good advice for all of us!

Rhubarb Crunch 2

This makes a nice, small dessert just right for using those first of the season stalks. You know – the ones that you just can’t wait to use!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Crunch #2


1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup flour

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Mix until fully combined and pat into 8″ x 8″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and remove from oven.

Beat together:

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

3 Tablespoons flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir in:

2 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped

Pour over baked crust.

Put back in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Cut into 9 squares and serve hot with vanilla ice cream.


I used a fork to even out the crust after patting it into the pan.


Into the batter goes the beautiful rhubarb and onto the baked crust.


It doesn’t look like much when you first pour it on.


Then it’s baked and it turns into a 3 layered wonder: crust, custard, and fruit.


I think you could also serve this with a dab of whipped cream, but the recipe says to serve it hot with vanilla ice cream. Who am I to argue?


Ok – the ice cream is perfect. Absolutely perfect. This dessert is so simple and SOOOOO delicious. Amazing. Truly amazing. Make it this weekend and use your first stalks of the season!






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Rhubarb Crunch

I know, I know. I thought I was done with the rhubarb. But I went out to my rhubarb plants, scrounged around, and came up with just enough to make this Rhubarb Crunch recipe. Actually, I still didn’t have enough rhubarb – I was about 1/4 cup short. I decided to go for it anyway and try this. Wow – am I glad I did! This recipe is great, and it’s officially one of my new favorites. I have found that sometimes Grandma put two or three recipes onto one card, and I almost missed this one – it’s at the bottom of a card that has another recipe on the top of the card. Reading through it, it was a bit confusing, so I did look online to see if there were other recipes kind of like this. I did find one for Rhubarb Crisp that was similar, so I was glad when I found it, read it, and was able to figure out exactly how to put this one together.

Rhubarb Crunch

I’ll be making this one year after year!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Crunch

Mix together in a bowl:

3 cups rhubarb, chopped

1 cup sugar

3 Tablespoons flour

Spread out in bottom of greased 9″ x 13″ pan.

Mix for topping:

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup oatmeal

1 1/2 cup flour

1 cup butter (she has 1/2 cup of 2 different things, but I just used butter)

Mix with hands until crumbly.

Put on top of rhubarb in pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.


I decided to try smaller containers instead of one big pan. That way I would be able to share with people other than family members! It seemed to make a lot of topping when not using a big pan, but it was just enough for the 5 smaller containers I made.


I gave these smaller containers 30 minutes and they came out of the oven golden and bubbly.


I think it’s almost a requirement that you eat this warm. That way if you want to top it with a small scoop of Home Made Ice Cream, it will get melty and be extra delicious. You could also top it with whipped cream, which would also get melty and be extra delicious.


It was a good thing that I made these in individual containers. That stopped me from eating half the pan. Oh my – this is good.


You can see the oats and bits of rhubarb, so you know it’s gonna be good. This recipe is VERY highly recommended by me. Try it. But remember – you’ve been warned! Oh yeah – and that thing about making these in smaller containers to share with people other than family – not gonna happen. These babies didn’t last the night. The family saw to that.






Rhubarb Recipes

Rhubarb season is almost gone and so is my rhubarb. I don’t have enough rhubarb to make any more recipes this year. My mom’s rule of thumb for picking rhubarb is to pick it before July or before it gets tough. Before the season is over, here are some rhubarb recipes from past posts for you to try. Hurry and make some Rhubarb Recipes before it’s too late!!


Rhubarb Muffins


Rhubarb Pie


Rhubarb Jam


Rhubarb Torte


Rhubarb Bread




Rhubarb Sauce

The recipe for today is something very old-fashioned. I was not a big fan of this when I was younger (I definitely am now), but I know that my grandpas were BIG fans of Rhubarb Sauce. This is another one of those things that I imagine my grandmas made back during the Great Depression when you could grow plenty of rhubarb in the garden. It was a very inexpensive treat for entertaining. They didn’t always need to make dessert a big deal. This is just a simple, special treat that you only get in the spring when your rhubarb is fresh and plentiful. There are a million and one uses for this tart and delicious sauce. Here is a partial list.

You can put Rhubarb Sauce on:

vanilla pudding

vanilla ice cream

pound cake

angel food cake

shortcake (like strawberry, only rhubarb)



iced tea

adult drinks

rice (ooooh – it would be so good on the creamy rice that Grandma used to make with milk – more on that at another time)

or even plain.

There was never a recipe for this. I remember Grandma and my mom just making it. No need for a recipe card. So again – I’ll just type it out here.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Sauce

2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)

Cook in saucepan for about 10 minutes, until rhubarb is soft and “saucy”.

I have seen some recipes where they put in spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, but I really just like the pure taste of the rhubarb. You can also add more water if you don’t like it this thick. This can also be doubled.


There it is, just 3 simple ingredients.


This batch got a little thicker than I remember. Like my son said, “it really doesn’t look like it would be that delicious!”


Put your base (vanilla pudding in this case) in a fancy bowl and top with the sauce.


Easiest dessert ever. I really can’t believe how simple this is.


This dessert is pretty inexpensive if you have the rhubarb – under $2.00 for 6 servings (I used a large box of vanilla pudding).


Very pretty. Very easy. Very cheap. Very good.





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Rhubarb Cinnamon Coffee Cake

It’s rhubarb time! I just can’t believe that it’s finally spring, and that it’s TIME for rhubarb! Today I’m sharing this photo of Grandma that looks like it was taken in the spring (or summer). It must have been a special occasion because she’s so dressed up! What a pretty dress and shoes, and I LOVE that smile!


It was taken at their family farm so I think it might have been before she and Grandpa were married. That family farm was where she honed her skills for baking. I was there a couple of times, and I remember that it was such a pretty house. It was full of built-ins and beautiful woodwork, and had French doors going to the dining room (I think it was the dining room). I’m sure they grew rhubarb on that farm.

There are a LOT of rhubarb recipes in Grandma’s file, so without further ado, here is the first rhubarb recipe of the season. This Rhubarb Cinnamon Coffee Cake was one cut out of the newspaper, and as I’ve said before, Grandma didn’t keep recipes cut out of the paper very often. This one is a good one.

Rhubarb Cinnamon Coffee Cake

This is such a good coffee cake!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Mix together in a large bowl:

4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2″ pieces

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup cooking oil

1 cup nuts, chopped (I used pecans)


2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

Add to rhubarb mixture all at once and stir only until dampened.

Pour into greased 9″ x 13″ pan.

Combine and sprinkle on top:

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.


Is there anything prettier than rhubarb?


This is the first mixture.


Once you add the flour, there seems to be hardly any batter, but when it comes out of the oven, it’s cake!


It really makes a great coffee cake, and it’s best warm out of the oven.


You don’t have to add the whipped cream, but why not? It’s great for brunch, and it’s great with your afternoon coffee or tea. Stay tuned for more rhubarb recipes coming soon!


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Rhubarb Muffins

This might be my final rhubarb recipe for this season. Things in the rhubarb patch are slowing down. My mom says that you should stop picking by the 4th of July because it can get kind of bitter and “woody”. I may get enough for one more recipe, but that will be it. This is an easy recipe for Rhubarb Muffins.

Rhubarb Muffins

This is a tasty one!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Muffins

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup oil (I used canola)

1 egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup nuts (I didn’t put nuts in)

1 cup finely chopped rhubarb


1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

Mix all ingredients until just moistened.

Sprinkle topping on top of batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


I love brown sugar in muffins – it makes the batter so pretty.


These muffins are chock full of rhubarb.


The pecans toast in the oven and makes the topping even better.


These are easy muffins to use up the last of our seasonal rhubarb harvest.

Enjoy these with your afternoon coffee!





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