i don’t think i ponder motherhood as much as i should, or at least as i think i should. it’s difficult at times with the messy, busy, grinding days to take a breath and fully absorb the magnitude of raising a child, carrying a child, and what that role means - to you, to the one/s you are raising, to your spouse, to the general public. it’s something i’ve come to realize is different for us all. when amesy was first born i was very hard on myself. i was scared, and exhausted, and i often felt guilt for these feelings. instead, i thought i should be feeling euphorically in love with my little human 100% of the time like i had seen in movies, or on TV, or on various social platforms. it took me a while to be comfortable with the idea that not everything about motherhood is rosy (even if you are blessed with the sweetest little baby). and as i’ve spoken to friends and colleagues over the years, it’s become more evident to me that this is a common trait with a lot of women, regardless of whether you have children or not. the permission to be honest, to not go along as if everything is perfect. to embrace the messy, to talk about it, and most importantly to share in it and grow from it. i see this popping up more and more in some circles, and it’s very so refreshing.
rhubarb is something that will forever remind me of my mom. she grew a bushel of it in the garden just outside her kitchen. we would wait for it to pop up from the ground each spring, and usually by the time mother’s day rolled around we had enough stalks to harvest to make a pie or crumble. i love rhubarb for so many reasons. its blush-y hues, and tartness, and the variety of ways you can use it. it’s strong and hearty, and soft and fragile all at the same time. and for those sweet memories its provided me with.
in this recipe we use it in 2 different ways. the first is chopped small and folded in the cake batter. it bakes up moist, adds a bit of tartness, but is enveloped with enough cake that you get both the sweet and tart altogether in one bite. the second way we use it here, is to saute it a bit, blend it with some blood orange juice (just to punch up the color a bit), and use the juices to make the most beautiful shade of pink for a tart-but-sweet glaze. there are a couple different gluten-free flours used for the cake to give it a light and tender crumb. while it’s in loaf form, don’t be fooled, this is all cake - just the way it should be :)
here’s to being kind and patient with yourself, and to cake! xo
rhubarb cake loaf w/ rosy rhubarb glaze | gf & df
| makes one 9x5-inch loaf |
1 cup fine brown rice flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar (i use monkfruit sweetener or coconut sugar)
zest from 1 lemon
2 large pasture-raised eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped rhubarb, cut evenly into 1/4-inch pieces
poppy seeds, to top (optional)
3 teaspoons coconut oil, for cooking
1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb, cut evenly into 1/2-inch pieces
juice from 1/2 blood orange
2-3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
1 1/2 cups powdered monkfruit sweetener
1 tablespoon vegan butter, melted and cooled
preheat oven to 350°F. grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan. line with parchment paper, leaving enough paper to overhang on each side.
in a large bowl, whisk together the flours, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. set aside.
in another large bowl, use your fingers to rub the sugar and lemon zest together, letting the zest oils release. whisk in the eggs, almond milk, oil, and vanilla.
slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet until combined, then fold in the rhubarb. pour the batter into the prepared pan. bake for 55-70 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. let the cake cool on a rack, then use the parchment wings to remove it from the pan.
while the cake is cooling, make the glaze. heat a large saute pan over medium heat. add the coconut oil and rhubarb, cook for about 3 minutes; until soft. transfer the rhubarb and juices to a high-speed blender. add the almond milk and a few teaspoons blood orange juice and whiz everything together on high, scraping down the sides as needed until everything is smooth. add another teaspoon blood orange juice if you want the glaze a deeper pink. place a fine mesh colander over a large bowl, pour in the the rhubarb mixture in, and use a rubber spatula to work it through, discarding any solids, and preserving the liquid.
sift the powdered into another large bowl, start by whisking in 3 tablespoons of the rhubarb liquid, adding more if needed to get your desired consistency (i used about 6 tablespoons to achieve a spreadable glaze). spread over top of your cake, use an offset spatula to evenly cover the top. then sprinkle with poppy seeds, if using. slice and serve :)