So this recipe, from our brand new circa 1920s Antique Recipe Collection, kind of felt like cheating. I was pretty excited to make a Rhubarb Cake but after digging out the recipe I realized it called for box white cake mix. I almost decided not to do it but then I googled “when were boxed cake mixes invented” and found a number of articles talking about the creation of box mixes in the 1930s. I do not know when this recipe was actually printed. It is typed on an index card and if I had to guess based on my knowledge of nothing, I would say 1950s.
This recipe card could have been new and exciting in that day, using a just invented product that was sweeping the nation after WWII. The first thing I thought about was the fact that the box cake mixes of today probably don’t resemble the cake mixes of the 40s and 50s. Would it turn out good? Only one way to find out.
The cake is easy enough to make. 5 ingredients including a delicious garden vegetable. I will admit to not growing rhubarb in my garden yet. Every year I make a plan to get some and start a rhubarb patch and each year I have let myself down.
The recipe calls for 2 cups of diced rhubarb which only took 1 large stalk to make.
In a mixing bowl I put the cake mix, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 cups diced rhubarb.
Then I boiled 1 cup of water and poured it into bowl with 1 tablespoon melted butter. I mixed it well with just a spatula. I like not having to use the stand mixer or hand mixer.
The recipe doesn’t state what to cook the cake in. I decided on a bundt pan. I think an 8×8 pan would be fine to use as well. I tossed it into a 350 degree oven.
The directions said cook 45 minutes but not knowing what kind of pan it meant I referred to the box mix and cooked it 35 minutes which turned out great.
After allowing it to cool in the pan I turned it out and gave it a little buttercream frosting treatment. Despite my frosting ability making the cake look ugly as hell it tasted great!
The rhubarb makes for a tangy surprise in each bite.
Another great antique recipe and maybe next time I will work on developing a from scratch Rhubarb Cake (once I get some growing in the garden).
- 1 box 16.oz White cake mix
- 2 cups rhubarb, diced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 cup water, boiling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease bundt or cake pan.
- In a large bowl combine cake mix, rhubarb, and sugar.
- Pour melted butter and boiling water into boil and stir well to combine everything.
- Pour into pan and bake 35-45 minutes until done.
- Remove and allow to cool.
- Frost if desired.