Holly B’s Rhubarb Bette

May 29, 2010

Recently, I taught a cooking class to a fun and engaging group of women.  I decided to focus on spring produce since it is finally showing its face in our wet climate.  Normally I don’t tackle desserts in my classes (simply because of time), but I thought it made sense to make something with rhubarb.  I had planned to make this cake but in flipping through that much-beloved book, I found something even easier.

There are people who love rhubarb.  My husband is one of them.  Me – I don’t really get it.  It’s sour.  Why do I want a dessert that has something sour in it?  But, after making this dessert twice in a week, it’s kind of growing on me.

This recipe is so simple and it tastes so good, especially if you are in the rhubarb-loving camp.  Even if you think you can’t bake, you can make this.

One Year Ago:  Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps (I’ve made these countless times since)
Two Years Ago:  Roasted Potatoes with Onions and Wilted Greens (and the story of how I went veg)

Rhubarb Bette

With Love & Butter
8 servings

Approximately 5 cups sliced rhubarb (1/2-inch thick slices)
¾ cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. mild tasting oil
1 egg
1 cup flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1/3 cup milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Adjust the rack to the center position.  Butter a 9-inch glass pie plate.

Tumble the sliced rhubarb into the pie pan.  The rhubarb should come to within ½-inch of the rim.  Sprinkle the ¾ cup sugar on top and set aside.

In a big bowl, mix the remaining 1/3 cup sugar with the oil and egg.  Add the flour,  baking powder, salt, milk, and vanilla and combine into a smooth batter.  Now dumb the rhubarb from the pie dish into the batter.  Stir gently to incorporate the rhubarb, then pour the whole works back into the buttery-sugary pie dish.  Spread evenly in the dish, but leave the surface lumpy and interesting-looking.  Sprinkle with a little more sugar and bake 40 to 50 minutes, until caramel-colored on top and bottom.  Serve warm, in bowls, with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.


  1. Hmm rhubarb-loving camp. Yes I do believe that’s me. I just like really tart things. I’ve also been known to eat limes. As one would eat an orange. So. yeah. I would probably be passionate about this bette.

    Comment by Joanne — May 29, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

  2. I have loved every recipe you have posted from Holly B Bakery cookbook, I think I will bite the bullet and buy it!
    Love rhubarb anything, but they are gone for the season now.
    Enjoy the holiday weekend!

    Comment by Stacey Snacks — May 29, 2010 @ 1:19 pm

  3. Thank you for this recipe! I got rhubarb in my CSA box and had no idea what to do with it. I’m not much for desserts but hopefully my daughter will like it – and I won’t have let the rhubarb go to waste.

    Comment by Kim Woodbridge — May 29, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

  4. My hubby love sour stuff too. I’m sure he is gonna love this.

    Comment by veron — May 30, 2010 @ 3:34 am

  5. looks sublime. as soon as i get my hands on some rhubarb, i’m in the mood for a betty!



    Comment by heather — May 31, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

  6. Wow that looks so delicious!!

    Comment by Sook — June 1, 2010 @ 6:17 pm

  7. once again, I agree with you, I am not as wild about rhubarb as many are. If you nestle anything amongst cake, I’m certain it would grow on me too :) Cant wait to see your tattoo!

    Comment by Sara — June 1, 2010 @ 9:17 pm

  8. As you know, I am a huge fan of rhubarb and this looks like a stunning way of using this delightful spring fruit.

    Comment by Ashley — June 2, 2010 @ 2:05 am

  9. I’ve never liked rhubarb, but then I don’t like fruit in my desserts either. But despite that I must say that this looks amazing!

    Comment by Ashley — June 9, 2010 @ 12:48 am

  10. Thanks, I shall try this – something a bit different! A classic English dish is rhubarb crumble, by the way – here’s a link to a recipe at the BBC.

    Comment by Robin — June 9, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

  11. […] of our gorgeous rhubarb to make Rhubarb Bette, thanks to the fabulous Dana – recipe found here. I am SO making this […]

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  12. This sounds delicious! When spring came, my Mom made lots of pies, jams, and jellies with rhubarb (some mixed w/strawberries). Thanks for the recipe – I’m going to try it this week!

    Anne M.

    Comment by Anne M. — June 27, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

  13. […] received in the CSA yesterday, roasted potatoes – sweet and red, and this delicious looking Rhubarb Bette (I think I’ll add strawberries too) with Breyer’s Vanilla for desert. If the salad […]

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