Rhubarb Cake in Alaska with a Musher

I’ve been wanting to start a recipe blog for some time and began compiling a list of recipes to include. After spending a week in Alaska, the blog became a priority and the kickoff recipe I had planned to use no longer seemed all that exciting. The meals in Alaska were not only about eating, they were about discovering and embracing!

Lisbet Norris is a a three-time finisher of the Iditarod, the longest sled dog race in the world. She is also owner of the Artic Dog Adventure Company in Fairbanks, Alaska, with her husband, Nils Pedersen, a bear biologist. Nisbet was our guide for a hike and gourmet campfire lunch with Anadyr Siberian Huskies.

Lisbet preparing lunch and whittling sticks for roasting reindeer sausage.

Lisbet preparing lunch and whittling sticks for roasting reindeer sausage.

Our hike up into the woods and along a ridge, each harnessed to our own husky, led to a lunch spot with seating around a campfire and a majestic view of the White Mountains. We had a three course gourmet lunch that included native Alaskan wild blueberry jam with brie, and reindeer sausage on homemade bread with caramelized onions and garlic aioli.

During lunch we sat among wild blueberries, labrador tea and resting huskies while taking in the view and listening to stories of dog sledding and life on the homestead.

Dessert was Norwegian Rhubarb Cake and campfire tea.

It was an afternoon I will never forget as I learned about Lisbet and Nils, the Siberian Husky kennel, and living off-grid with no furnace and no running water. That’s right! They haul in all the water needed for the humans and the dogs! In honor of summer rhubarb, and to preserve my campfire lunch memory, my blog kickoff recipe is Norwegian Rhubarb Cake. Minnesotan rhubarb is not yet as big as Alaskan rhubarb which has help from the Midnight Sun.

With just a few simple ingredients this cake is very easy to make. It is also called Simple Norwegian Rhubarb Cake. It has a great flavor and very light texture - perfect for a warm summer day. I finished mine off with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Some of us like to eat our cake with ice cream (I won’t mention his name) but this cake easily stands alone. Thanks to Lisbet I have a new summer go-to dessert!

Norwegian Rhubarb Cake

  • 5 oz Butter, softened to room temp

  • 3/4 cup Granulated sugar

  • 2 Eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups Flour

  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking powder

  • 1/2 cup Whole milk

  • 2 cups Fresh rhubarb, washed & cut

  • 1 T Granulated sugar for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Spray 8” springform pan with baking spray.

3. Cut rhubarb into 1/2” pieces.

4. Whisk together flour and baking powder.

5. Using flat beater, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

6. Mix in eggs one at a time.

7. Mix in flour alternating with milk.

8. Mix just until combined.

9. Pour batter into the springform pan.

10. Arrange rhubarb pieces on batter and press slightly into the batter.

11. Sprinkle with tablespoon of sugar.

12. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes, until the center is set and edges pull away from the pan.

13. Allow cake to cool before cutting.

Patrick earned his Superman status that day. After the hike he drove us nine hours along the the breathtaking Richardson Highway from Fairbanks to Anchorage. We stopped many times along the way knowing that no matter how long it took we would get there before dark.

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