lunar rhubarb cake

I first saw this delicious pan cake years ago in one of Elizabeth Baird’s cookbooks; it’s a classic Canadian recipe proving there’s more to rhubarb than just pie.

It’s a great way to celebrate the season; rhubarb is really the first edible we see in the prairies in the spring.

Lunar Rhubarb Cake

The brown crumble streusel topping sinks to the bottom while cooking making the surface resemble craters on the moon.
Author Ellen Kelly


Streusel topping

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup soft butter


  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb (frozen can be used, but don't thaw before using)


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Combine all streusel ingredients with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar.
  • Add egg and vanilla.
  • Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk.
  • Toss rhubarb with a little flour and stir into batter.
  • Butter and flavour a 9 x 11 baking pan.
  • Spread the thick batter in the pan and top evenly with the streusel mixture.
  • Bake 45 minutes at 350 F. Serve warm with a dollop of cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.