This lunar rhubarb cake is a thing – do you know of it? It has made the rounds of Canadian kitchens for decades and generations, far before the internet and Pinterest made it easier to share, back when great aunts and neighbours scribbled down the formula for that cake they always make that’s so good. Everyone seems to remember this.
It’s called lunar cake because its surface resembles the pocked surface of the moon, only in this case it becomes irregular and uneven because of the fruit and buttery brown sugar that sinks into the top. (Any fruit will work here – I love these recipes that you can use no matter what’s in season. I already can’t wait for plums.) I’d heard of it but never made one, thinking it was the same sort of fruit-topped cake I’d made dozens of versions of, but when it popped up in the new cookbook by Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller, whose lives I would quickly adopt if I could just dial back 20 years or so, who hopped in a car and ate their way across Canada and then compiled their journey in FEAST: An Edible Road Trip, I knew I had to give it a go. (Also, I’m still trying to use up last year’s epic stash of frozen rhubarb before this year’s crop starts to spring from the ground.)
Spoiler alert: this is much better than any like-minded cakes I’ve baked in the past. Of course Elizabeth Baird knew what she was doing when she took it out and brushed it off for the masses back in 1989.
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