I don't know where this recipe originated, so I'm calling it:
Cousin Gloria's Minnesota Rhubarb Cake
1½ cup brown sugar
½ cup shortening
pinch of salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1½ cups rhubarb
2 cups flour
Spread in a 9 x 13" greased pan, then mix topping:
½ cup sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts
Add topping and bake at 325° for 45 minutes.
I just got the recipe today and haven't tried it yet, so let me know if I've got something wrong. Gloria didn't say whether she used frozen or chopped fresh rhubarb, but I'm sure either would work.
This is a fairly coarse snack cake, and not terribly sweet. I'll serve it with morning coffee or afternoon tea rather than as a dessert. The rhubarb adds a wonderful tartness.
UPDATED AUGUST 20, 2009:
Can't believe I made such a dumb mistake, but I neglected to include the baking soda in this recipe! My deepest apologies to those of you who tried the cake and wondered if you had done something wrong. (The recipe you see above has been corrected.)
A Twitter friend has asked about the topping. I assured her it is not a streussel topping--no butter, no flour. Just sugared nuts.
My husband made the cake last weekend. It's a very simple snack cake, but we loved its moistness, its sugary, nutty topping, and the tang of the rhubarb (he used fresh, uncooked).