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This rhubarb bars recipe is nostalgic and perfect for summer, featuring a jammy sweet tart filling and buttery crumbles.

Rhubarb bars
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When it’s the season for it, there’s nothing we love more than baking with rhubarb! Here’s our latest in a string of nostalgic treats: this easy Rhubarb Bars recipe! It’s like rhubarb crisp, in handheld form. The hot pink jammy filling is intensely sweet tart, slathered over a brown sugar crust and topped with buttery crumbles. It’s a riff on my Grandma’s recipe, modified a bit to put our own spin on it. Welcome to summer!

Ingredients in this rhubarb bars recipe

These rhubarb bars are a spin on my Grandma’s recipe that I grew up with, tweaked a bit to put our own spin on it. Her recipe had strawberry Jello, which we swapped for a quick rhubarb jam on the stovetop. Like many crumble bars, the dough is used for both the pastry crust and the crumble topping. It’s simple to whip up and come out beautifully golden brown.

  • Rhubarb
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Lemon zest
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Brown sugar
  • Rolled oats
  • Cinnamon and salt
  • Unsalted butter
Rhubarb bars recipe

Tips for rhubarb bars

If you’ve made rhubarb crisp, these rhubarb bars are the same idea! You’ll simply use some of the crumble topping to make a pastry crust. Here are a few things to note for making bars:

  • Grease the pan, then line the pan with parchment paper. This makes them easy to remove from the pan. Cut the parchment so that it extends on two sides to easily remove it from the pan (cut it to fit right in the bottom on the other side). Greasing the entire pan helps the parchment stick to the bottom.
  • Cook the rhubarb on the stovetop with cornstarch. This helps to thicken the rhubarb into a jam-like consistency.
  • Allow to cool 30 minutes, then refrigerate 1 hour. This lets the texture set, firming it up so it’s the ideal texture for eating. Once you’ve refrigerated for 1 hour, you can easily cut them into 16 squares.

Variation: strawberry rhubarb bars

Want to turn these bars into strawberry rhubarb bars? Substitute 1 cup of the rhubarb with 1 ½ cups strawberries, thinly sliced. Follow the same instructions in the recipe below! The flavor comes out even sweeter for this bright red jam.

Rhubarb bars

Eat them plain, or with ice cream

These rhubarb bars are the perfect dessert for cookouts, parties, and more! You can even turn them into a plated dessert by serving with a fork and topping with vanilla ice cream. However keep in mind that the crust is thick, so they are best suited for sinking your teeth into as bars.

Storage info

How to store these rhubarb bars once you’ve bake them up? If you stack them, make sure to store them with parchment paper between each layer so they don’t stick to each other. Then, place them in an airtight container and you can store them for:

  • 3 days at room temperature
  • 2 weeks refrigerated
  • 3 months frozen
Rhubarb bars

More rhubarb recipes

And that’s it! These rhubarb bars are great for using up a small amount of rhubarb during the season. And we’ve got so many more! Here are a few more ideas for rhubarb recipes:

This rhubarb bars recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Rhubarb bars

Rhubarb Bars


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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 bars 1x

Description

This rhubarb bars recipe is nostalgic and perfect for summer, featuring a jammy sweet tart filling and buttery crumbles.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) chopped rhubarb
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest or ¼ teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup [175 g] flour
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into very small pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter 9 x 9 baking dish. Line the pan with a piece of parchment paper, cut so that it extends on two sides to easily remove it from the pan.
  2. Place the rhubarb, granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, and vanilla extract in a saucepan. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often, until it thickens into a sauce. Set aside. 
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork. As it incorporates, use fingers to knead until it becomes an even, consistent dough with no more dry bits of flour (this takes a while, so be patient!). Use your fingers to crumble it into small crumbles and measure out 1 ¾ cup for the topping. 
  4. Pour the remaining crumbles into the prepared pan, and press it into an even layer for the crust of the bars. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press in the dough and make it flat and even.
  5. Spoon the rhubarb filling onto the top of the crust. Add the reserved crumbles over the top in an even layer.
  6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on cooling rack for 30 minutes. Then transfer to the refrigerator and for 1 hour. Remove from the fridge and use the parchment to remove the bars from the pan. Cut into 16 even squares. Store bars up to 1 week refrigerated (with parchment paper between the layers if stacked), or 3 months frozen. 
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Dessert
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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2 Comments

  1. Kim Stephens says:

    I made your recipe but added one fresh peach sliced to it. It was delicious. Thank you for the recipe.






  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!