How to make thick Rhubarb Butter

I’m madly trying to get the most out of the short rhubarb season.  The other day when I asked my produce guy for some he went in the back and brought me out a HUGE armload of stalks.  We’re leaving town this week so I need to preserve it for later.  And I’ve always loved old fashioned fresh fruit butters, I love the smooth, silky texture, and I love the way the flavor is intensified.  They don’t require sugar like traditional jams, and  so the essence of the  fruit comes through stronger.  The only reason I used a little sugar in this recipe is that rhubarb is super tart. You can do this with lots of different fruit, from apples to peaches and plums.  Berries too, but you’ll want to strain out the seeds.  I have an incredibly silky CRANBERRY BUTTER recipe that you can make in the slow cooker.

Tart and silky Rhubarb Butter

Minimal Monday: Rhubarb Butter

Yield: approximately a cup


  • 1 lb rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • squeeze of fresh lemon
  • optional: 1/4 tsp cardamom, or cinnamon, or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean


  1. Rinse the rhubarb and trim the ends Slice it into 1 inch pieces and put in a heavy bottomed pot along with the sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of water and the lemon juice, and stir to combine.
  2. Heat, stirring constantly, until the rhubarb starts to give off juice and the mixture comes to a boil. Boil gently for about 20-30 minutes, until the rhubarb is very soft and mostly broken down.
  3. Puree the mixture, in batches if necessary,. Be careful when pureeing hot liquids, as they can 'explode' up through the spout of the processor or blender.
  4. Put the puree in a clean pan back on the stove and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it gently bubble away until reduced and thickened about another 20 minutes, Stir often, and be careful not to let the fruit scorch. If you are using the spice or vanilla bean, stir it in now.
  5. Spoon the finished butter into a glass jar. Let cool, then cap and refrigerate. It will thicken further as it cools. You will have about a cup.


There is no firm rule about how long to cook the pureed fruit. The longer you cook it and reduce it down, the thicker it will be. It's a matter of personal taste.

Plan to consume the rhubarb butter within a few weeks. You can also freeze it or can it for longer storage.

With no pectin, and very little, if any, sugar, this is an easy way to preserve fruit.  You can blend varieties, or just stick to one.  You can add spice or flavoring, too.   I added cardamom to my rhubarb, but next time I’m going to use a vanilla bean.

How to make Rhubarb Butter

If you want to make a larger batch, you can freeze this, and you can also can it.  I just keep it in the fridge, it will be scarfed up within a couple of weeks.


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23 Responses to Minimal Monday: Rhubarb Butter

  1. Megan says:

    Have you ever tried adding strawberries to this. I’m just wondering how it would come out or how much to add. I was thinking 2 parts rhubarb one part strawberry but I haven’t made fruit butter before so I wasn’t sure how this would change the texture.

    • Sue says:

      I don’t think you can go wrong, Megan, because I’ve made all kinds of fruit butters…I say go for it, either in a 2 to 1 or even 1 to 1 ratio!

  2. Christina Marie says:

    Could I use honey instead of the sugar?

  3. Stephanie says:

    Unbelievably good. Like this way better than Rhubarb Jam. Used Vanilla in mine. Waiting on the toaster for a second helping. Thank you!

  4. Mary says:

    I’m wondering if you can use frozen rhubarb & if so how much would a pound be in cups? Also wondering about using the crockpot instead of stove for final cooking? It would be so much less likely to scorch. I need to use up my freezer rhubarb before the fresh starts soon.

  5. Kayleigh says:

    Any tips for canning it? It sounds divine, and my rhubarb patch still has some life left!

  6. Stephanie says:

    This will never make the freezer. I could eat it with a spoon. I added a wee bit more sugar in the second “cooking” process as mine was a bit too tart. Mine is cooling and I added a vanilla bean. I’m taking it with homemade cream scones to my friends house tomorrow. YUM and thank you!!!

  7. Gorgeous, I’d love this on ice cream or spread on fresh bread!

  8. Rhubarb butter?!? I need it in my life. Stat!

  9. Mmmm, this sounds delicious and I love the color :) I bet it’s amazing with cardamom!

  10. Woah. That looks amazing! I bet it is so sweet and tart and delicious on a slice of toast!

  11. looks like we were both in the butter frame of mind this past week! Love your butter though. it is silky and smooth and sweet. Best thing to top a warm out of the oven scone or biscuit with

  12. Kate says:

    Love the color.
    I especially like the styling of your lead photo.
    The Kerr mason jar, the coffee cup and the vintage knife bring such old home memories to mind.

  13. Velva says:

    The rhubarb butter is a beautiful thing!


  14. Eileen says:

    This butter sounds amazing! I bet it would be excellent as a quick filling for a lemony cake…or maybe almond? Or both! :)

  15. Lynne says:

    Perfect timing!
    I cut massive amounts of Rhubarb out of my garden last night and this sounds wonderful :)
    I’ll freeze some and especially enjoy it during the -35 C snowy winter, a reminder that spring will come again just when I’ll need it the most!
    Too bad you didn’t live here, I always have tons of Rhubarb and can’t seem to give it away unless it is in the form of Rhubarb Coffee Cake :)

    • Sue says:

      Oh I would LOVE to get some neighborly rhubarb!

      • Lynne says:

        Hi Sue,
        I just made the Rhubarb Vanilla Butter (used 3 lbs of rhubarb & still have a lot left in my yard) and it is absolutely amazing!
        It reminds me of the stewed rhubarb my grandmother made, I ate copious amounts of it on toast and also on ice cream when I was little.
        I could never quite duplicate the flavour of hers and this is as close as I’ve ever gotten. Heaven on a spoon :) Thank you!

  16. This is wonderful – I recently made Kumquat marmalade and thought it was way too sweet. I didn’t even post it on the blog. It was pretty but I would have preferred rhubarb butter! Love the color and I know it is tasty. Have a great trip!

  17. Catherine says:

    Rhubarb butter sounds wonderful. Blessings, Catherine

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