No Bake Rhubarb Dream Bars are light as air treats flushed with a hint of pink from the season’s first rhubarb. Eat them chilled, or frozen, it’s all good.
No Bake Rhubarb Dream Bars definitely live up to their name. I love them because they’re the kind of dessert you only get at home. You won’t find anything like this at a restaurant or a bakery, they’re the kind of thing your grandma would whip up — they have a simple, vintage charm.
Rhubarb gives these bars their rosy color and a unique tart flavor, vanilla bean gives them some depth, and a graham cracker crust grounds it all and gives you something to hold on to. Technically a veggie, rhubarb comes into season right about now in much of the country, it’s one of the first foods you can harvest in the spring, so this is really the quintessential spring dessert.
Keep these bars chilled until you’re ready to serve. My husband likes them best frozen, and they work either way.
- 1 sleeve graham crackers (about 9-10)
- 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
- 6 Tbsp butter, melted
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb (1 inch pieces)
- 4 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, (or a whole vanilla bean, seeds removed, or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, the sugar, and melted butter together until fully combined. Press the crust firmly and evenly into the bottom of a 9x9 square baking pan. I like to spray it lightly and then line with a long piece of parchment so I can lift out the chilled bars for neater cutting. This is optional. Chill the crust while you make the filling.
- Put the chopped rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan along with 6 tablespoons of water. Bring it up to a boil and simmer until thick and soft...about 5 minutes. Stir frequently so the fruit doesn't scorch. Puree the mixture until completely smooth. Blend in the vanilla and lemon and set aside to cool.
- When the rhubarb is cooled blend in the condensed milk.
- Whip the cream to stiff peaks. Fold in the rhubarb mixture gently but completely. Spread evenly over the crust and put back in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2-3 hours.
- The bars can be served chilled, or even frozen.
- Virtually any cookie can be crushed to make the crust. Use your imagination and go with what you like.
- Rhubarb varies widely in color from a light green to a deep crimson — if yours is very pale, add a tiny drop of food coloring to emphasize the rosiness.
- You can combine the rhubarb with strawberries or raspberries if you like, go half and half.
don’t lose it — pin it!
Love rhubarb? Check out my Rhubarb Pinterest board!