Easy Rhubarb Butter

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How to make Rhubarb Butter

At the first sighting of fresh rhubarb every spring I make up a batch of my sweet and tangy Easy Rhubarb Butter ~ spread it on toast, muffins, biscuits, or just eat it by the spoonful!

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

How to make Rhubarb Butter

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.

Minimal Monday: Rhubarb Butter
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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.


  • 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.
  • 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.


At the first sighting of fresh rhubarb every spring I make up a batch of my sweet/tangy Rhubarb Butter ~ spread it on toast, muffins, biscuits, or just eat it by the spoonful!


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  • Reply
    September 12, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Thanks for this recipe! I made it in my instant pot with ginger as the spice in the quantity you called for and it’s awesome. Slightly tart, slightly warm. Delicious!

    • Reply
      September 12, 2018 at 9:08 am

      That’s great to know you can make it in the Instant Pot, I love that thing! Thanks Wysteria (love your name!)

  • Reply
    September 10, 2018 at 12:12 am

    Would replacing the sugar with honey change the end consistency? Or would it just need to cook a bit longer?

  • Reply
    August 23, 2018 at 9:48 am

    I decided to make a double recipe in my crockpot and here is what I discovered. The water is not needed. After cooking on high for a couple hours the rhubarb had released a lot of water and it was very soupy. I added more rhubarb and let it cook until the new rhubarb was soft, then used my immersion blender to purée everything. Then I added more sugar to taste. My rhubarb is a green variety so I added a few drops of red food colouring to make a more attractive color. At this point I left the lid off the crockpot and continued cooking on high, stirring every hour or so. At bedtime the mixture was still too loose so I turned the crockpot to low, put the lid on and went to bed. I had to get up in the middle of the night so I checked on the butter. It was still very loose and was turning a darker color so I turned the pot off and allowed it to cool, hoping it would thicken as it cooled. Alas, it did not. I now have it in a saucepan on the stove and will see if I can eliminate some of the moisture that way. Unfortunately the color is no longer very attractive. I was hoping for a pretty pink butter for toast and thumbprint cookies. If I was to try again I would eliminate the water (if using the crockpot) and wait to alter the color until I was closer to desired consistency.

    • Reply
      August 23, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      So after a slow simmer in the stovetop the rhubarb butter has thickened up. I added one and a half tablespoons of pure vanilla extract and added a little bit more sugar. It tastes and smells delicious. I should have measured it before I packaged it but I would say that after doubling and adding a little bit more rhubarb in hopes of offsetting the excess liquid I’ve ended up with approximately 3 cups. I’m freezing some for the filling for thumbprint cookies for my holiday cookie platters.

      • Reply
        August 24, 2018 at 5:40 am

        Thanks for the full report Shelley, and your holiday cookies sound like they’ll be delish.

        • Reply
          September 22, 2018 at 9:20 pm

          It is really tasty and the vanilla added a lovely fragrance as well. I only wish it was as beautifully coloured as yours Sue. Thank you for the inspiration.

          • Sue
            September 24, 2018 at 12:59 pm

            Rhubarb comes in so many different shades, Shelley, and I’m guessing yours was a little on the green side? The flavor shouldn’t be affected, though!

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