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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3 ratings

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!

  • Reply
    How to Cook Rhubarb — Practical Self Reliance
    April 1, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    […] Rhubarb Butter […]

  • Reply
    Robyn Alden
    August 11, 2017 at 3:46 am

    Where can I find glass jars like the one filled with the butter, with the clip and glass lid?

  • Reply
    May 17, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    I am wondering if this could be made (step #2) in a crock pot? Any thoughts?? Thanks!

  • Reply
    February 23, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      February 23, 2017 at 9:14 pm

      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!

    • Reply
      March 20, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      Yes it will be wonderful . I mix strawberries with Rhubarb all the time .love a strawberry and rhubarb sauce I grew up on . Slice rhubarb and strawberries and put in sauce pan . Cook on med-low till they cook down . Add sugar to taste . Great over ice cream or just along it’s also great with bananas or apples

      • Reply
        March 20, 2017 at 8:39 pm

        So simple yet so delicious!

  • Reply
    Christina Marie
    August 10, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Could I use honey instead of the sugar?

    • Reply
      August 10, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      I think that should work, Christina — let us know your results!

  • Reply
    May 11, 2016 at 6:20 pm

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

    • Reply
      May 11, 2016 at 6:24 pm

      I’m so glad you like it Stephanie, I agree, fruit butters are much better than jam :)

  • Reply
    March 14, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    July 20, 2015 at 5:49 pm

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

    • Reply
      July 20, 2015 at 6:05 pm

      I’m so sorry, I’m not much of a canner, Kayleigh!

  • Reply
    June 4, 2014 at 11:05 am

    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!!!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    June 3, 2014 at 5:28 pm

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

  • Reply
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com
    June 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm

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

  • Reply
    Amy @ Elephant Eats
    June 3, 2014 at 1:46 pm

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

  • Reply
    Denise | Sweet Peas & Saffron
    June 3, 2014 at 1:33 pm

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

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    June 3, 2014 at 6:41 am

    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

  • Reply
    June 2, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    June 2, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    The rhubarb butter is a beautiful thing!


  • Reply
    June 2, 2014 at 3:06 pm

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

  • Reply
    June 2, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    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 :)

    • Reply
      June 2, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      Oh I would LOVE to get some neighborly rhubarb!

      • Reply
        June 2, 2014 at 4:09 pm

        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!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    June 2, 2014 at 9:52 am

    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!

  • Reply
    June 2, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Rhubarb butter sounds wonderful. Blessings, Catherine

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