“I make this dessert for every single potluck I go to. I love serving it frozen – it’s SO good!!” ~Callandra
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 in early spring in much of the country, it’s one of the first foods you can harvest in the season, so this is really the quintessential spring dessert.
Keep these bars chilled until you’re ready to serve them. My husband likes them best frozen, and they work well either way.
If you love rhubarb, my strawberry rhubarb cobbler is another classic, old fashioned way to enjoy this spring ephemeral. Or, preserve that bright, tart flavor to enjoy throughout the year with my easy rhubarb butter. Still can’t get enough rhubarb?
make these no bake rhubarb bars your own
- 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, you can 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.
No Bake Rhubarb Dream Bars
- 10 full graham crackers, about 1 sleeve
- 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 9×9 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.
Questions and Reviews
If I 2X or 3X this recipe what size pan should I use? Would 2X work with 9″ X 13″? Would 3X work with a 15″ X 17″? I have a huge rhubarb patch and need to make a dessert to share for a large gathering.
I would do 2X and use the 9×13, I haven’t tried this in a sheet pan. Lucky you to have all that rhubarb!
This is a crowd favorite with the fresh rhubarb. I like to replace some of the rhubarb with strawberries for a little twist. But the OG recipe is perfection ?
Thanks Lindsey 🙂
We are SOOOO lucky to live near a huge rhubarb-growing area. There are even several farms who grow hothouse rhubarb. If you’ve ever had it, it’s such a treat; smaller, more tender stalks, a vibrant ruby-red, and a richer flavor. AND it’s ready in early February!! I’m always surprised at the number of people who have never tried rhubarb – especially around here where it’s quite prolific.
This is an amazing recipe! So delicious!! I tried it twice – once as written and once ALL VEGAN (using sweetened condensed coconut milk, and Silk brand plant based Heavy Whipping Cream).
Both were delicious, and I think I like them best when frozen!!
If anyone’s curious about trying a vegan version, I used plant-based butter, vegan graham crackers and dairy-free condensed milk and cream products. The coconut flavor from the plant-based milks was very mild and complimented the rhubarb wonderfully. (Just a note since some people do not like coconut.) I might use a coconut based cookie for the crust next time. If you’re not a fan of coconut there are other plant based heavy cream subs that I’m sure would work.
Hi! I live in Florida and I can only get rhubarb in the grocery store. I always buy it no matter how much it costs! I have some now, and this is a great idea. I wonder if I could use sweetened condensed coconut milk instead. I am lactose intolerant but can take a Lactaid pill if necessary. And, oddly enough, I can process whole cream. So it would be nice not to remember to take a pill. Thank you!
Would it be possible to use other “fruits”. I know the consistency would need adjustment, but do you think you could do it with blueberries or strawberries?
I think that should work fine!
I make this dessert for every single potluck I go to. I love serving it frozen – it’s SO good!!
Hello, I made your rhubarb breakfast cake today and I absolutely loved it. I am going to serve it tomorrow for Thanksgiving. Thank you so much!!
Wish I could still find rhubarb, I’d love to make this cake today! Glad you enjoy it Carol, and have a great Thanksgiving 🙂
It tastes amazing, however, the topping never congealed. So you need a spoon to eat it. What did I do wrong? I did mostly rhubarb and threw in some strawberries.
Hey Melissa ~ it sounds like possibly your fruit mixture was still too watery, maybe because of the strawberries. If you try this again, cook the fruit down until it’s thicker and you shouldn’t have any trouble.