Rhubarb Crumb Bars

rhubarb crumb bars 13

These easy Rhubarb Crumb Bars are the very first thing I bake when I see the first rhubarb of the season. The tangy rhubarb filling sandwiched between a butter oat crumb crust is irresistible!

Photo of rhubarb crumb bars stacked on a piece of parchment paper.

I don’t think you could possibly imagine how I agonized over what to do with my little bag of rhubarb from the farmer’s market this week. I went back and forth looking at endless recipes, I scoured the internet,  even started a RHUBARB  board on Pinterest…it was insane. The thing about rhubarb is that it has a wonderful tangy flavor,  different from any other fruit (possibly because it’s actually a veg) and a drop dead gorgeous color that makes me crazy.

But it’s not just me, rhubarb inspires passion in a lot of people. It’s  is a true harbinger of spring, being one of the first crops to be harvested as the weather warms, and the season starts right about now. You’ll see hot house crops come first to market, followed by the regular harvest soon after. A lot of recipes combine rhubarb with other fruits like strawberries or peaches, but  I like to use it all by itself to get the full rhubarb experience. Why mess with a great thing?

Photo of rhubarb crumb bars stacked on a piece of parchment paper against a white background.

I love love love love love these bars. I know I make a lot of this type of thing on the blog and I tried to resist, I really did. And I know you see through my ruses when I call them by various names like squares, bars, snack cakes, crumble this’ and crumble thats. My only defense is that these are Faaaaah. Buuuuu. Lus. They were so good I had to break my only taste one serving of whatever I’m photographing rule. I had two. Before lunch.

Love rhubarb like I do? Try some of my other rhubarb recipes ~

Overhead shot of a bowl or chopped rhubarb for rhubarb crumb bars.

These rhubarb crumb bars are lighter and more bar-like than my regular crumble squares. The rosy pink filling is flavored with vanilla…it’s basically a quick rhubarb jam. The color of your jam will vary depending on the depth of color of your rhubarb stalks,  Some are green or pale pink. I always choose the deepest red stalks I can find for best color, no matter what I’m making. The simple dough is spiced with cardamom. I didn’t put that in the title because some of you are starting to think of me as the crazy cardamom blogger. That’s fair. I try not to go overboard, but it’s so hard. (I have a CARDAMOM board on Pinterest, too 🙂

Photo of crumb topping being sprinkled on a tray of rhubarb crumb bars.

This recipe is inspired by a combination of this recipe from Table for Two, this one from Kitchen Vignettes and this one from Rachel Cooks. Each one has a slightly different ‘take’ on the concept. I say give them all a try!

Photo of a stack of rhubarb crumb bars on a metal spatula.

Reader Rave ~

“I just made these and they are divine, thanks for the easy recipe :)”  ~  Meaghan

Photo of rhubarb crumb bars stacked on a piece of parchment paper.
4 from 22 votes

Rhubarb Crumb Bars

These easy Rhubarb Crumb Bars are the very first thing I bake when I see the first rhubarb of the season.  The tangy rhubarb filling sandwiched between a butter oat crumb crust is irresistible!
Course breakfast dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Yield 9 servings
Author Sue Moran


rhubarb filling

  • 1 lb rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

for the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom you can substitute cinnamon
  • 3/4 cups 1 1/2 sticks butter. cut in pieces


  • Set oven to 350F
  • Rinse and trim the ends off the rhubarb stalks. Slice them in 1 inch pieces and put in a heavy pot. Toss with the sugar, lemon juice, and water. Stirring constantly, bring the mix to a boil and cook until the rhubarb has broken down and the mixture is thick. Add a little more water if needed as it cooks if it gets too thick. This will take about 20 minutes or so. You can puree it if you want a smooth texture, I used an immersion blender and pulsed a few times to get any larger lumps, but some texture is fine. Stir in the vanilla and set aside to cool.
  • To make the crust, put the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add in the butter and pulse until the mix has a texture of coarse crumbs.
  • Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the mixture and press the rest into a buttered 9x13 baking pan. Pat down the crust and level it out.
  • Spread the filling evenly over the crust, and then crumble the remaining dough over the filling.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until golden.
  • Cool before cutting.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


Don’t forget to pin these Rhubarb Crumb Bars!

Rhubarb Crumb Bars pin

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    where did you find rhubarb?
    you most live on the west coast?
    I can’t wait for summer and rhubarb to come; although I truly think summer is not coming, this winter is never ending.

    • Reply
      March 31, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      I do live in Los Angeles, but I hear that rhubarb doesn’t grow very well in warm climates, it needs a cold winter to really get it going, so hold on!!

  • Reply
    Cindys Recipes and Writings
    March 31, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Your crumb bars look so inviting! I must try some!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    These look amazing, I will be making this soon. Lovely pics Sue!

  • Reply
    annie diamond
    March 31, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    I think you made an excellent choice Sue! Your rhubarb crumb bars look so pretty and I will check out your pinterest board. An entire pinterest board devoted to rhubarb….love your passion!

    • Reply
      March 31, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks Annie <3

  • Reply
    March 31, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    I love Rhubarb..the color..the taste.. it’s not here yet of course..but as soon as it is..i’ll be making crumb bars..I also love strawberries and rhubarb together..

  • Reply
    March 31, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Sue, your rhubarb-crumb-bars look so very pretty and delicious – I am quite obsessed with rhubarb myself and always looking for more wonderful recipes using rhubarb and I will definitely have to give these a try as I cannot, not make a new recipe using these lovely vegetables – just in case you do find the time, here is my link from this year http://kitchenlioness.blogspot.de/2014/03/spring-rhubarb-tart-fruhlings.html and here is my link from last year http://kitchenlioness.blogspot.de/2013/04/rhubarb-cordial-and-rhubarb-almond-bundt.html.
    Love your blog – amazing photography and wonderful recipes!
    Have a great week,

    • Reply
      March 31, 2014 at 12:36 pm

      Thanks so much for visiting, Andrea, and I love both those links, I just pinned them, thanks!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Such a beautiful color! Rhubarb has never been one of my favorites (as a child, it bore too much resemblance to celery for me to accept any of it in my desserts), but these pictures even have me salivating for some rhubarb-y tanginess!

    • Reply
      March 31, 2014 at 11:33 am

      It is funny how something so similar to celery can be so luscious!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Oh man, these bars look spectacular! I haven’t managed to get my hands on any rhubarb yet, but when I do…oh yes. They will be mine. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 31, 2014 at 9:33 am

    this is the problem with rhubarb… it has so many options but there are only so many hours in the day… your bars look beautiful and perfect I think for something nice and original.. My neighbours plant is slowly maturing and will be ready for the thieving pretty soon… ha ha!… lovely pretty pics, I can just taste the wonderful sweet sourness x

    • Reply
      March 31, 2014 at 11:34 am

      There is nothing more satisfying than having a gardening neighbor…all the pleasure and none of the headache 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    March 31, 2014 at 5:07 am

    This looks divine, Sue. We love the streusel and this is a perfect afternoon tea accompaniment!

    • Reply
      March 31, 2014 at 7:17 am

      Perfect for tea 🙂

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