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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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    April 19, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this lovely recipe and linking up to the Great British Rhubarb Recipe Round Up. I have long been a fan of your blog and it was a bit of a thrill for me to see your recipe on the linky. I’m sure you will get lots of inspiration from all the recipes that are building in this Rhubarb-fest!

    • Reply
      April 19, 2015 at 11:22 am

      I’m off to the farmer’s market to get some more rhubarb today because of all that inspiration, Janice — thanks so much for stopping by!

      • Reply
        April 19, 2015 at 12:10 pm


        • Reply
          May 11, 2015 at 7:28 am

          5 stars
          Just made these bars, omg they are fantastic. I can see that I will become addicted to making them with all kinds of different fruits and spices. Thank you.

          • Sue
            May 11, 2015 at 9:45 am

            Thanks for taking the time to come back and let me know Janice, and I agree, part of the fun of this kind of dessert is changing it out and experimenting.

  • Reply
    Crystal N.
    May 31, 2014 at 8:01 am

    Sue, I come to to your site by way of Trish and have a question…Can the rhubarb “jam” be made ahead of time and refrigerated for a few days before making the rest of the bar? It doesn’t look like any of the ingredients would spoil or taste differently, but I thought I would ask! Thanks.

    • Reply
      May 31, 2014 at 8:06 am

      Absolutely, Crystal, that would be fine!

      • Reply
        Crystal N.
        May 31, 2014 at 6:03 pm

        Thanks for the advice!

  • Reply
    April 14, 2014 at 9:40 am

    I just made these and they are divine, thanks for the easy recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    April 2, 2014 at 9:16 am

    You are the crumb or crumble queen in my book. The color is amazing and I’m sure it was totally worth the extra taste, before lunch, even before breakfast! You always write the most interesting posts – very nice!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 4:06 am

    I can never resist rhubarb either, so I totally understand. Just seeing the stalks at the store make me giddy, let alone EATING THEM. What gorgeous bars! I can’t get enough of that pretty-in-pink filling!

  • Reply
    ashley - baker by nature
    April 1, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    I cannot wait to get my hands on some rhubarb! These crumb bars look fantastic!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    April 1, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    truly they are breathtaking. I mean the color is perfect- spot on and i love the texture with the crumb topping and crust!

    • Reply
      April 1, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      I love to see the different shades of pink that different recipes get from rhubarb. For this one I picked out the reddest stalks I could find, but other times I’m not so lucky to find deeply colored stalks and the color is very pale. I love it all!

  • Reply
    thyme (sarah)
    April 1, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Mmmmm…so jealous that you have rhubarb available. I’ve actually only eaten rhubarb a handful of times and it was divine each time! I’m going to be on the lookout around here…

    • Reply
      April 1, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      Thanks Sarah, I’m a relative newcomer to it, too. It looks pretty easy to grow, I may try sometime. How nice would it be to walk out the door and snip what you need on the spur of the moment.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    I get bunches of rhubarb from a coworker (or, at least I will once winter decides to exit South Dakota!), and I know these bars would be much appreciated!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    March 31, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I could eat crumb bars everyday of my life. These look heavenly!

    • Reply
      March 31, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Me too, they are the breakfast of champions 🙂

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