Rhubarb Crumble Tart

rhubarb crumble tart, sliced

My rhubarb crumble tart is a juicy shortbread tart warmed up with vanilla bean and a buttery oatmeal crumble topping. After you make it for Mom this Mother’s Day, be sure to freeze some rhubarb so you can make it all year long.

A slice of Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Shortbread Crumble Tart with a dollop of whipped cream

friends ~ this rhubarb crumble tart recipe is an absolute must make!

I’ve been enjoying a string of baking successes here at tvfgi. It isn’t always that way, though. I can go through stretches where nothing seems to work out. But one of the secrets to nailing a great recipe is to use a trusted recipe as a base. It’s a little bit of extra security that the new one will be a winner.

I absolutely loved this tart, and it’s based on my Tangerine Shortbread Tart with Fresh Rosemary, which I also loved. The crust/crumble dough is outstanding, and is definitely worth your time. Once you’ve made it once or twice you’ll start to play around with it like I did. There are endless creative possibilities. But promise me you’ll try this one!

Rhubarb Shortbread Crumble Tart, sliced into wedges

lemon lovers will appreciate the tart flavor of rhubarb

I’m a lemon fanatic, and rhubarb is the only other fruit (vegetable, technically!) that matches the tangy mouthwatering flavor you get with a great lemon dessert.

I’m always looking for ways to showcase it, without adding strawberries or other distractions. In this case the buttery shortbread and the soft vanilla flavor balance out the tartness of the rhubarb and combine to make one amazing taste. It’s one of the best ways to enjoy the unique flavor of rhubarb I’ve had in a long while.

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Shortbread Tart, sliced

shopping list

  • rhubarb ~ you’ll need about 1/2 pound of trimmed rhubarb, which will make about 2 heaping cups, thinly sliced.
  • sugar ~ balances the tartness of the rhubarb and brings out the lovely flavor.
  • butter ~ unsalted, and at room temperature. If you’re stuck with cold butter, check out my guide to Quickly bring cold ingredients to room temperature for baking.
  • flour
  • rolled oats
  • vanilla ~ I use vanilla bean paste, but you can use extract.
  • salt
  • Instant Clearjel thickener, or cornstarch ~ rhubarb has a high water content and needs a thickener.
Assembling a rhubarb shortbread crumble tart

assembling a rhubarb crumble tart

The assembly of this shortbread tart is super easy because the same dough that makes the bottom crust also becomes the crumble, so it’s all made at the same time. I mix some rolled oats into the topping portion before crumbling it over the rhubarb. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

  1. Mix up the shortbread dough, I like to use my stand mixer but you can do it with electric beaters, or by hand (just make sure your butter is soft to start with.)
  2. Pat part of your dough into the pan as your bottom crust.
  3. Top with your rhubarb.
  4. Crumble the remaining dough on top. Easy peasy!
Rhubarb Shortbread Crumble Tart ready to bake

runny fruit fillings can ruin a great dessert

The tart bakes up beautifully, with a thick gorgeously colored filling and buttery pastry. I had no runny fruit or soggy bottom thanks to a new product I’ve discovered ~ Instant Clearjel.

Instant Clearjel

It’s a thickening agent that’s like cornstarch only much more effective. I’m planning to use it all summer long with my fruit pies, crisps, and crumbles. I was amazed at the results and I’m excited to bake with it this season. Btw, this isn’t sponsored, I’m just over the moon about it πŸ™‚

Rhubarb Shortbread Crumble Tart with pie server

how to freeze rhubarb (so you never run out!)

Rhubarb is a use-it-or-lose-it kind of thing. It’s only in season from April through June, and after that, it’s gone til next year. When you see it, stock up, and then freeze the extra for rhubarb treats later in the year. You’ll be so glad you did.

  • Wash and dry the rhubarb. Trim the ends off. Slice the stalks into 1/2 inch pieces. If your stalks are wide, slice the whole stalk lengthwise, then cut into pieces.
  • Place the rhubarb slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment or plastic. Keep them in a single layer.
  • Put the pan into the freezer until frozen solid, about 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Put the frozen rhubarb in heavy freezer zip lock bags. Lay the bag flat on the counter, close it most of the way, and then insert a straw into the bag and suck out any remaining air. Zip closed.
  • Label your bag and use your rhubarb within one year.
  • You can use the rhubarb frozen in baked recipes, smoothies, and sauces, etc., so skip the thawing.
9 inch tart pan with removable bottom

a staple in the Great Island kitchen: a 9″tart pan with removable bottom

My tart pans get a workout in my kitchen. I use them for desserts but also for savory tarts and quiches. The removable bottom allows you cut and serve them nicely. I also have a cake lifter, which allows you to slide the tart off the bottom of the pan, too. I do that extra step because I don’t like the metal plate showing when I slice my tarts.

Tart pans come in various dimensions, but if you had to pick just one, I suggest the 9 inch, it’s a good basic size.

A slice of rhubarb shortbread crumble tart with whipped cream

feeding our rhubarb obsession…

a slice of rhubarb shortbread crumble tart with whipped cream
3.78 from 99 votes

Rhubarb Crumble Tart

My Rhubarb Crumble Tart is a juicy rhubarb tart recipe warmed up with vanilla bean and a buttery oatmeal crumble topping.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 10 servings
Calories 342kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 9 inch tart pan



  • 2 heaping cups thinly sliced rhubarb Note: if your rhubarb is thick, slice the whole stalk lengthwise and then chop
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 Tbsp Instant Clearjel thickener, or substitute cornstarch

crust and crumble topping

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (two sticks) at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste, you can also use extract, or the seeds of a vanilla bean
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp rolled oats, for the crumble topping


  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Have a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom ready.
  • Toss the rhubarb with the rest of the filling ingredients in a bowl, mix well, and set aside.
  • Cream the soft butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla paste and salt. Note: it's important that your butter be at room temperature. I like to leave it out overnight when I know I'll be baking.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and mix just until there is no dry flour left. Don't over mix.
  • Take 2/3 of the dough and pat it into the bottom of your tart pan. I like to scatter the dough in crumbles across the bottom, and then start to pat it down. It helps to flour your fingers, or use the bottom of a metal measuring cup to tamp it down. Take the time to get the dough evenly distributed. Note: you're not looking to go up the sides of the pan with the dough, just to make an even flat layer. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  • Mix the remaining dough with the rolled oats, breaking it apart with your fingers to make coarse crumbles.
  • Arrange the rhubarb on top of the bottom crust. Top evenly with the crumbled dough. It’s fine if some of the rhubarb shows through.
  • Set the tart pan on a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until the top is just starting to turn pale golden. I usually lay a sheet of foil loosely over the top for the second half of baking so it doesn’t brown too much.
  • Let the tart cool for 15 minutes on a rack before releasing the bottom from the sides. Finish cooling on the rack.
  • When cool slice the tart into 8 or 10 slices. Serve as is, or with some lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Cook’s notes

  • You can substitute a good gluten free baking mix for the flour. Β 
  • You can use part oat flour for flavor and tenderness in the dough.
  • You can mix in strawberries if you like, or blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.
  • Use almond extract in place of the vanilla.


Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 68mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 578IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
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.

rhubarb crumble tart pin

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    June 6, 2020 at 5:14 am

    How much cornstarch do you use to replace the clear gel?

    • Reply
      June 6, 2020 at 5:21 am

      I would use the same amount.

    • Reply
      June 9, 2020 at 9:27 am

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Jeanne Huntley
    May 24, 2020 at 10:42 am

    4 stars
    I made this tart yesterday,exactly as printed,using my first rhubarb harvest. It is delicious! My family, voted this recipe a definite “keeper” . It is so easy and fast to make and uses such a small amount of rhubarb. suitable for those poor folks that have only a tiny patch. Thank you.

    • Reply
      May 24, 2020 at 11:17 am

      That first rhubarb harvest is always the best!

  • Reply
    Lesley Shay
    April 9, 2020 at 8:46 am

    5 stars
    This is so delicious! I bought the Clearjel you recommended and it worked great! Thank you for a recipe I’ll make over and over again.

    • Reply
      April 9, 2020 at 8:53 am

      I’m so glad you tried the Clearjel, it’s so incredible. I’m really looking forward to summer pie season πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    March 27, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    This looks delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Kate Jackman
    December 8, 2019 at 7:54 pm

    5 stars
    It’s cooling on the rack now, my house smells AMAAAAZING!!! I can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    June 3, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Recipe looks and sounds delicious!!I Thanks for sharing!! love the taste of nutmeg with rhubarb recipes, so will add a touch of it to this recipe.

    • Reply
      June 3, 2019 at 12:19 pm

      Hope you enjoy this one Mary πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Karen D.
    June 2, 2019 at 10:54 am

    Hi Sue – Can’t wait to try the recipe but I also wanted to share…..please do not cut your rhubarb to harvest it. If you pull the stalks, not cut, they will pop out of the plant and grow more. The new stalks come up in the place the pulled stalk was. In northern Indiana I don’t stop harvesting until late October early November and it is just as wonderful, stalk for stalk, as my May harvest. I learned this trick from the 80 year old I got my first plant from. She had rhubarb practically all year – May to November and no one knew how or why. I’m trying to spread the word that this is not just a Spring treat – you can enjoy it all season!!

    • Reply
      June 2, 2019 at 11:15 am

      Great tip Karen, I’m going to try it πŸ™‚ The thought of late season rhubarb is so tempting.

    • Reply
      July 3, 2019 at 6:55 am

      Great tip!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2019 at 12:12 am

    5 stars
    Just pulled this out of the oven … it smells so good I can hardly stand it. I have touched every bit of (perfectly golden!) crumble at least twice trying to find a loose piece to sample. Cannot wait until it cools enough to slice. Thanks for the great recipe. =)

    • Reply
      May 25, 2019 at 10:57 am

      Haha, I absolutely hunt for loose crumbles too πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    May 19, 2019 at 9:40 am

    5 stars
    Just pulled 2 mini ones out of the oven on this cloudy gloomy QC day..LOVELY!

    • Reply
      May 19, 2019 at 10:37 am

      Oooooh, I can smell it now…

  • Reply
    May 9, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    If I’m making a day ahead, is it best kept in the fridge or room temperature? Thanks!

    • Reply
      May 9, 2019 at 2:15 pm

      Room temp, and loosely covered with foil.

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