Rhubarb Bars are dessert bars that start with a mouth-watering, buttery crust and then topped and baked with a filling using fresh rhubarb. Try my Strawberry Bars for another delicious summertime treat!
It’s summertime here in the midwest, which means the rhubarb is growing in abundance! So, it makes sense to use it up in as many recipes as possible, like this one and my Rhubarb Strawberry Cheesecake! You can find rhubarb at your local farmers’ markets if you don’t have any growing near you. Or, pick some up at a grocery store.
Rhubarb Bars Ingredients
There are two parts to this rhubarb bars recipe–the crust and the filling. It’s an easy dessert bar to get baked and share (or enjoy the pan of bars all to yourself).Crust: In the crust, you will use cold butter. It’s one of the few times that I will not recommend you to use room temperature butter. Using cold butter will give the crust that flakiness.
Rhubarb: You will need 3 1/2 cups of diced rhubarb in this recipe. For reference, a pound of rhubarb will yield about 3 cups when diced.
Let’s Talk Rhubarb
The experts will recommend “choose stalks that are fresh looking, crisp and blemish free…look for smaller leaves, which is also an indication of a younger stalk. Avoid limp stalks and stalks with split ends.” That’s fine and dandy if you are aiming to be the next Martha Stewart, but not how we do it.
I don’t look for perfection, I don’t mind a few blemishes, and there is nothing wrong with a large leaf or a split end. You cut those off anyway! I’ve used big huge stalks and small stalks. They all add something amazing to whatever dessert you are preparing. All rhubarb is good rhubarb in these parts.
If you are using rhubarb that is a little sweeter, you may want to decrease the sugar in the recipe for a more tart taste. We have not tested this recipe with frozen rhubarb, but if you use that, be sure to let it thaw before adding it to the filling mixture.
How to Make the Crust
These bars start with a flaky, buttery crust. To make the crust, simply combine flour, confectioners sugar, and cold butter in a bowl. I prefer to use my clean hands here, but you can absolutely use a food processor or a pastry cutter. There is just something so satisfying about making it yourself though.
Once the ingredients are well combined and the butter pieces are no bigger than a pea, press the mixture into a 9×9-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Bake the crust for 12-15 minutes at 350°F; the edges will just start to golden. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.
How to Make Rhubarb Bars
While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In a large bowl, first, beat the eggs. Next, add the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. I just use a whisk to fully incorporate everything. Then, add in the diced rhubarb and stir by hand, making sure every piece of rhubarb is fully coated.
Pour the filling over the hot crust and (using oven mitts) tap the dish on the counter so that it settles a bit. Place the bars back into the oven for 35-40 minutes. So how do you tell when it’s done? The center should not jiggle and the rhubarb should not be burned.
Check the bars at 30 minutes. If they seem like they are getting too dark, carefully place a piece of foil over the bars and continue baking. Allow the bars to rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes before serving. If you want to serve the bars warm from the oven, the filling will not be fully set.
If you want to refrigerate the bars and serve later (my recommendation), the filling will be fully set and you will get perfectly square pieces when you cut them out. Store the bars in a sealed container, in the refrigerator, for up to a week.
Looking for More Dessert Bars?
- ½ cup (1 stick or 113g) butter, cold and diced
- ⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1¼ cup (250g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (31g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3½ cups diced rhubarb
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, blend the flour, confectioners sugar, and butter. You can use a food processor or pastry cutter, but I prefer my hands. You want the butter to be no bigger than a pea size and the ingredients to be well incorporated.
- Press into the lined pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes. (The edges should just barely start to golden.)
- In a medium bowl, lightly beat two eggs. Add sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Gently fold in the diced rhubarb.
- Pour mixture over the hot crust. Bake for another 35-40 minutes or until filling is almost set.
- Allow bars to cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. You can serve them slightly warm or refrigerate until ready to serve.