30+ rhubarb recipes perfect for springtime parties, brunches and entertaining! Cakes, pies, cocktails, muffins, sauces and more!
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Can we all agree that rhubarb is a little strange?
I think everyone has an idea of what rhubarb is, but no one is quite certain how it should be used and whether it’s a fruit, vegetable…or something else.
Rhubarb is the ultimate “adulting” flavor when it comes to desserts. I would guess we’ve all had a slice of rhubarb pie as a kid and thought it was the weirdest dessert ever, but now…I could live off of rhubarb desserts!
Consider yourself lucky if you have a big, beautiful rhubarb plant in your backyard. There are so many delicious desserts to make with this peculiar plant! The opportunities are truly endless from pies and cakes to drinks and sauces.
But what exactly is rhubarb? A plant? Vegetable or fruit? Sweet or sour? Poisonous?!
The questions were many from readers and myself, so I dug in and did some research on this deliciously odd ingredient.
What is rhubarb?
I’ll be honest. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was, but I knew I loved the tart flavor it added to pies and desserts.
Rhubarb is considered a vegetable, but it is often used as a fruit in pies, cobblers, tarts and other dessert treats.
Rhubarb stalks are sold in grocery stores and farmer’s markets across the U.S. – generally from April to June when the stalks have the sweetest flavors.
Rhubarb stalks are green, pink or red in color, like celery but prettier. The redder the stalk the sweeter the flavor.
What does rhubarb taste like?
A perfectly cooked rhubarb will give a pie a delicious and gentle tartness.
If eaten raw, rhubarb is extremely bitter and sour which is why most rhubarb desserts include strawberries or sugar to balance out the sour and sweet flavors. Typically, the stalks are sliced into bite-sized pieces for baking.
Rhubarb is a fibrous vegetable, like celery, but without the crispness. The texture is more like a bite into a walnut: smooth but with a slight crunch.
Is rhubarb poisonous?
Rest assured, there is not a recipe for poison pie on TRR! The rhubarb stalks are not poisonous; however, the leaves at the top of the stalks are extremely toxic to humans.
Before preparing rhubarb, cut and discard the leaves and only use the stalks for eating. The leaves are not edible and should not be used for garnish or in any way touch the food.
How to freeze rhubarb
Rhubarb freezes like a dream!
If you are like me and want to try all the fruit and rhubarb combinations year-round, your freezer is your friend.
However, rhubarb tends to turn mushy after freezing and defrosting, so it’s best used in baking and sauces or recipes where it will be cooked.
I recommend cutting into pieces and storing them in the freezer.
You can even label the containers to remember exactly how much and what it’s for: 2 cups rhubarb, muffins/scones.
Here’s how to freeze fresh rhubarb:
- Slice rhubarb and place in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Place in the freezer until pieces are frozen.
- Place in resealable bags or containers labeled with contents, amount and recipe details.
The frozen rhubarb can be added to any recipe while still frozen for the perfect baked goods!
Here are some of my favorite rhubarb recipes, and a few from my favorite bloggers! If you’re wondering what to do with a plentiful rhubarb, we’ve got you covered with springtime desserts and more 🙂
Rhubarb Cake Recipes
Rhubarb Cake with Vanilla Sauce – Loaded with rhubarb and topped with warm vanilla sauce, this cake is the ultimate Springtime dessert!
Rhubarb Streusel Coffee Cake – This moist rhubarb coffee cake is perfect for brunch and topped with a delicious toasted pecan and coconut streusel.
Norwegian Rhubarb and Almond Cake – A light, delicate and full of delicious rhubarb it’s the perfect breakfast or a snack.
Rhubarb Coffee Cake – Topped with whipped cream, this coffee cake is ideal for springtime entertaining.
Rhubarb Dessert Recipes
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars – What do you get when you combine oatmeal cookies and tangy fruits? These Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars, a portable summer dessert!
Rhubarb Crisp Recipe (with crunchy brown sugar streusel!) – Crunchy, crispy oatmeal tops tart rhubarb for a delicious dessert just begging for a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Recipe – A delicious rhubarb crisp with oatmeal topping! Swap out the berries for other fruit combinations you already have one hand.
Rhubarb and Greek Yogurt Popsicles – A healthy twist and tangy dessert in a popsicle! So rich with full fat Greek yogurt and rhubarb jam!
Rhubarb Tart – Stunning for the eyes and taste buds! Rhubarb weaves over the tops of a sweet almond filling and a buttery shortbread crust.
Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Dessert – A sugar cookie crust with chopped rhubarb, strawberries and custard give this dessert the perfect balance of textures and flavors.
Roasted Rhubarb and Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream – A unique flavor combination makes this ice cream dream the only reason you need to buy an ice cream machine!
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler – Tender cobbler, sweet strawberries with rhubarb make a delicious combination.
Rhubarb Raspberry Fool – You’d be a fool not to love a dessert that’s mostly whipped cream and sweetened fruit. Never can get enough!
No Bake Rhubarb Dream Bars – Served chilled or frozen, this light and fluffy treat is a great way to welcome rhubarb season.
Rhubarb Drink Recipes
Rhubarb Moscow Mule – A classic Moscow Mule with the tart addition of homemade rhubarb syrup!
Rhubarb Slush – A refreshing summer beverage, this slush can be made with or without booze, but the perfect treat for sipping by the pool.
Strawberry Rhubarb Rosé Sangria – Rosé all day with an upgrade of simple syrup made with tart rhubarb. This wine cocktail is the BEST summer beverage!
Sparkling Rhubarb Margarita Recipe – There’s nothing better than a homemade margarita. Add in the unique flavors of rhubarb and you’ve got a one of a kind refreshment.
Rosemary Rhubarb Daiquiris – A unique blend of rosemary and rhubarb for an earthy-flavored cocktail.
Rhubarb Pisco Sour – All of the elements of a Whiskey Sour, but with the added flair of rhubarb and Pisco!
Strawberry Rhubarb Shandy – Make it a shandy without the brewing hassle! It’s a beautiful mix of pureed fruit and light beer – perfect all summer long!
Rhubarb Muffin Recipes
Rhubarb Muffins – Warm flavors of cinnamon and the tartness of rhubarb give these muffins a little something extra.
Healthy Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins – Whole grains and no refined sugar in the most delicious muffins! Fluffy insides and crunch tops!
Rhubarb Streusel Muffins – These rhubarb streusel muffins are made with earthy walnuts and tart rhubarb then topped with a crunchy, sugary streusel.
Strawberry Basil Rhubarb Muffins – Classic rhubarb muffins finished with a sweet basil glaze.
Rhubarb Pie Recipes
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie – Strawberries and rhubarb give this pie the perfect balance of sweet, tart and full of summer flavor!
Rhubarb Custard Pie – So decadent with rich egg custard filling and the unique flavor of rhubarb.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe – This pie just looks like summer! Fresh strawberries, tart rhubarb and a flaky pie crust and topped with a lattice design.
Rhubarb Crisp Pie Recipe with Butter Oatmeal Crumbs – A wonderful balance of a crisp and pie! With buttery oatmeal crumble and sweet rhubarb filling.
Rhubarb Pie – A creamy custard inside, combined with the unique texture of rhubarb, gives this pie a sweet richness!
Other Rhubarb Recipes
Rhubarb Sauce Recipe – A quick and easy topping for cake, ice cream, yogurt, pancakes and more!
Rhubarb Bread Recipe – This quick bread is perfect for an afternoon cup of tea or a sweet treat for breakfast.
Rhubarb Curd – The perfect spread for pancakes, toast or even right out of the jar!
Rhubarb Sauce – The best way to enjoy this compote is spooned over vanilla ice cream with crushed graham crackers!