Rhubarb Cookies

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These Rhubarb Cookies get rave reviews every single time someone tries them. The rhubarb keeps them extra soft and gives a fun flavor twist to old-fashioned oatmeal cookies.

Rhubarb Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

We still have fresh rhubarb available locally so I’m excited to bring you a few more rhubarb recipes, starting with these rhubarb cookies.

When I first heard of rhubarb cookies, I was a bit skeptical, but if you are an old-fashioned oatmeal cookie fan, you will love these rhubarb cookies. The rhubarb keeps them extra soft and moist.

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I chose to frost some of them with cream cheese frosting and others I left plain and sprinkled with coarse sugar right after they came out of the oven for a pretty sparkle.

Some of my testers loved the frosting version and the extra sweetness it gave and others preferred the old-fashioned unfrosted the best.

Rhubarb Cookies

These are very similar to traditional oatmeal cookies. The only extra ingredient you need is rhubarb. You’ll dice it small and then stir it in at the end.

You can even use frozen rhubarb, just be sure to thaw and drain it completely before using it in the cookies.

Rhubarb Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

How To Make Rhubarb Cookies

You’ll begin by making sure your butter and eggs are room temperature. Then cream together the butter and sugar, beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients and last gently fold in the rhubarb. 

I chill my cookie dough for about 30 minutes before baking. The humidity of the room, the protein content of your all-purpose flour, and how cold the butter is are all factors that affect how much the cookies will spread in the oven.

I find chilling the dough for about 30 minutes is about the perfect length of time for a soft, pillowy cookie.

I recommend doing a test cookie first and then if it spreads a bit too much, chill the dough a bit longer.

Also, always use room temperature pans to bake on. If you place your cookie dough balls on a warm cookie sheet, they will spread more in the oven.

Soft and chewy Rhubarb Oatmeal Cookies

Variations on Rhubarb Cookies

Here are some flavor variations you can make to this cookie recipe to make the perfect rhubarb cookie for you.

Turn this recipe into lemon rhubarb cookies by adding the zest of a lemon to the batter with the eggs. 

Substitute half of the oatmeal in the recipe for shredded coconut to make coconut rhubarb cookies

Add 2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans in place of ½ cup of oatmeal for a rhubarb nut cookie. What is your perfect rhubarb cookie recipe? Let me know in the comments.

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Recipes

Rhubarb season is a favorite around here. I have a whole collection of other old-fashioned rhubarb recipes to make next. Be sure to check them out below. 

If you make these rhubarb cookies, let me know in the comments and leave me a review on the recipe. I love hearing from you when you make my recipes. 

Rhubarb Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Rhubarb Cookies

4.62 from 26 votes
Rhubarb Cookies always get rave reviews. The rhubarb keeps them extra soft and give a fun flavor twist to old fashioned oatmeal cookies. 
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Servings: 48 cookies


For the Cookies

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup quick cooking oatmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups rhubarb finely diced (see note below about using frozen rhubarb)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting (if desired)

  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 – 3 tablespoons of milk as needed.


  • Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, oatmeal, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Gently stir in the rhubarb.
  • Drop dough by tablespoons onto a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Let cool on the tray for 2 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting Directions

  • To make the cream cheese frosting, beat the cream cheese and the butter until combined and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add milk as needed to get a spreadable consistency.


You can make this recipe using fresh or frozen rhubarb. If you choose to use frozen rhubarb thaw the rhubarb first and let any excess liquid drain off. Don’t squeeze any liquid out, just drain what naturally thaws out of the rhubarb.
If the cookies are spreading too much, the dough is probably too warm. Chill the dough for 30 minutes or longer and then try baking. Variations in the temperature of the butter, protein content of the flour, and water content of the rhubarb can all have an impact on how much the cookies spread.
Thanks to the rhubarb, these cookies will be softer the second day. Store tightly covered or freeze for longer storage.


Serving: 1cookie · Calories: 130kcal · Carbohydrates: 18g · Protein: 2g · Fat: 6g · Saturated Fat: 4g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g · Cholesterol: 23mg · Sodium: 126mg · Sugar: 10g
Tried this recipe?Mention @chocolatewithgrace or tag #chocolatewithgrace!

{originally published 5/7/19 – recipe notes and photos updated 6/1/21}

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Cookies
Soft and chewy Rhubarb Cookies

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  1. julie says

    I love getting fresh rhubarb from my local farmer’s market! Can’t wait to make these cookies.

  2. Trang says

    I have to shamelessly admit that I have never had a rhubarb cookie so I can’t wait to make this!

  3. Jocelyn says

    My kids finished off a batch of these cookies in no time at all. We all preferred the frosting on top too!

    • Linda says

      My cookie dough isn’t dough like cookie dough should be. Mine is real crumbly. What is wrong? No way could I drop by teaspoon. Help

      • Mary says

        Without being in your kitchen, it’s hard to guess, Linda. How are you measuring your flour? Are you scooping it? or spooning it into the cup and then leveling it? The most common reason for dry dough is too much flour.

    • Mallory says

      I added it to the recipe: Here it is for reference:

      You can make this recipe using fresh or frozen rhubarb. If you choose to use frozen rhubarb thaw the rhubarb first and let any excess liquid drain off. Don’t squeeze any liquid out, just drain what naturally thaws out of the rhubarb.

  4. Lauren says

    Very good cookies though I can’t taste much rhubarb loll.

    Note to readers: I used freshly picked rhubarb from my mother in laws garden, froze it for a few days, then let it thaw the day of baking and it was REALLY hard to chop up. This is my first time working with rhubarb and maybe it’s supposed to be this way, but it was really soft and didn’t cut well and thus the pieces came out stringy.

    Also note to reader and author: the recipe says to drop teaspoonfuls of dough on the sheet and we did that for the first batch but they are REALLY small. Is it possible it’s supposed to say tablespoon? We did tablespoon for all the subsequent batches. Cooking time was the same as listed in recipe for both variations.

  5. BETTY SMITH says

    I collect recipes: I copy them and put in a special folder on my computer
    so was very disappointed that I couldn’t copy any of these they look delicious
    Betty Smith Alaska.

  6. Jane says

    4 stars
    My Mom makes strawberry rhubarb jam and strawberry rhubarb custard pie. These cookies sound fantastic.
    You suggested substituting coconut for half the oatmeal. Or pecans for half the oatmeal. Do you think I could substitute both? No oatmeal?

  7. Denise Eul says

    5 stars
    I made the delicious rhubarb cookies! I however will add more cinnamon and rhubarb next time!

  8. Mindy says

    5 stars
    Everyone at my job loved them
    Didn’t even frost them
    Even the guy who hates oatmeal, lol
    Strings in the rhubarb usually means that it was too big. Don’t use any bigger than one-inch stalks

  9. Diane says

    Made these rhubarb cookies as per recipe with the exception of adding walnuts . Did have to flatten a little prior to baking for 17 minutes . Iced with cream cheese icing ( although really did not need it ) ! Excellent cookies !

  10. Diane Neuhring says

    These are very good. I doubled the recipe, and made a single batch of cream cheese frosting. The first pan I scooped with my cookie scoop, they did not flatten out, so next pan I dipped rounded bottom of scoop in Cinn./ sugar and just mopressed alittle in middle and they were perfect. This repcipe will be used many times. My husband agrees and my daughter is on her way to pick some up for camping. Thank You for this great recipe.

  11. SuSu says

    I have not made these yet. Plan on in the morning. I think I am going to cut up some strawberries I have in the refrigerator and add.

  12. Cathy Noonan says

    5 stars
    What a hit! These cookies are the best! I just have one question…….has anyone tried freezing them once they are frosted?

  13. Kathy says

    5 stars
    OMG, these were fantastic!! Loved them!! Hubby liked them frosted, I could eat them either way. Very good recipe. I used fresh rhubarb, it takes time to cut up into tiny pieces otherwise it’s an easy recipe. I baked some with my medium cookie scoop and some with the small cookie scoop. Either way was fine, I did bake for 16-17 minutes, until lightly browned. My husband already asked for another batch and also wants me to freeze rhubarb so I can make in the winter!! Highly recommend!!

  14. AndyB says

    1 star
    All I can taste is baking soda 🙁 Guess I should have covered them with frosting to cover up the taste.
    That was a lot of dicing for a big disappointment.

    • Stefanie says

      Unfortunate I agree with Andy, and I did frost them. They also turned out very dense, but this is probably due to flour being different in a lot of countries.

      • Mary says

        Stefanie – That is not a comment I have gotten often on this recipe. Interesting how our taste buds work.

  15. Linda Schirer says

    My daughter-in-law made them over Memorial weekend. They were delicious. She frosted some of them but most of us preferred the ones without frosting. And, like you said they were even better the next day. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Cynthia Lee Weber says

    5 stars
    I was really excited to make these cookies, I have rhubarb in my garden and don’t really use it much. These sounded good to me, anyway I made them. Most of my family and friends loved them. Especially my granddaughters (8&6) so that made so happy, since they were eating a fruit they normally wouldn’t touch! I’m sure the frosting helps, but I’ll take it! 🙂

  17. D says

    5 stars
    My boyfriend and I mixed them up last night. I had cut up the rhubarb earlier. We put them in the refrigerator overnight and I baked them this morning. No time for icing and he is Diabetic so I did not sprinkle any coarse sugar on top. He loved them. They did not flatten out while baking. One of the reviews mentioned pushing them down before baking as hers did not flatten either… Fine as they are… Wonderful recipe.

  18. Alley says

    4 stars
    Love the taste. But I wonder why my cookies got soggy the next day… did I not bake them long enough? They were golden brown and just perfect out of the oven. It was only after I stored them (many hours of cooling off later) the next day that it was noticed that they were soggy almost as if they weren’t baked at all! I used fresh rhubarb and not frozen.

    • Mary says

      Hi Alley, the rhubarb does add a good bit of moisture. The humidity of the air will affect them, as will storing them tightly covered.

  19. Linda B says

    5 stars
    Love the cookies. I made today for our VFW Auxiliary bake sale. I too would add more cinnamon and rhubarb. I was expecting a flatter cookie so will flatten some of them next time but I do like the pillowy softness too. Instead of the cream cheese frosting, I melted white chips and drizzled over the top of the cookies. Nice touch along with sugar crystals.

  20. Connie Grillot says

    5 stars
    Turned out great. Could use less baking soda. Why 2 tsp?
    I also increased cinnamon to 1 tsp.

    • Mary says

      I’m glad you liked the bars, Connie. Feel free to tweak the recipe to your tastes next time. Happy baking!

  21. Gina says

    5 stars
    This recipe is a keeper. I made a double batch and shared with many friends and neighbors, and everyone enjoyed them. I’ll definitely add walnuts next time, and make it a bigger cookie that I gently flatten a bit as these didn’t spread (I didn’t refrigerate the dough either). This will be a recipe I keep in my rotation for sure.

  22. Shirley says

    These are a fantastic use of rhubarb & so delicious!
    I made a half recipe, swapped 1/2 of the oatmeal for walnuts & sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar, when they were still warm.
    To “bake,” I spooned tablespoons onto a paper plate & microwaved them 1 minute 30 seconds. I let them sit on the plate for a few minutes to cool.

  23. Carole says

    5 stars
    Made the rhubarb cookies with fresh rhubarb from my garden. I gave them to a friend for his birthday, he loved them. Had some left over, some with cream cheese some plain, they are amazing either way. This recipe will be printed and in my cookbook. Thank you for Oshawa, Ontario

  24. Lois says

    5 stars
    I have never liked rhubarb, but a neighbor have me some newly picked, so I thought I would give cookies a try. This recipe was so simple, and I already had everything on hand except the rhubarb. Easy, delicious, moist. What more could you ask for in a cookie?

  25. Patty says

    2 stars
    Let me start out with this…I am NOT a baker. I followed the directions in your first description on how to add the ingredients. So I added them one after the other. Then when I looked further down I saw I was supposed mix the wet ingredients together and the dry ingredients together in separate bowls. Then add them together. Well, needless to say, they came out dry and never flatten out at all.

    • Mary says

      Hi Patty, I can certainly appreciate your frustration with the recipe. Unfortunately, it sounds as if you missed the part of the directions where it states “in a separate bowl.”

      As written above, first you beat the butter, sugar, and eggs until fluffy. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder. Then you’ll add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just combined.

  26. Megan says

    5 stars
    Great recipe. Next time I will add a little bit more cinnamon.
    I also quartered the bigger stalks of rhubarb before chopping them finely.

    My kids and husband loved them with and without the frosting.

  27. Sue says

    5 stars
    Very good recipe. I made half of a batch. After I put the dough on the pan I pushed them down a little bit. I did use frozen rhubarb and drained out the juice.

  28. Gladys Matkowski says

    I prefer a more firm cookie…..how do you suggest I make rhubarb cookies that are not soft?
    Tk u.

    • Mary says

      Rhubarb adds a good bit of moisture. This is definitely a cake-like cookie. I haven’t figured out a crunchy version just yet, Gladys.

  29. Robin Peters says

    5 stars
    I love rhubarb and I love this recipe! I didn’t have light brown sugar so I used dark brown sugar instead. After I added the oatmeal I decided to still add a half cup of chopped walnuts. The frosting sounds great, but to keep the calories a little bit lower I made balls with the dough and rolled them in sugar before baking. I had to put some of the cookie in zip-lock bags in the freezer as soon as they were cool so that they wouldn’t all get eaten today! I will definitely make these again!

    • Mary says

      Robin – Your version sounds delicious. I truly enjoy knowing how my readers customize the recipes to fit their tastes and needs. I am so glad you liked this one.

  30. McInelly says

    4 stars
    I like this recipe. I added about a 1/3 cup of homemade apple butter as I am trying to use it up. I left the rest of the recipe as it was. If I wasn’t using the apple butter, I would increase the cinnamon. I haven’t tried them with the frosting yet, but think they are great without. I also think I would enjoy them with pecans. My batter was wet after adding fresh rhubarb. I put it in fridge for bit and they baked just fine.

    • Mary says

      I’m glad you were able to adjust the recipe to suit your needs, Deb. For some people, a little bit of rhubarb goes a long way, but it’s just a matter of taste. Enjoy the cookies!

  31. Irene Williams says

    I want to make these for my neighbourhood kids but one of them is gluten intolerant. Have you ever used gluten free flour in this recipe?

    • Mary says

      I haven’t tried that myself, Irene. If you have a GF flour blend with which you’ve had success, it’s worth a try.

  32. Kathy says

    5 stars
    Loved the recipe . I will add a little less flour next time as they were hard to mix but they baked up beautifully and kept their shape no icing needed lobbed them as is ! Another great rhubarb recipe thank you for sharing .

  33. Suz Van says

    5 stars
    Delicious! After reading most of the reviews I dove right in. I used the smallest Pampered Chef cookie scoop and have perfect bite sized cookies.
    I used quick cook steel cut oats and created a crisper outcome. Delicious.
    Also used an entire lemons zest yet couldn’t taste it. Loved the added walnuts and finishing sugars, no frosting needed.
    Will make again since I never made a cookie recipe for rhubarb. Nice change from the typical pie. Thank You!!!

    • Mary says

      I’m so glad you found a way to make the recipe work for you, Suz! Adding steel cut oats sounds like a delicious twist on the recipe. Enjoy!