Rhubarb Crunch

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A little different than rhubarb crisp, this recipe for an old fashioned rhubarb crunch has a brown sugar oatmeal crumble layer on the bottom as well as the top. 

rhubarb crunch in a pan

I hope you’re all enjoying as beautiful of a spring as we are!

I’m excited to bring you several more delicious rhubarb recipes for a second annual rhubarb week. Last year I shared Rhubarb Streusel Muffins, Rhubarb Pie and Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.

What is Rhubarb Crunch?

This year I have several more great rhubarb recipes I’m planning to share and we’re starting off with this rhubarb crunch.

A fruit crunch is similar to fruit crisps, but it has an oatmeal crumble layer on the bottom as well as a top.

Rhubarb Crunch with whipped cream

Similar to a bar, but still gooey enough to eat with a spoon. It’s perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

It’s also very sweet with a generous amount of brown sugar in the crumb layers and plenty of white sugar for the filling. 

Most all of the rhubarb crunch recipes I found were nearly identical. The one below is a combination of two I found in some of my church cookbooks. 

rhubarb crunch in a pan

How to Make Rhubarb Crunch? 

First you’ll start by making a brown sugar oatmeal crumb layer. Melt some butter and add oatmeal, flour and brown sugar. Mix until crumbly.

Press half of these crumbs on the bottom of the pan. Then top with some chopped rhubarb. You can use fresh or frozen.

If you choose to use frozen rhubarb. See the section below on how to use frozen rhubarb in this rhubarb crunch recipe. 

The next step of the recipe is what makes the rhubarb crunch unique. You boil a mixture of water, sugar and cornstarch until thickened and bubbly.

Then pour the mixture over the rhubarb in the pan. Top with the remaining half of the oatmeal crumb mixture and bake for about an hour. 

rhubarb crunch

Like most fruit crisps, I think a crunch is best served warm with ice cream or whipped cream, but the leftovers were sure delicious the next day, eaten cold straight from the refrigerator. 

How to use frozen rhubarb in this recipe? 

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. 

You’ll want to plan ahead to use frozen rhubarb. Depending on the temperature of the room, it takes 4-6 hours to thaw a quart of rhubarb completely.

So you may want to take it out of the freezer the night before. When in a pinch, I’ve also used the auto defrost feature on the microwave to give it a head start, just be careful not to heat it too high and cook it. You just want to quicken the thawing process. 

rhubarb crunch with whipped cream

Other Rhubarb Dessert Recipes to Try

These Rhubarb Bars are one of the most popular recipes on my site. Just try them. 

Rhubarb Coffee Cake makes a delicious addition to breakfast or brunch.

Some of my blogging friends have some creative, fun rhubarb recipes as well. Try this No Churn Rhubarb Ice Cream from Our Table for Seven. Or this Strawberry Rhubarb Galette from 365 Days of Baking

rhubarb crunch

Have you ever made rhubarb crunch? Was it a family favorite growing up? Let me know in the comments. 

rhubarb crunch in a pan

Rhubarb Crunch

4.53 from 17 votes
A little different than rhubarb crisp, this recipe for old fashioned rhubarb crunch has a brown sugar oatmeal crumble layer on the bottom as well as the top. 
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Additional Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 50 mins
Course: Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 9 servings


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking oatmeal
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving


  • Preheat oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, melted butter and cinnamon until crumbly. Press 1/2 of the crumb mixture into a greased 9 x 9 inch or 11 x 7 inch baking pan.
  • Spread the diced rhubarb in the pan. In a small saucepan, combine the white sugar, water and cornstarch. Bring to a boil over low heat. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture is thick and clear. Pour over the rhubarb in the baking pan. Top with the remaining 1/2 of the crumb mixture.
  • Bake for 1 hour. Cool at least slightly before serving. To serve, cut into squares and top with ice cream or whipped cream. Best served warm.


Serving: 1piece · Calories: 370kcal · Carbohydrates: 63g · Protein: 3g · Fat: 13g · Saturated Fat: 8g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g · Cholesterol: 34mg · Sodium: 103mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 46g
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  1. Jen says

    This totally reminds me on my childhood. My mom used to make this for us all the time. I just love rhubarb.

  2. Julie says

    5 stars
    My grandkids and friend love this. I now am making 3 more using your recipe. This recipe has made my daughter a rhubarb love. Thank you

  3. Marguerite says

    5 stars
    this is the recipe I had and lost – so glad to have found it here – (I reduce the sugar in the water-cornstarch mixture to a little less than three-quarter cup – and it’s still plenty sweet

  4. Shelley W. says

    This looks very much like a recipe my Grandma made when I was a child, but she used rhubarb paired with cranberries. I seem to remember she put the cranberries on top of the rhubarb pieces. it was delicious too, though just slightly tart. I do love that sweet/tart crossover. She paired cranberry, rhubarb and strawberries cooked like a compote with a wee bit of ginger and nutmeg and then tucked into pre-baked shortbread tart crusts, topped with a little cinnamon whipped cream.. Gee, now I’m drooling, I wish Grandma was still alive. Thank you sooo much for the recipe and for bringing back some lovely memories. Happy baking!

  5. Jacq says

    Okay, followed the recipe, had doubts at stage 2, looked like the picture but completely inedible. If I try again will be without cornflour and half the sugar. Seriously, 3 cups?

  6. Barb says

    5 stars
    This is absolutely delicious. My husband couldn’t stop complimenting me on the recipe. Made just like recipe but only had 3 cups of rhubarb. Still wonderful.

  7. Daphne says

    5 stars
    This rhubarb crunch is absolutely delicious! My nephew, who is 10 years old, requested the recipe so that he could make it for when they had company coming over 🙂 It’s a definite keeper!!

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