Rhubarb Crunch

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Old-fashioned Rhubarb Crunch begins with a brown sugar oatmeal crumble layer that is topped with fresh rhubarb and then it is finished with a second layer of crumble over the top.

The Strawberry Rhubarb Fruit Crisp is an ever-popular dessert in the summertime and this crunch variation takes it to an even tastier new level.

Rhubarb Crunch

I hope you’re enjoying as beautiful of a spring as we are! I’m so happy to be deep into rhubarb season and I’m looking forward to more fruit desserts through the summer as well.

I’m excited to be working on more rhubarb recipes again this year. We have so many to share and I’m working through a list of them for you!

So far, I’ve shared a Rhubarb Crisp, Rhubarb Cake with Butter Sauce, Rhubarb Bars, Old Fashioned Rhubarb Pie and the Double Crumb Rhubarb Coffee Cake.

This No Churn Rhubarb Ice Cream from Our Table for Seven and this Strawberry Rhubarb Galette from 365 Days of Baking are also on my list to try soon.

What is a 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.

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.

A generous amount of brown sugar in the crumb layers and plenty of white sugar for the filling nicely balances the tartness of the rhubarb.

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Crunch

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, you’ll want to check out the section below on how to use frozen rhubarb in this rhubarb crunch recipe. 

Rhubarb Crunch

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. 

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

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Crunch is a sweet and tangy favorite.

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.

Rhubarb Crunch is an easy dessert for any occasion.

Rhubarb Crunch Recipe

  1. 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.
  2. 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 the sugar mixture over the rhubarb in the baking pan. Top with the remaining crumb mixture.
  3. 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.
Old Fashioned Rhubarb Crunch
Old Fashioned Rhubarb Crunch

Rhubarb Crunch

4.58 from 19 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: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 9 servings

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece · Calories: 370kcal · Carbohydrates: 63g · Protein: 3g · Fat: 13g · Saturated Fat: 8g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g · Cholesterol: 34mg · Sodium: 103mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 46g
Tried this recipe?Mention @chocolatewithgrace or tag #chocolatewithgrace!

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{originally published 4/11/19 – recipe notes and photos updated 5/25/21}

Rhubarb Crunch is an old-fashioned dessert that we all love!

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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!!

    • Mary says

      That should work fine, Taylor. The crunch will have a slightly more defined texture this way. I use both kinds of oats when I make this.

  8. Pat Gerbrandt says

    I’m about to bake this. In the bottom version of the ingredients, water is included, but that line is missing from the ingredients at the top of the page and on the photo.

    • Mary says

      Yes, you do need the water. It isn’t always listed with ingredients you’ll need to gather or have on hand, but it is in the recipe card and instructions. Happy baking!

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