This delicious rhubarb crisp dessert is easy to make and packed full of a summer favorite fruit – perfect for transitioning into the warmer months.
Perhaps my favorite thing about rhubarb is its versatility. You won’t just find it in desserts and sweets. It’s got its place on a savory menu too! And its short season time means it’s great for picking in bulk, freezing, and using throughout the year.
So, when I find myself craving something sweet, I pick up this rhubarb crisp recipe. A rhubarb dessert is great all year round (at least I think so), but there’s something about the crunch of the streusel topping and the sweetness of cooked rhubarb that fits the colder months perfectly.
If you’re wondering what to do with rhubarb that’s hanging around in your freezer, my easy rhubarb crisp is a budget and beginner-friendly recipe that’ll wow all your friends. Or you might like my beginner-friendly rhubarb jam recipe.
What Is the Difference Between Rhubarb Crisp and Crumble?
Don’t confuse this recipe for rhubarb crisp with a rhubarb crumble. They’ve got a few key differences. Rhubarb crisp – or rhubarb crunch as it’s sometimes known – is a crumble but with oats in the streusel.
A rhubarb crumble may also include nuts, but is usually just a simple combination of butter, flour, and sugar that is more clumpy than that of a crisp. There’s more crunch to a rhubarb crisp than you’ll find in a crumble.
Rhubarb Crisp with Oats Ingredients
For the filling, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients:
- Rhubarb: You can use fresh stalks if they’re in season, though you can also use frozen.
- Sugar: I use white sugar but you can also use brown sugar.
- Flour: I use all-purpose white flour. To make gluten-free crisp, use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (like King Arthur’s or Bob’s Red Mill).
- Cinnamon: To add lots of flavor and warmth.
- Lemon: I used both lemon juice and some lemon zest to offset the sweetness of this rhubarb crunch recipe.
For the oat topping, you’ll need:
- Rolled oats: To make a super crispy topping. Use gluten-free certified oats if necessary.
- Brown sugar: I use brown sugar to take advantage of the molasses flavor. Unrefined coconut sugar would also work. Or just use white sugar.
- All-purpose flour: Use all-purpose white flour or, if needed, an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend.
- Cinnamon: For extra flavor.
- Butter: Use dairy or dairy-free butter, cold from the fridge.
- Salt: Just a pinch to balance and enhance the flavor of the ingredients.
- Pecans: I love adding a handful of pecans but they are completely optional.
If Using Frozen Rhubarb, Should I Thaw It First Before Baking?
If you’re using frozen rhubarb, just add it directly to the rhubarb dessert recipe from the freezer. You might need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time.
How to Make Rhubarb Crisp
Preheat the oven to 375°F/190ºC.
If you’re working with fresh rhubarb, wash and rinse the stalks and cut them into ½ inch pieces. Be sure to remove all of the leaves before chopping.
Place the rhubarb into a prepared baking dish. Then add the sugar, flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, and cinnamon. Toss to combine.
Separately, cube the butter – it should be cold from the fridge.
Then, in a large bowl, combine the butter with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. I like to use my fingers to combine the ingredients, forming little crumbs. You can also use a fork.
Once mixed, add the rolled oats and chopped pecans (if using) and toss to combine.
Sprinkle the streusel over the rhubarb mixture.
Bake for 35 minutes or so until the rhubarb is tender and the crisp topping is a golden brown color. Allow cooling for 5-10 minutes before serving.
How to Serve Rhubarb Crisp
Traditionally, there are two ways to serve a rhubarb crisp recipe with oats – with ice cream or cream.
- You can buy ice cream from the store, but it’s so easy to make on your own. And rhubarb is a versatile enough carrier for a flavor that you can really be bold with your choices. Maybe try a sweet caramel or a fruity yogurt and raspberry combo that compliments the cooked rhubarb really well. And if you’re really in a pinch, you can try some simple vanilla that can be made in minutes.
- A vanilla custard is also super easy to make – and a really popular way to enjoy rhubarb crisp in the UK. Similar to a crème anglaise, custard can be used for dozens of dessert recipes – so having it in your recipe book is a great idea.
How to Freeze Rhubarb Crisp
You can freeze this rhubarb crisp before or after you bake it. If baked, make sure it’s completely cooled before freezing.
Cover the baking dish with foil or an airtight seal and put it in the freezer. It should keep for several months, so long as it’s wrapped tightly. Alternatively, you can freeze it in individual portions in freezer-safe containers or bags so you’ve got an easy dessert that’ll reheat in minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.
More Dessert Recipes
If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Easy Rhubarb Crisp Recipe
- 21 oz rhubarb 6 cups chopped, fresh or frozen
- 4 oz white sugar ½ cup
- 1 oz all-purpose flour 3 Tbsp
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1/2 small lemon
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 oz rolled oats 1 cup
- 3.7 oz brown sugar ¾ cup
- 1.7 oz all-purpose flour ⅓ cup
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 oz butter ⅓ cup, cold
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup pecans optional
- Baking dish 9×13 inch (23×33 cm)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190ºC.
- Wash and rinse the rhubarb stalks and cut them into ½ inch pieces. Be sure to remove all of the leaves before chopping.If using frozen, no need to thaw and you can skip this step.
- Place the rhubarb into a baking dish (9×13 inch/23×33 cm). Then add the sugar, flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, and cinnamon. Toss to combine.
- Cube the butter – it should still be cold from the fridge.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt. I like to use my fingers to combine the ingredients, forming little crumbs. You can also use a fork.Once mixed, add the rolled oats and chopped pecans (if using) and toss to combine.
- Sprinkle the streusel topping over the rhubarb mixture.
- Bake in the oven to 375°F/190ºC for 35 minutes or so until the rhubarb is tender and the crisp topping is golden brown.Allow cooling for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy with ice cream or cream.
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