Sweet and tangy with an earthy oatmeal crumble this old-fashioned favorite rhubarb crunch recipe is delicious.
This easy dessert made fully with rhubarb or a mixture of half rhubarb and half strawberries will remind you of days gone by, maybe gathered around a farmhouse table.
Easy Rhubarb Crunch Recipe
This Farmhouse Rhubarb Crunch recipe is a vintage favorite that’s been in our family for generations.
My husband remembers having a rhubarb patch outside of their farmhouse growing up. His grandma made pie and other desserts with the homegrown rhubarb. He had never eaten raw rhubarb, so he took a bite of ours and realized why people dowse it in sugar and bake it before eating.
I found this rhubarb at the grocery store on a top shelf in the produce case. Rhubarb looks, cuts, and crunches like a reddish stalk of celery.
The crunch adds a nice contrast to a typical sweet dessert like this. A couple more old-fashioned desserts with a sweet filling that we love are our Raspberry German Crumb Cake Bars and Pecan Surprise Bars.
- Rhubarb – Remove ends and make sure the color of the stalks are pinkish and reddish with only a little green and no mold or discolorations.
- Granulated Sugar – Needed to sweeten up the rhubarb filling.
- Vanilla Extract – We prefer real vanilla as opposed to imitation to enhance the flavor of the other ingredients.
- Oats – Old-fashioned oats or rolled oats will work well and give a heartier feel than quick oats. Quick oats can be used in a pinch.
- All-Purpose Flour – Gives a little structure to the crumble as it surrounds the sweet rhubarb filling
- Brown Sugar – Another way to help enhance the tangy rhubarb filling.
- Butter – When melted helps stir the mixture together.
- Cinnamon – This simple spice adds a warmth to the dish.
Tips for Success With The Recipe
- The key to any good recipe is using real butter instead of margarine or oil. So be sure to use real butter.
- Butter flavored Crisco or shortening can be used, but we prefer butter.
- Use caution when melting butter not get it so hot it makes a mess all over the microwave. I have a silicone cover for bowls, I just need to get in the habit of using it!
- I like to use old-fashioned oats, but quick oats will also work well.
- This is one of those recipes that’s been in the family long enough to treasure and make once in a while for the memories.
How to Make Rhubarb Crunch
Mix the crumb topping together.
Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan and pour in half of the topping.
With clean fingers, press half of the mixture in an even layer across the pan.
Chop up rhubarb and sprinkle over the top.
Pour water, sugar, and vanilla into a sauce pan. Set to medium-high heat.
Stir regularly to prevent the sugar from burning.
It only takes a few minutes for the mixture to become clear and I continue to cook and stir for a few more minutes so that it begins to thicken slightly.
Pour the thickened sugar water over the rhubarb.
Sprinkle the remaining crumb topping over the beautiful rhubarb dessert.
Bake uncovered for about 50 minutes at 350°F.
The original recipe says to bake for 50 to 60 minutes. I always check my food several minutes sooner to make sure it doesn’t burn because I have a convection oven. This rhubarb crunch looks perfect right at 50 minutes for me. Of course, baking times can vary quite a bit based on the quantity and temperature of the filling.
More Vintage Recipes:
Here are a few other old-fashioned recipes from our farm family. We hope you enjoy these as much as we do!
- Orange Jello Salad
- Apple Pie Made From Crescent Rolls
- Pineapple Marshmallow Dessert
- Applesauce Raisin Cookies
- Carrot Bread
- Bran & Raisin Molasses Muffins
- Texas Yum Yum
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 cups chopped Rhubarb *apples can be substituted
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Mix together crumb topping. Press half of the mixture into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
- Cover with chopped rhubarb.
- Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture is clear and may begin to thicken. Stir often to avoid burning. Pour over rhubarb.
- Top with remaining crumble. Bake uncovered at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes.
- Rhubarb can be substituted for half rhubarb and half strawberry mixture if preferred.
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Originally shared on March 24, 2019 with pictures updated on June 12, 2023.