12 Sweet & Puckery Rhubarb Recipes for Spring

Don't let rhubarb fool you—it's up for anything.

May 29, 2019

Rhubarb is spring's biggest challenge and its best reward. On the heels of winter, its stalks emerge bitter and brittle, but no mind—with a bit of coaxing, it turns sweet and inviting, like spring.

Soon enough, we realize that its tough exterior is just a ruse. Feisty rhubarb loves a stiff cocktail just as much as a tart dessert and a savory main course. It's up for anything—because really, it's just as happy as you are that it's spring. To prove it, here are 12 rhubarb recipes to let loose with.


Rhubarb Bread Crumb Cake by Sara Dickerman

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This isn’t an architectural cake—it’s tender and moist and almost, but not quite, like a cobbler, so you may even want to eat it in a bowl. But the most signature element of this dessert is the cinnamon-toasty flavor that comes from bread crumbs.  


Roasted Rhubarb and Strawberries by Ladystiles

The rhubarb is delightfully roasted, holding is shape and is complimented with a simple syrup that is created with juicy strawberries, balsamic vinegar, sweet vermouth, pure maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Simplicity at it its finest. 

Rhubarb and Rose Ramos Gin Fizz by The Dog's Breakfast

An intensely refreshing, classic 19th century cocktail, updated with rhubarb and rosewater.

Canal House's Pork Belly with Gingery Rhubarb Compote by Genius Recipes

The secrets to releasing pork belly's magic don't require any special machinery or a food handler's certificate—they're techniques you already know, or can learn on the fly. One of them is this sweet and salty rhubarb compote. 

Rhubarb Almond Crumb Cake by Bob Vivant

This is an any-time-of-day cake. It's perfect for breakfast, brunch, snack, dessert, and anything in between. It's great with tart rhubarb, but the batter is versatile enough to work with most any fruit. If you make it with a sweeter fruit, consider reducing the amount of sugar in the batter.

Rhubarb and Gin Sorbet with Rose Cream by yossy arefi

This dessert is simple to put together, but tastes surprisingly complex. It's cool and tart, floral and herbal, creamy and sweet, all in one. If you're not a fan of rose, feel free to use plain whipped cream or leave the cream off altogher—the sorbet is delicious as is.

Cory Schreiber & Julie Richardson's Rhubarb Buckle with Ginger Crumb by Genius Recipes

 Fiery candied ginger is minced up in this crumb topping, and ground ginger is in the cake, too. It's just enough to give it a warm, flirty je ne sais quoi that doesn't try to shout over the rhubarb.

Rhubarb Curd Shortbread by Rivka

A silky and tangy blanket of rhubarb curd atop a pad of thick and crumbly spiced shortbread. The curd takes some elbow grease, but make the shortbread in a food processor if you have one handy. Once you have the two basic elements, all you do is fuse them with an icing spreader and finish with a few minutes in the oven.

Rye Shortcakes with Roasted Strawberries and Rhubarb by yossy arefi

This springy dessert is a twist on classic strawberry shortcakes, featuring a dose of zingy citrus, sweet vanilla, and tart rhubarb. The rye flour in these shortcakes gives them a bit of milky sweetness.

Naughty Rhubarb Scones by Midge

Rhubarb's tang is the perfect foil for this super rich scone (made with heavy cream instead of milk, hence the naughty). You almost don't need jam, but strawberry would be nice, as would some clotted cream on the side. 

Sparkling Rhubarb Lemonade by TheRunawaySpoon

Homemade lemonade is always a treat, and this lovely pink version with the surprising flavor of rhubarb and brightness of fresh mint is sure to impress. A shot of rum or gin couldn't hurt! 

Rhubarb with Earl Grey Tea, Cardamom, and Orange Zest by chez danisse

Rhubarb and Earl Grey are a natural pairing, and one best left relatively unadorned. Toss tart chunks of rhubarb with pieces of apple, a little sugar, a pinch of cardamom, some Meyer lemon juice and some orange zest before adding the tea and gently softening everything in a 350°F oven. The fruit mellows and grows tender without falling apart, and it emerges from the oven swimming in a subtle, tea-infused broth, which thickens into a light syrup as it cools.


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Julie Myers

Written by: Julie Myers

Perpetually hungry. Will travel for food.


selena May 22, 2014
I live in Dallas and cant find rhubarb anywhere! What gives? It used to reliably be in frozen foods. Fresh rhubarb here is a luxury in the hot south.
Tammy S. April 21, 2018
Try planting it under a tree with a bit of a cover blocking the direct sun. Use extra dirt and some compost to enrich the soil, if the earth is bare under the tree. Otherwise, don't add a thing as rhubarb loves poor dirt but approves of some drainage, although mine don't seem to care overly much!
Shirley M. May 19, 2014
Yum! I so love rhubarb and can't wait to try some of these recipes!
David C. May 19, 2014
Stunning photography, as always.
Lizthechef May 13, 2014
Thanks for the collection - my husband is a rhubarb fanatic and he will flip for some of these recipes.
Samuel G. May 12, 2014
I absolutely love rhubarb, but because I'm on blood thinners I can't experiment much with it due to the high vitamin k content. I'll be sure to squeeze a few of these recipes into spring for my family and sneak an occasional taste.