Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

These strawberry rhubarb crumb bars are like strawberry rhubarb pie in handheld form. Simply combine a buttery brown sugar crust, jammy strawberry rhubarb filling, and crumbly oat topping. The crust and crumble topping are made from the same mixture, so there’s no need to dirty an additional bowl. They’re easy to make, transport, serve, and freeze!

strawberry rhubarb crumb bars

Serving as a sequel to my cranberry bars and lemon strawberry crumb bars, today’s strawberry rhubarb bars are seasonally fresh with hints of brown sugar, orange zest, and vanilla.

What I love most– and what you’ll find wonderfully convenient– is that all of my crumb bars feature a delicious crust and crumb topping that are made from the same dough. Portion it out, add the layers, and bake.

These Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars Are:

  • Quicker than most– no pre-cooking the filling
  • Crumbly, yet moist (don’t over-bake!)
  • Stuffed with rhubarb and juicy strawberries
  • Wonderfully sweet and buttery
  • Easy to slice, serve, eat, and freeze

strawberry rhubarb bars

Ingredients You Need for Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars:

  • All-Purpose Flour: Flour is the base of this recipe.
  • Brown Sugar & Granulated Sugar: Sugar sweetens the crust/crumble and the strawberry rhubarb filling. I use brown sugar in the crust/crumble and white granulated sugar in the filling. Feel free to swap these around using all brown sugar for both or all granulated sugar for both. I’ve tested it all and there’s no huge difference except that the crust/crumb topping is a little crumblier when using granulated sugar instead of brown.
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder keeps the crust/crumble on the lighter side. Without it, the texture would be a little too hard and dense.
  • Salt, Cinnamon, & Vanilla: Each add flavor.
  • Cold Butter: Just like pie crust, biscuits, and scones, cold butter is necessary. We’re cutting the butter into the dry ingredients to create a deliciously flaky and crumbly texture. The texture would completely change if we used softened butter.
  • Eggs: Two eggs bind the crust/crumble ingredients together. My cranberry crumble bars use 1 egg and some milk, but I found no real difference swapping to 2 eggs. Feel free to follow the egg/milk measurements in the cranberry bars if desired. (I don’t recommend swapping to all milk– you need at least 1 egg to bind!)
  • Strawberries & Rhubarb: You can use fresh or frozen berries/rhubarb.
  • Cornstarch: We’re essentially making a jam as the filling, so cornstarch is necessary to keep the fruit combined.
  • Orange Zest: Strawberries are pretty soft, so I don’t add additional liquid (like orange juice) to this filling as I do with the cranberry version. However, flavor from a little orange zest is definitely welcome! I use orange in my strawberry rhubarb pie too– it brightens up the flavors.

strawberry rhubarb crumble pie bars

Crust & Crumble Topping

It’s so convenient that the crust and crumble topping come from the same bowl. Combine the dry ingredients together, then cut in the cold and cubed butter. If you don’t have a pastry cutter or if you don’t want to make it by hand, you can use a food processor to gently cut in the butter. By hand it takes a good 5 minutes to get that flour completely coated with butter.

Photo below on the right shows this mixture.

crust and crumble mixture photos

The photo below shows the mixture after we add the wet ingredients: eggs and vanilla extract. Don’t be alarmed if this takes you awhile to mix together and/or if doesn’t totally come together. The mixture will have the texture of moist sandy crumbles.

crust and crumble mixture for bars

You’ll have about 6 cups of crust/crumble mixture. Reserve 2 cups for the topping, then press the rest into a lined 9×13 inch baking pan. Just use your hands or a spatula to flatten.

Again, don’t be nervous if things are crumbly:

crust for crumble bars

Strawberry Rhubarb Filling

And now for the most difficult part in the recipe: add all of the filling ingredients to a bowl and mix them together. 😉 No pre-cooking. Simply spread it all over the crust.

strawberry rhubarb filling for crumb bars

Add the remaining crust/crumble on top. For extra texture, add a handful of oats. I recommend this little addition because it helps cover up the fruit filling. If desired, replace with sliced almonds, your favorite chopped nuts, or you can skip it completely.

strawberry rhubarb bars before baking

strawberry rhubarb crumb bars

More Recipes Like This

I love serving bars like this because they’re handheld and easy to eat, great for freezing or transporting, and the recipe yields a nice big batch. It tastes like you’re eating pie, but with half the work getting there. And I have plenty more flavors and variations, too!

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strawberry rhubarb crumble bars

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 mintues
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours (includes cooling)
  • Yield: 18-24 squares
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

To prepare these strawberry rhubarb crumb bars, simply combine a buttery flaky brown sugar crust, jammy strawberry rhubarb filling, and crumbly oat topping. The crust and crumble topping are made from the same mixture, so there’s no need to dirty an additional bowl!


Ingredients

  • 3 cups (375gall-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoonpure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (26g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats*

Strawberry Rhubarb Filling

  • 2 and 1/2 cups (about 380g) chopped strawberries
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (250g) sliced rhubarb (1/2 inch pieces)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished bars out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.
  2. Make the crumble mixture for the crust and topping: Whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and using a pastry cutter, two forks, or a food processor, cut in the butter until all the flour is coated and resembles pea-sized crumbles. (See photo above for a visual.) This takes at least 5 minutes of cutting in with a pastry cutter.
  3. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. Pour over the flour/butter mixture and gently mix together until the mixture resembles moist crumbly sand. Use your hands if needed– the mixture comes together easier with your hands than with a spoon. See photo above for a visual.
  4. You will have about 6 cups of the crust/crumble mixture. Set 2 cups aside. Pour the remaining into the prepared pan and flatten down with your hands or a flat spatula to form an even crust. It will be a little crumbly– that’s ok. Set aside. (Oats will be used in the topping in the next step.)
  5. Strawberry Rhubarb Filling: Gently mix all of the filling ingredients together. Spread over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture all over the filling. Sprinkle the oats on over top. With the back of a large spoon or flat spatula, lightly press the topping down so it’s a bit snug on the strawberry rhubarb layer.
  6. Bake for about 42-50 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out *mostly* clean (with a few jammy strawberry/rhubarb specks!). Mine take about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the bars to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. After about 1 hour, I stick the whole pan in the refrigerator to help speed things up.
  7. Lift the cooled bars out using the parchment paper overhang on the sides. Cut into squares. Cover and store leftover strawberry rhubarb bars at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Bars freeze well up to 3 months. Arrange in even layers in a large freezer container between sheets of parchment. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before serving.
  2. Special Tools (affiliate links): Pastry Cutter, Zester
  3. Don’t Have Rhubarb? Skip it and use 5 cups of chopped strawberries instead. Increase cornstarch to 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons.
  4. Frozen Fruit: Feel free to use frozen strawberries and/or rhubarb. Do not thaw. The bake time will be a little longer.
  5. Oats: Whole oats are best, but you can use quick oats if needed. I recommend this little addition because it helps evenly cover the top of the bars. If desired, replace with sliced almonds, your favorite chopped nuts, or you can skip it completely.
  6. Orange Zest: The orange zest is optional but it adds an extra pop of flavor to the filling. I recommend it. 1 medium orange is plenty for 1 teaspoon of zest.
  7. Half Batch: Feel free to halve the recipe by halving each ingredient and baking in a lined 9-inch square baking pan. The bake time is slightly shorter. Use a toothpick to test for doneness.

Keywords: strawberry rhubarb, strawberry rhubarb pie, crumb bars

33 Comments

  1. Two of my favorite ingredients together in one bar! Look forward to trying this recipe once rhubarb becomes available. Thank you for sharing!

    1. I hope you love these bars, Allison!

    2. Shaza Baiazid says:

      Hi Sally!
      First time for me to use rhubarb.. followed the recipe to the gram.. absolutely delicious!! thanks for the wonderful recipe

  2. I love the combination, but for intestinal reasons, I’m not able to eat strawberries because of the tiny seeds. Would you up the sugar for straight rhubarb??

    1. Yes, I would increase to 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar if you’re only using rhubarb.

      1. Thank you for this reply. I, too, will need to make it without strawberries – because, being rhubarb purists, my family will FREAK OUT if I mix any other fruit with the rhubarb. I do not need a baked-goods riot on my hands! 😉 Also, I will need to try this with an egg replacer, as I have an allergy. Can’t wait to try it!

  3. Hi Sally,
    The recipe looks amazing I have never baked a pie or crumble only cake and this looks easy enough to try. For another time – what can I use instead of eggs as I want to make it for someone who doesn’t eat eggs. Dairy is fine not eggs as she is vegetarian.
    Thank you.
    Bina

    1. Hi Bina, I hope you love these bars! I have not tested this recipe with an egg substitute but let me know if you try.

  4. I cannot wait to make this! I’m only able to find frozen rhubarb. Is it okay to use fresh strawberries and frozen rhubarb, or should I also freeze my strawberries? Thanks!

    1. You can use some frozen and some fresh. Let me know how you like them!

  5. Just put them in the oven. Easy and looks terrific!

    1. Thanks for giving this recipe a try, Diane! Hope you love them 🙂

  6. These look terrific, Sally! I definitely need to give these a try sometime soon! 🙂

    1. I hope you’ll try these, Erin!

  7. These were awesome! I used frozen whole strawberries and frozen rhubarb. I cut some of the bigger strawberries once they thawed a bit. It was seamless putting everything together. I may try adding toasted nuts on top with the oats next time, if I have them on hand!

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed these bars, Lauren!

  8. I’m going to try halving this recipe. Would that work in a pan that is 8 or 9 inch square? These look so delicious!

    1. Yes! See recipe note.

  9. suzanne Hagen says:

    I followed the recipe to a T and they turned out beautifully but they were not my favorite. I felt they were lacking a little flavor; perhaps some spice or a little more salt might have enhanced the flavor. I have tried many of Sally’s recipes and I trust and value her knowledge an expertise. Thanks Sally for sharing so many great recipes but this one didn’t quite work for me….sorry!

    1. I kinda agree, I just made it too.. but I feel like it is definitely lacking salt and probably would add a little more sugar to the rhubarb mixture ! Maybe even put salt in the rhubarb mixture?

  10. Made this yesterday for my family. My husband and I love these!

  11. Mary W Harrington says:

    These fell flat for me. I used lime peel instead of orange, but feel they need some spices or something else to pep up the flavor.

  12. Candace Smith says:

    Sally, You know what would be SUPER helpful next time you make this? If you could weight the rhubarb BEFORE you chop it up and put that amount in the notes. I have SUCH a hard time knowing how much rhubarb to buy in the store to equal 2.5 cups when trimmed and chopped! I know it will depend on the ripeness of the stalks, but giving us a rough estimate of what it should weigh before trimmed would be so helpful. Thanks!!

  13. I’ve used quite a few of your recipes, and this is the first time I’ve been disappointed. My bars look great, but the orange zest is overpowering. I can’t taste the strawberries at all. I would use 1/4 teaspoon or none at all if I made them again.
    For the person before that wanted to know how much rhubarb to buy: I used 2 stalks for a total of about 3/4 of a pound to get the 2 1/2 cups chopped.

    1. I ran into the same problem with the orange zest, unfortunately. The two teaspoons were way too overpowering and the strawberry rhubarb flavour was completely lost. Disappointing since everything else turned out beautifully. I ran into the same issue with Sally’s cranberry sauce so should’ve known better than to add the orange zest to these. Lesson learned.

  14. I ended up with too much cut up rhubarb from my garden, so I did the recipe with 1.5 of the ingredients in an 11×13 pan. The crust was really great, loved the brown sugar sweetness, and plenty of fruity and sour flavor in the bar from the rhubarb. The smell of it cooking was amazing. Also used Bob’s Red Mills gluten free flour to make it a gluten free dish and it came out beautifully.

  15. I just made this recipe and it is in the oven so I haven’t tasted it yet but with all the wonderful ingredients I know they will be delicious.
    I do have a question – I measured the flour with a measuring cup and then weighed it to see how accurate my measuring was. I ended up removing about a tablespoon per cup to get the gram weight that you have listed. My topping was very sticky and gooey, not crumbly. I wasn’t too concerned with the bottom crust but I ended up putting topping on in globs and tried to break it apart.
    I’m wondering if it was because I weighed the flour. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Kolina, How was the texture when you ate it? If your butter was too warm it could have caused the crust/topping to be too greasy/wet. An easy fix for next time is to make sure your butter is cold and you can add an extra tsp of flour or two to the topping if you feel it really needs it.

  16. Meredith Ganz says:

    Hi! This is a wonderful recipe – I have made it twice now and it is a huge hit with friends and family. Last time I made them I put them in a tupperware and they got really soggy after having been in there for only a couple days. What is the best way to store these without the sog-factor?

    1. Hi Meredith, I’m thrilled they were a hit! The leftovers should be ok at room temperature for up to two days but after that store them in the refrigerator.

  17. I made these. They are tasty, but the ratio of crumb to fruit was way off for me. I will try these again, but will either half the amounts for the crumb/base it do let the amount of fruit.

  18. Susan Forsell says:

    I made a GF version for my husband and to test as a recipe for my business at the farmer’s market. It turned out great. Do you think the same recipe would work with a variety of fresh fruit? I am thinking of making a peach or blueberry version. I noticed your raspberry bars use mostly jam but my recipes for the market typically rely on fresh fruit. By the way, I have been using your scone recipe and just switching out fruit for my market scones. Everyone loves the scones. The hit of the market. Susan

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Susan, So happy that you enjoyed these bars – and that the scones have been a hit! You can use any variety of your favorite fresh fruit in these bars.

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