Kick Off Spring with this Delicious Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb is one of the first harvests in many regions, ripening in early spring. This rhubarb crisp is a delicious way to use it while it’s in season! 

Love rhubarb? Be sure to try this rhubarb coffee cake, too! 

rhubarb crisp in a glass baking dish

Let’s start with what is rhubarb, exactly? A rhubarb plant is a long-lived perennial that grows on stalks — similar to celery, but much larger. The stalks range from pink to bright red. 

The stalks of rhubarb are edible; the leaves are poisonous, as they contain dangerous levels of oxalic acid. You’d need to eat a lot to kill you, but small amounts can make a person sick. 

The stalks are very tart, so you’ll often see rhubarb paired with strawberries to cut the tartness, and almost always in sweetened dishes like pie, cake, and jam.

ingredients for rhubarb crisp from above

Making this rhubarb crisp

This recipe calls for basic pantry ingredients and fresh rhubarb. You’ll start by combining the ingredients to make the “crumb.” You’ll press half of the crumb into the pan, forming a bit of a crust, then add the rhubarb. 

A sugar syrup drizzled over the rhubarb provides sweetness, and then the crisp is topped off with the remaining crumb mixture. 

Pop it in the oven until the top is browned and the edges are bubbly. 

Serve with ice cream if you’re feeling particularly indulgent. 

rhubarb crisp, baked in a pan with some on a white plate for serving.

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rhubarb crunch on a white plate

Rhubarb Crisp

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This delicious rhubarb crisp has a lovely crunch topping and a sweet and tart filling.


  • 4 cups rhubarb (chopped)
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the sugar syrup:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, brown sugar, and melted butter in a mixing bowl until it's crumbly.
  2. Press one-half of the crumb mixture into a buttered 7"x11" or 8.5"x11" baking dish.
  3. Spread the rhubarb slices evenly over the pressed crumb mixture.
  4. Make the sugar syrup: Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and water together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook until thick, clear, and bubbly, approximately 5-7 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla. Pour the sugar syrup evenly over the rhubarb. bright red sliced rhubarb in a pan
  6. Top with remaining crumb mixture. hand adding crumb topping to a rhubarb crisp recipe
  7. Bake at 350 degrees until edges are bubbling and the crumb topping is browned, about 30-40 minutes.

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rhubarb crisp on a white plate with a fork

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