We all have foods that remind us of certain people, or places, or a favorite memory, or season, and the combination of strawberry and rhubarb hits all of those notes for me. I’m always on the hunt for all things strawberry-rhubarb because it’s my mom’s favorite combo.
The sweetness of fresh strawberries and the tartness of rhubarb is absolutely delicious and screams spring/summer to me.
I loved strawberry picking with my parents when I was younger, and have continued the tradition every year, so I’m always looking for fun new ways to enjoy the whatever berries actually make it home!
My parents lived in Chicago before I was born, and still talk about their prolific rhubarb plant, and while I haven’t tried growing my own yet, I do always buy rhubarb at the farmer’s market whenever it's available. If you aren’t familiar with rhubarb, it looks a bit like celery stalks (with a pink tinge) and has a similar fibrous texture. Rhubarb has a very distinctly tart taste. I’ve made strawberry rhubarb pie, jam, lemonade, cobbler, crisp, and cupcakes, and while those are all delicious, I was looking for something new to make recently with the same flavor profile.
I love bar cookies because they’re portable and a quick way to make dessert for a crowd, and they’re the best way to ensure my husband doesn’t destroy my creations as he’s always on the hunt for the crust! So, with that in mind, I decided strawberry rhubarb crumble bars would be my best bet. These bars would be perfect for your next picnic, barbecue, beach day, or in my case, whenever I’m missing my mom more than usual! I love that these bars are quick to put together, but be sure to leave lots of time for them to cool so that the filling can set and they cut nicely (I let mine cool overnight so that I wouldn’t be tempted).
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Active Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Time 3 hours
Total time: 3 hours, 25 minutes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar, divided into two 1/2 cup portions
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste
16-24 oz strawberries, diced (about 2 cups)
2 stalks rhubarb, diced (about 1.5 cups)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, oats, brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and cinnamon.
3. Add melted butter and vanilla to dry ingredients and combine. The mixture should be moist, but have chunks (like wet sand).
4. Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with parchment and grease. (I’m not usually a parchment person, but it really helps be able to lift the bars out when they are done.)
5. Press 2/3 of the crumb mixture firmly into the pan, making sure to reach the edges and the corners (this will be your crust).
6. In a medium bowl, mix together the strawberries, rhubarb, lemon, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and cornstarch.
7. Spoon the strawberry-rhubarb mixture over the crust to create an even layer.
8. Top the strawberry layer with the remaining crumb mixture.
9. Bake for 55 minutes or until the topping is nicely browned and the filling is bubbly.
10. Let the bars cool in the pan for at least 2 hours.
11. Lift the parchment to remove the bars, in one piece, from the pan.
12. Cut into 12-16 pieces (or fewer if you’re not looking to share!).
13. Enjoy on their own, or topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
If these strawberry rhubarb crumb bars have you in the mood for summer baking, come see us at Lincoln Square for:
- Hands-On Pie and Tart Boot Camp Sunday, June 26 10am
- Hands-On Fabulous French Pastries Saturday, July 19 10am
- Hands-On Donut Boot Camp Saturday, July 30 10am
Or, cook with us virtually from the comfort of your own kitchen in:
Be sure and check out our new retail space in July as well. We’ll have all your essentials for home baking!