sliced Rhubarb Bars in a pan

The other weekend, I had the pleasure of going to Rhode Island with my family. One morning, we walked into town β€” an intersection with an ice cream stand, corner store, sandwich shop, and town green. That day on the green, vendors were setting up to sell arts and crafts, produce, and knick knacks.

As I was browsing, huge ruby stalks lay on a nearby table calling my name. They were the reddest stalks of rhubarb I had ever seen. I just had to get them. So I grabbed the two biggest stalks on the table and pulled out my wallet. I spent all weekend dreaming up different rhubarb concoctions and settled on these Rhubarb Bars. The cream cheese shortbread crust tastes more like a cookie than a shortbread, and provides a rich base for the light curd above. The curd is bright, citrusy, and sweet. The rhubarb shines through, its springy taste melting on your tongue.

They’re the perfect size for snacking, but beware. My step-dad ate about 10 in two days πŸ™‚

Tips for making rhubarb bars

Use room temperature ingredients β€” When making the cream cheese shortbread base, you need to let the butter and cream cheese come to room temperature before creaming them together. This will make the shortbread crust easier to mix and will give it a much better texture. 

Opt for thinner, red rhubarb stalks β€” When choosing your rhubarb from the store or farmers market, go for the stalks that are mostly red and thinner. These stalks will be sweeter than the thick green ones

Chill the rhubarb bars β€” Just like lemon bars, these rhubarb bars need to cool completely in the fridge before you can cut into them. These bars need time to set properly, sorry to make you wait! 

Rhubarb Bar with bite taken out

How to store rhubarb bars

These rhubarb bars should be kept in the fridge in a sealed container. They should last up to a week if stored this way! If you plan on serving these rhubarb bars at a party, I recommend putting the serving platter on top of a baking pan filled with ice to keep these bars as cool as possible (if you’re serving these outside, at least). 

Let me know if you have any questions about making these tangy rhubarb bars! 

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Rhubarb Bars

  • Author: Sarah Fennel
Scale

Ingredients

For the rhubarb puree

  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

For the cream cheese shortbread

  • 5 oz low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups flour

For the rhubarb curd

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup rhubarb puree
  • red dye
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup flour

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, combine chopped rhubarb, sugar, and water and heat over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, or until the rhubarb is completely broken down. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350Β°F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla extract until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Turn mixer to low speed and incorporate flour.
  4. Press dough firmly onto the bottom of the baking dish, spreading evenly to the edges. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. While the shortbread is cooking, make the rhubarb curd! In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients except for the flour. Use as much red dye as you’d like, and remember that the color will fade a bit during cooking. Once mixed, whisk in the flour.
  6. Pour the rhubarb curd on top of the cream cheese shortbread, then bake for an additional 20 minutes to set the rhubarb.
  7. Cool bars for at least 4 hours in fridge, then cut and top with powdered sugar!

More rhubarb desserts from Broma Bakery: 

Rhubarb Almond Tea Cakes

White Chocolate Raspberry Rhubarb Scones

Rhubarb Almond Honey Cake

Strawberry Rhubarb Bakewell Tart

Rhubarb Orange Glazed Donuts

97 comments

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Rhubarb curd is on my list of things to make. This is a list that is ever expanding by the way. The idea of adding it to a bar like this looks delicious. This will be added to my list!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Weee! Let me know what you think, Angela!

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Sarah these sound perfect! Love the color and I’m sure they taste sweet and delicious!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Sweet and tart and perfect in every way! Thanks Mary Ann!

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Well I know what I’m going to do with the load of rhubarb that just made it to my crib.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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HECK YES DO IT DO IT

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Yum! And that colour is so pretty! I have never made rhubarb curd. I really must change that! πŸ˜‰

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Ooooh you have to!

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Yes yes yes!!! I’m so into bars and cookies, so these bars look downright magical.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Rhubarb is just so magical, isn’t it!?

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AWESOME. Just awesome. Love this recipe and I have a friend who will love it too!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Ooh, love finding recipes that friends will love too!

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This are soooo pretty – I love that rosy pink hue! I bet this would adapt easily to make a rhubarb curd tart, too.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Oh absolutely! What a great idea πŸ™‚

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move over lemon bars! You have some pretty pink competition.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Heck yes!!

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This are so beautiful, I love the ruby red hue and I can eat a whole tray of lemon bars so I know I could go wild on these!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Rhubarb wild! Let’s make it a thing

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SO beautiful and SO delicious. I have leftover rhubarb from the pie I made this weekend (http://makinglifesweet.com/strawberry-rhubarb-cashew-crumble-pie/) but I will be making these as soon as the pie is gone!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Oh LOVE that pie! It is so rhubarb season and I’m loving it!

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Oh, mommy, yes. Lately all I’ve been craving is light and refreshing sweets, and these fit the bill times 1000. 10,000. 10 million thousand! Can you believe I’ve never worked with rhubarb? I mean, I’m sure you can believe it, but like, tsk tsk yo. My mom has this story about when I was wee, sitting on the countertop in New York or somewhere with some relatives or something along those lines, eating the guts of a strawberry-rhubarb pie with a spoon. So what I’m saying is, I love rhubarb, I’ve always loved rhubarb, and now I’m going to make rhubarb stuff dammit! You’ve ignited a passion in me, Sarah! Oh yeah, hey! Long time, no comment, non?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Oh haaaay! Wait but never? No no no. You’re missing out. YOU NEED TO MAKE IT!

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Oh my these bars look absolutely divine! That red rhubarb pinkish-red just jumps off my screen! Can’t wait to buy some rhubarb at the farmer’s market and make these.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Oh do it! You will not regret it πŸ™‚

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Saw and pinned these on Pinterest and I’m beyond obsessed with the bright color and the lovely presentation!

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Wooooow!! These are so beautiful! I really love the colours. I love rhubarb, so these are the perfect treat for me. What a great recipe – you are so talented!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Thank you lady!

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Sometimes I just dont know what to do with Rhubarb… I mean, how many strawberry rhubarb crisp recipes can one make (although delicious)! Nice use of in season veggies, Sarah, and so unique. One can never get enough bars.. and that cream cheeeeese crust sounds just perfect! And your trip too.. what fun!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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I completely agree! Gotta think outside the box πŸ™‚ And thank you, it was so nice!

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I’ve actually NEVER tried rhubarb… I’ve just never had the opportunity. These look amazing though and now I want to try them out for myself, thank you for sharing this (gorgeous) recipe! πŸ™‚

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Oh you HAVE to! It’s one of my favorite flavors. Such a treat!

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This is the most unique dessert I’ve seen in a long time. I love that you made these bars with rhubarb! I want to try them asap!!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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What a compliment, thank you Jen!

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Um. This color. It’s just to die for. Gorgeous. I would probably eat 10 of these too! Glad you had fun in RI!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Yeee! Thank you gal pal πŸ™‚

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You are amazing, these are the prettiest bars i’ve ever seen – pinned and shared!!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Gah, thank you Sue! Too kind πŸ™‚

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So gorgeous! I love that you made these bars with rhubarb! The color is stunning! My mom has two rhubarb plants and I can’t wait to try these! Pinning!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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I can imagine they’ll be even better coming from Mom’s garden!

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I LOVE rhubarb season!! I just bought a few too many bunches at the farmer’s market this weekend too. Love these bars!! Perfect natural color and sweet and tart combo.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Uhhh, looks like you have some bars to make, lady!! πŸ˜‰

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I’m pretty sure this is the best idea ever. LOVE rhubarb!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Aww, thank you Ashley!

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These are gorgeous, Sarah! I love that you decided to make bars because they show the bright, vivid color of the rhubarb so well! And I can imagine how sweet and citrusy tasting the curd is – so lovely!!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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You’ve got it right! Sweet and citrusy and bright πŸ™‚

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Sarah this is freakin genius!!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Haha, thank you Karen! Makin’ me smile πŸ™‚

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Can I use regular cream cheese or is the low-fat required?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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You can absolutely use regular cream cheese, Christine. I just prefer low fat πŸ™‚

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good heavens, those puppies are pretty!!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Gaww, thanks lady πŸ™‚

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These look so pretty Sarah! Need to try them very soon! Always looking for rhubarb recipes and this one is perfect! And I also love cream cheese shortbread πŸ™‚

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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It’s the underdog part of the bars πŸ™‚

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These bars look absolutely gorgeous! I’m in love with the pretty color and flavor. Sounds so delicious!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Thank you Gayle! The color is my fave too πŸ™‚

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The color on these are way gorgeous!! Love that you used rhubarb – such a unique and great idea for a classic dessert!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Thanks gal pal! Gotta do those twists on classics πŸ™‚

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Sublime! Can just imagine how beautifully sweet and tart these taste. And with the cream cheese shortbread…yum!. I need to make these as soon as I can get my hands on some rhubarb…

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Spring melting on your tongue…. yuuuuuuuus! I want to go to there. I must make these. I grow my own rhubarb, but the rhubarb I have is green and not red so it won’t have that amazing color. wah πŸ™

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These are so pretty – I could easily eat 10 in just a single day. I love the idea of a cream cheese shortbread too! YUM!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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It’s the only way I do shortbreads now!

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Let me guess, were you at 4 corners in Tiverton/Little Compton? These look delicious! Definitely trying a pass at these soon!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Ahaha, you got it! How funny πŸ™‚ Thanks Suzy!

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I wish I knew how to attach a picture, as I just pulled these beauties out of the oven. They look and smell amazing; I can’t believe I have to wait 4 hours to cut into them! πŸ˜‰ Another excellent recipe, Sarah — thank you for sharing (and many thanks to the commenter who suggested using the curd in a tart; I have a lot of extra rhubarb puree that I was scheming about how to use).

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Aww, thanks Debbie! I hope they came out well and you’ve already gobbled them up! It makes my day when people tell me they’re baking my recipes, so thank you for sharing!! XO

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Hi Sarah! I made these last night for a potluck today, and they were a huge hit! Everything was perfect, I followed the recipe to the letter and it came out splendidly. Thank you so much!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Hi Katherine! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed the recipe!! Thank you for letting me know how they came out– it makes my day! Let me know what you make next πŸ™‚

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Sarah– Can I substitute gluten free flour for the regular flour?? BTW, these look totally awesome and I can’t wait to make them. I know my husband will love them. He is a huge fan of rhubarb.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Hi Ann! So glad you’re going to make these- they are still talked about in our household! Though I haven’t used GF flour in this particular shortbread recipe, I would think you can easily substitute it, as it’s not that finicky of a dough. Hope you enjoy and happy baking!

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These look great, I only have frozen Rhubarb though, will it work or can i alter the recipe somehow?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Hi Maya! Frozen rhubarb should be fine πŸ™‚

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Hi! These so und amazing, I am a little confused as to what you mean for the curd with 1C of rhubarb purΓ©e, do you cook down the rhubarb and then put it into a food processor or does the processor do the trick on its own with the raw rhubarb?

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OH my gosh I’m so embarrassed I just reread the recipe, my apologies!

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I just made these with a small amount of my bountiful rhubarb this spring. They’re delicious! Thanks for sharing!

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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So glad you enjoyed! Thanks for commenting!

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Would it be possible to use strawberry or some other fruit to color these instead of food dyes?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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Yes, some finely crushed dried strawberries or raspberries would probably work well!

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Do I have to use low fat cream cheese ? Thanks !

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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No, not at all! Full fat will be even more delish πŸ™‚

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I see it calls for 1 cup of rhubarb purΓ©e. Does the 3 cups of rhubarb cook down to be just one cups worth? Or will there be extra purΓ©e?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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It should cook down to be about 1 cup, but for the recipe I chose to be precise in terms of how much you add in!

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Do you wait for the crust to cool before you put the curd on top?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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No, you can put it right on since it goes back into the oven.

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I use a lot of rhubarb, and this looked very different than most recipes I’ve tried. The final product was not very good however. Sorry. Crust was awful. Without that crust it would have been so much better. I could not stop eating the filling before I cooked it! It was really delicious. It was not as good after cooking it. My husband also didn’t like the dish. I hate to leave negative comments, but also I don’t like to read 93 comments and no one has actually MADE the product. I will make the purΓ©e again. That was YUM.

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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No worries at all, Becky. That being said, this crust, when made properly, is INSANE GOOD. I just say this because it’s seriously amazing and I am wondering if you omitted something by accident to make it “awful.”

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Hi! Is it possible to freeze the bars, and Howard long can I store them in the fridge?

Sarah | Broma Bakery
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I wouldn’t freeze them, seeing as the texture would get weird when they thaw. You can store them in the fridge for up to a week.

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