Grandma’s Rhubarb Streusel Dessert – Rhubarb Bars with Shortbread Crust

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Grandma’s Rhubarb Streusel Dessert features fresh rhubarb and a sweet crumbly topping. Using simple ingredients, rhubarb bars with shortbread crust will have the rhubarb-lovers in your life asking for seconds.

Every now and again, we open our beloved Grandma’s recipe box to see what treasure we can find.

It is weathered and worn but her memory is certainly not. Opening up the box and looking through the recipes reminds us of the many mornings spent at her counter making up delicious foods.

Rhubarb Streusel Dessert

Recently, I was at Barbara’s and we were talking about our favorite “grandma” recipes so we pulled out her recipe box and dug through it. We found the recipe card above for “Rhubarb Struedel.” Once we read the recipe, we realized it was more of a streusel dessert than a strudel.

Grandma always had a rhubarb plant that came up in the spring. She’d make rhubarb pies and other treats like this one, and our dad always loved his mom’s rhubarb pie! Since spring just arrived on the farm, Barbara whipped up this recipe of hers and treated our Dad to one of his favorites.

Rhubarb Shortbread Crumble

I make  this rhubarb shortbread crumble all the time. It has a buttery shortbread crust, a sweet strawberry rhubarb filling plus a streusel topping.

The funny thing about it is that sometimes it comes out more like rhubarb shortbread bars and other times it’s more scoopable like a shortbread crumble. The texture will change depending on if you use butter or margarine plus the variety of rhubarb.

No matter what, it is quite tasty.

Ingredient List for Rhubarb Bars with Shortbread Crust

Shortbread Crust Layer

Butter or Margarine, softened

Sugar

Eggs

Flour

Baking Powder

Salt

Milk

Vanilla Extract

Strawberry Rhubarb Layer

Egg White

Rhubarb, diced

Strawberry Jell-O (regular or sugar-free)

Streusel Topping

Butter or Margarine

Flour

Sugar

How to Make Strawberry Rhubarb Streusel Dessert:

For the full instructions and ingredient amounts for rhubarb streusel bars, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post. 

  1. Cream butter and sugar; add egg and egg yolk and mix until smooth.
  2. In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients – flour, salt and making powder.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients (milk and vanilla) in a separate bowl.
  4. Alternately add dry and wet ingredients to the creamed butter mixture.
  5. Press the dough into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Beat the leftover egg white until foamy; brush over dough in the pan.
  7. Top with diced rhubarb.
  8. Sprinkle dry strawberry Jell-O mix over the rhubarb in the pan.
  9. To make streusel topping, mix flour, sugar and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over top the rhubarb layer.
  10. Bake in preheated oven until bubbly.
  11. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Old Fashioned Recipes with Rhubarb

If you aren’t familiar with fresh rhubarb, here’s a couple rhubarb facts you should know.

  1. The leaves are poisonous and should be discarded once harvested.
  2. Rhubarb has a tart flavor which is why rhubarb is mainly made into desserts with quite a bit of sugar added. Sugar counteracts the tartness.
  3. There are many varieties of rhubarb. Some have more green and others more red in nature. That’s why you’ll see some variance in the color of rhubarb desserts.
  4. Rhubarb is easily frozen. Find out how to freeze rhubarb here.

 

Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert starts with fresh rhubarb, adds strawberry jello and finishes with a crumb topping.

Notes About Strawberry Rhubarb Streusel Dessert:

  • This recipe calls for one whole egg and one egg separated. This means to separate the yolk from the white. You’ll need both parts, just in different layers of the rhubarb streusel cake.
  • Use the strawberry Jell-O mix dry. Do not prepare it first.
  • For this layered rhubarb dessert, press the bottom dough into a 9×13 inch baking dish and then add the chopped rhubarb. Next, you add the strawberry Jell-O mix and then top with the crumb mixture.
  • Serve Grandma’s Rhubarb Streusel Dessert warm. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream to kick it up a notch.

Old Fashioned Rhubarb Desserts

How to use up lots of rhubarb?  Here are 13 old fashioned rhubarb desserts to use fresh and frozen rhubarb.

Sharing Our Grandmas’ Old-Fashioned Recipes

We love sharing our grandmas’ recipes here on the blog and, boy, do we have some good ones! Here are just a few of our favorites:

Grandma’s Homemade Ketchup

With cinnamon and ground cloves, Grandma's Homemade Ketchup has a unique, yet delicious flavor.

Granny’s Double Chocolate Fudge Fanciful Cake

Grandma's Fanciful Double Chocolate Fudge Cake has a swirl of cream cheese filling that turns a regular chocolate cake from a mix to a fancy dessert that will impress the neighbors.

Grandma’s Three Layer Chocolate Bars

Grandma's Three Layer Chocolate Squares are a family favorite treat that are served every Christmas at my house.  The triple layer cookie bar consists of a chocolate graham cracker crust, a vanilla cream center and a sweet Hershey's chocolate topping.  The combination is a match made in chocolate heaven. 

Granny’s Sugar Cookies

Grandma’s Chicken and Rice Casserole

Grandma's Chicken and Rice Casserole is one of those dishes the entire family will eat. This casserole is a perfect way to take leftover chicken, rice - and even hard-boiled eggs - and turn them into a whole new dish.

Grandma’s Cherry Fluff

Grandma's Cherry Fluff recipe has just five ingredients and is a dump and go dish perfect for pitch-ins.

Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert features fresh rhubarb and a sweet crumbly topping. Using simple ingredients, rhubarb bars with shortbread crust will have the rhubarb-lovers in your life asking for seconds.
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5 from 1 vote

Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert - Rhubarb Bars with Shortbread Crust

Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert features fresh rhubarb and a sweet crumbly topping. Using simple ingredients, rhubarb bars with shortbread crust will have the rhubarb-lovers in your life asking for seconds.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: rhubarb bars with shortbread crust, rhubarb streusel cake, rhubarb streusel dessert, strawberry rhubarb streusel cake
Servings: 12
Calories: 425kcal
Author: Barbara

Ingredients

Bottom Dough:

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine 1 stick
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Filling:

  • 3-4 cups rhubarb
  • 3 oz. box strawberry jello mix (or .6 ounce sugar free)

Streusel Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine 1 stick

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • With a mixer, cream 1 stick of butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Add one egg, and one egg yolk and mix until smooth. (Reserve the extra egg white for later.)
    Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert features fresh rhubarb and a sweet crumbly topping. Using simple ingredients, rhubarb bars with shortbread crust will have the rhubarb-lovers in your life asking for seconds.
  • In a small bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix together 2 Tablespoons milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
    Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert features fresh rhubarb and a sweet crumbly topping. Using simple ingredients, rhubarb bars with shortbread crust will have the rhubarb-lovers in your life asking for seconds.
  • Add flour mixture alternately with milk mixture to the mixer, blending just until a dough forms.
    Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert features fresh rhubarb and a sweet crumbly topping. Using simple ingredients, rhubarb bars with shortbread crust will have the rhubarb-lovers in your life asking for seconds.
  • Press into the prepared 9 x 13-inch pan; set aside.
    Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert features fresh rhubarb and a sweet crumbly topping. Using simple ingredients, rhubarb bars with shortbread crust will have the rhubarb-lovers in your life asking for seconds.
  • Beat the leftover egg white until white and foamy. Spread over dough.
    Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert features fresh rhubarb and a sweet crumbly topping. Using simple ingredients, rhubarb bars with shortbread crust will have the rhubarb-lovers in your life asking for seconds.
  • Spread rhubarb that has been washed and diced over the egg white.
    Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert features fresh rhubarb and a sweet crumbly topping. Using simple ingredients, rhubarb bars with shortbread crust will have the rhubarb-lovers in your life asking for seconds.
  • Sprinkle jello mix evenly over rhubarb.
    Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert features fresh rhubarb and a sweet crumbly topping. Using simple ingredients, rhubarb bars with shortbread crust will have the rhubarb-lovers in your life asking for seconds.
  • Mix together remaining 1 cup flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 stick butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over rhubarb.
    Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert features fresh rhubarb and a sweet crumbly topping. Using simple ingredients, rhubarb bars with shortbread crust will have the rhubarb-lovers in your life asking for seconds.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes on bottom shelf until bubbly.
    Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert features fresh rhubarb and a sweet crumbly topping. Using simple ingredients, rhubarb bars with shortbread crust will have the rhubarb-lovers in your life asking for seconds.

Notes

  • This recipe calls for one whole egg and one egg separated. This means to separate the yolk from the white. You'll need both parts, just in different layers of the rhubarb streusel cake. 
  • Use the strawberry jello mix dry. Do not prepare it first.
  • Regular strawberry jello or sugar free strawberry jello mix can be used. 
  • For this layered rhubarb dessert, press the bottom dough into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and then add the chopped rhubarb. Next, you add the strawberry jello mix and then top with the crumb mixture.
  • Serve Grandma's Rhubarb Streusel Dessert warm. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream to kick it up a notch.
  • Check out our whole collection of rhubarb desserts here. They are all approved by Grandma. 

Nutrition

Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 296mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 543IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg

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8 Comments

  1. I collect rhubarb recipes as I have a rhubarb patch. (very easy to take care of; had mine for 30 years) This is a recipe that I don’t have so I am anxious to try it.

  2. Made this today, served it with vanilla ice cream. So delicious, my husband and I had seconds. This one will be added to my favorites.

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