Grandma's Rhubarb Crisp Recipe - A Recipe Worth Passing Down (2024)

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Every time that I see rhubarb peeking through the ground or being sold at the local Farmer’s market I get so excited because I know that I will soon be enjoying a big helping of Grandma’s Rhubarb Crisp recipe in just a matter of days.

Tart chunks of rhubarb sweetened with a sweet sauce and baked with a crisp oatmeal topping. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top and you have yourself the perfect Spring dessert!

Although this is a dessert that is enjoyed by many adults and fellow gardeners, I fear that this recipe will get lost in time if it isn’t passed down to younger generations. And that means that they must first taste it so that they know how delicious it really is.

Although I see many people making and sharing recipes that use both rhubarb and strawberries, including my favorite Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, I rarely see a rhubarb only dessert being made. I am sure that is because many people would steer away from a vegetable based dessert.

However, after making and sharing my Zucchini Crisp Recipe with my friends and family, and seeing how much that they enjoyed the taste, I am convinced that we can make this dessert recipe become just as popular again.

And I have to make a confession. It wasn’t until I was in my mid 30’s until I first started making this recipe. However, after scrolling through my Grandmother’s file of recipe index cards that was given to me, I came across her Rhubarb Crisp Recipe.

A Recipe Worth Passing Down

I smiled as I looked at her pretty cursive handwriting that listed out the ingredients and step by step instructions. Then it made me wonder if someday, when I had my own my grandchildren, if they would even be able to read the cursive writing.

However, what intrigued me most as I looked at the faded index card were the dabs of stains on the edges of the card. Although I never remember eating rhubarb crisp, I knew by the looks of the card that this recipe was one that was used frequently back in her day.

I could just picture her standing at the counter, combining the ingredients and assembling this sweet and tart dessert for our family. That is when I knew that I had to make it myself!

When I first made the dessert exactly how it was written, it turned out a little too sweet for me. Therefore, I adapted the original recipe a little to cut back on the amount of sugar used, and it turned out perfect.

Not to mention that the crisp topping is the best crumb topping that I have ever had! I even use it now for my crumble topping for apple pie, it’s just that good!

Grandma’s Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.


  • 8 cups Rhubarb, cut in 3/4 inch size pieces
  • 1/2 cup Granulated White Sugar
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Topping Ingredients

  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 cup unsalted Butter, melted


The first step in making Grandma’s Rhubarb Crisp recipe is to preheat the oven and spray an 11 x 7 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

I have also made this recipe in a larger, 9 x 13 inch baking dish. However, I prefer the depth of the crisp when made in the smaller 11 x 7 inch dish.

Once the dish is prepared, set it aside and begin making the dessert. Add the cut rhubarb pieces to a large bowl. Then sprinkle the granulated sugar, all-purpose flour and cinnamon on top.

Toss the rhubarb in the mixture until well coated. Then pour the rhubarb pieces in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Set aside while you prepare the crisp topping.

Crisp Topping Instructions

In a medium bowl, add the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, and rolled oats. Pour the melted butter over the mixture and use a silicone spatula to mix until well combined.

Then sprinkle the crisp topping over Grandma’s rhubarb mixture. Use the back of the silicone spatula to evenly spread the crisp so that it covers the entire top surface.

Bake Time Required

Now it is time to get baking! Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes. The crisp is done when the top turns light golden brown in color.

You will notice that some of the bright red juices from the rhubarb have surfaced to the top of the crisp. This is completely normal. It actually adds a ton of flavor when the sauce becomes somewhat caramelized on the top surface.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. This will allow time for the juices to thicken a little, making it easier to serve.

Use a large serving spoon to scoop a portion on a plate. Then top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! You can even make your own Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (without an ice cream maker) and really impress your family and friends!

Although I love this recipe as written, you can also substitute 1/4 of the the diced rhubarb with strawberries. And if you want to make it even more interesting, add a little toasted slivered almonds or walnuts to the topping to make a little more crunch in every bite.

No matter how you customize Grandma’s Rhubarb Crisp recipe, be sure to share it with the younger generations, so this classic dessert recipe can live on for years.


Mary and Jim

Jim and Mary Competti have been writing gardening, DIY and recipe articles and books for over 15 years from their 46 acre Ohio farm. The two are frequent speakers on all things gardening and love to travel in their spare time.

As always, feel free to email us at with comments, questions, or to simply say hello! You can sign up for our free email list in the subscribe now box in the middle of this article. Follow us on Facebook here : OWG Facebook. This article may contain affiliate links.

Grandma’s Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

Grandma's Rhubarb Crisp Recipe - A Recipe Worth Passing Down (5)

How to make Rhubarb Crisp that tastes just like Grandma used to make! Sweet and slightly tart filling with a delicious crumble on top.

Prep Time20 minutes

Cook Time35 minutes

Total Time55 minutes


  • 8 cups rhubarb, cut in 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup melted butter


Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) and spray a 11 x 7 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

  1. Combine rhubarb, sugar, flour and cinnamon and place in the prepared baking dish.
  2. Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the top of the rhubarb mixture.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  4. Remove the dish from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.


  • When using fresh, in season rhubarb you do not need to peel the rhubarb. Just be sure to use a sharp knife to cut the rhubarb, otherwise strings may appear. If you do have strings simply pull them off and discard.
  • If you prefer a sweeter version of this recipe substitute 1/4 of the rhubarb with diced strawberries.
  • Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
  • Store Rhubarb Crisp covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 331Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 102mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 3gSugar: 31gProtein: 4g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

Grandma's Rhubarb Crisp Recipe - A Recipe Worth Passing Down (2024)
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