Heartwarming and nostalgic, these Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars combine a sweet fruit filling sandwiched between a buttery shortbread base and crumble topping. They are perfection!
The sweet flavours of strawberry combined with the tartness of the rhubarb pair beautifully together! Trust me! It's the perfect way to use rhubarb when they are in season. But you can totally make these bars with just strawberries.
This is another small-batch recipe aimed to help those with only a few in their household. It’s the 8th in my Small Batch Series and one of my favourites. Check out my Caramel Brownies and Chocolate Blondies for more inspiration.
This Strawberry Rhubarb Bars recipe can easily be doubled if you prefer a larger number of bars to feed a bigger crowd. I share how to do this with you below.
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Uses basic ingredients. All the ingredients are basic pantry or fridge staples. Other than rhubarb, you'll have most things.
- Flavour sensation. Sweet red strawberries and tart rhubarb pair beautifully in this jammy, sticky filling.
- All hail the crumble. The shortbread base forms the most perfect crumble topping. It's buttery, crisp, soft, all rolled into one.
- Simple to make. In just a couple of simple steps, you'll have these bars in the oven in no time at all.
If you love crumble as much as I do, then be sure to check out my Peach Crumble Bars, Chocolate Raspberry Crumble Bars, and Blueberry Crumble Bars. Each recipe is different and delicious in its own right.
🧾 Ingredients Needed
Even though the ingredients may appear standard, I've made some must-read notes below with some handy pointers.
For the Base:
- Flour: The base ingredient for the crumble base and topping. Weigh accurately otherwise your crumble will be dry.
- Golden Sugar: I use golden sugar, but by all means, sub with white sugar or light/dark brown sugar. The darker the sugar you use, the depth of flavour in the topping will deepen.
- Old Fashioned Oats: provide a beautiful texture, particularly to the topping.
- Baking Powder: To provide some lightness to the base and topping.
- Salt: Cuts through the sweetness. I always add salt to my desserts.
- Butter: Helps bind the ingredients together and, once baked, allows the base, in particular, to be flaky and short. The perfect texture.
- Egg Yolk: The main binding agent adds a slight richness to the crumble topping and base. If doubling the recipe, add a whole beaten egg to your mixture.
For the Filling:
- Strawberries and Rhubarb: When baked together, this breakdown and their juices merge to create a sweet, jammy filling.
- Lemon Juice: This helps cut through the sweetness. If you don't have any, then don’t worry; carry on with the recipe.
- Sugar: As the filling cooks, the sugar combines with the fruit to help create the sweet sticky filling. Also needed to offset the sour rhubarb.
- Cornstarch: Helps to thicken the filling. Strawberries contain high water content, and the cornstarch stops them from becoming too watery.
- Leave out the rhubarb: If rhubarb isn't in season, then no problem at all. Simply replace the quantity with more strawberries.
- Mixed berry crumble bars: Swap out some of the strawberries and rhubarb for other types of raspberries such as blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries.
- Add nuts: Add a half cup of almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, or walnuts into the crumble for a nutty crunch.
- Drizzle in a lemon glaze: For added flovour, make a simple glaze of lemon juice and powdered icing sugar and drizzle over the top once the crumble bar has cooled.
👩🏻🍳 How to Make
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
I am such a fan of crumble bars as they combine the tastes of a fruit pie in a really easy manner of making. With no need for pie pastry that requires refrigeration and waiting times.
This beautiful crumble bar can be made in only 15 minutes. Quick and easy! We love quick and easy desserts around here.
Make the Crumble Base and Topping
Talking of easy - these two separate components are made in one bowl. No stand mixer needed!
STEP 1: Add your dry ingredients, flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and mix (Images 1 & 2).
STEP 2: Add the cubed butter, and with your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs (Images 3 & 4).
STEP 3: Add the egg yolk and mix until combined. The crumble will look quite dry but when you squeeze it together, it should clump together (Images 5 & 6).
Make the Filling
STEP 4: Add the filling ingredients, strawberries, rhubarb, lemon zest and juice, sugar and cornstarch, into a medium bowl and stir to combine (Images 7 & 8).
STEP 5: Add ⅔ of the crumble filling to a prepared loaf pan. Use your fingertips to press the mixture flat into the pan (Image 9). This is your base.
STEP 6: Then add all the filling onto the base and spread it out evenly (Image 10).
STEP 7: Lastly, sprinkle the remaining crumble onto the filling, allowing some of the filling to still show. Make sure there are larger clumps of crumble dotted over the top (Image 11).
Bake Then bake for 35-45 minutes until the crumble is golden and the filling bubbling! (Image 12)
💭 Recipe Pro Tips
- When lining the loaf pan with baking paper. Ensure that the paper hangs over the sides of the pan. Once the bar is cooked and then cooled, having the paper overhang will help you pull the pars out.
- Make sure your butter is cold. Just like pastry, if you use warm butter when baked, you’ll end up with a greasy base. The cold butter allows for a perfectly flaky crust.
- Cut the rhubarb into ¼ inch slices to ensure it cooks in the allotted time.
- Ensure that you use the freshest strawberries for maximum flavour impact. If your strawbs aren’t at their freshest, then add two tablespoons of strawberry jam/preserve into the fruit filling. This help intensifies the strawberry taste.
- Lots of fruit is good! When you pour the filling on top of the base, it will look like a lot. But trust me, go with it. As the fruit cooks, it will reduce and intensify into jammy goodness!
- Let the bars cool before slicing if you want beautiful clean slices. But if you aren’t fussed about this, tuck right in with a dollop of ice cream (recommended serving suggestion!)
📋 Recipe FAQs
The most likely cause of this is if there was too much flour added to the shortbread crumble mixture. This can happen if you use measuring cups to measure out the flour. It's very easy to pack in more flour into the cup than is needed and this will add dryness to the crumble. The best way to measure out all your ingredients is to weigh them on a digital set of scales. They can be found at most kitchen stores or online for minimal cost.
I would thaw the strawberries first. Add frozen strawberries into a sieve set over a bowl and leave at room temperature to thaw. As they thaw, the excess moisture will drip into the bowl below. Discard the liquid and carry on with the recipe as stated.
However, the rhubarb should be left frozen. It turns too mushy and soft when thawed.
Absolutely. Simply double all the ingredients and bake the crumble bar in a 23cm (9-inch) square baking pan.
❄️ Storage and Freezer Instructions
To store: Store these Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
To freeze: Wrap each slice in parchment paper and plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or heat in the oven at 110C (230F) for 20 minutes or so.
🍫 More Bars Recipes
If you tried this Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars Recipe
Crumble base and topping
- 190 g plain flour (all-purpose)
- 65 g granulated sugar
- 40 g old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 115 g unsalted butter, cold and chopped
- 1 egg yolk
Strawberry rhubarb filling
- 160 g strawberries, hulled and chopped
- 150 g rhubarb, diced 1cm (½ inch) thick
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C(350°F). Grease and prepare a 2lb loaf pan 23 x 14cm(9x5.5inch) with parchment paper allowing the paper to hang over the sides.
- Add the flour, sugar, oats, baking powder and salt into a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter and using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until it resembles dried bread crumbs. Add the yolk and mix it in with your fingertips. You should be able to squeeze the mixture together and it forms into a light ball.
- Pour ⅔ of the crumble mixture into the loaf pan, spread it out into an even layer and press down with your fingertips until it forms a flat base.
- In a separate bowl, add the strawberries, rhubarb, lemon zest and juice, sugar and cornflour and stir to combine. Pour the fruit filling on top of the crumble base in the loaf pan and spread out evenly.
- Now layer the remaining crumble over the top of the fruit, allowing some of the fruit to show through. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the loaf tin. Once cooled, lift the crumble bar out of the pan using the overhanging sides of the baking paper and slice. (If you prefer handheld bars, then refrigerate the bars for 1-2 hours until set before slicing)
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.