These Vegan Rhubarb Bars include layers of delicious buttery shortbread topped with smooth and creamy rhubarb curd. Bake it all together and slice into the perfect tasty squares. All that's needed is a dusting of powdered sugar on top to make this the best vegan rhubarb recipe!
How to make rhubarb bars
Make the vegan shortbread
The bottom layer of these rhubarb squares is based on the dough I used to make my incredibly popular 7 Ingredient Funfetti Cookies.
All you need is vegan butter, organic sugar, vanilla, all-purpose flour, ground flaxseed, baking powder, a little nut milk, and some salt. Once the dough has formed, simply press the dough into an 8*8 baking tray lined with parchment paper and cook for 20 minutes before adding the next layer!
Make the rhubarb curd:
A few months ago, I made Vegan Lemon Curd which serves as the basis for the rhubarb curd layer. For this recipe, I adjusted the ratios a little due to the cooking time added from baking the curd in the oven.
There's no vegan butter in this curd and it is made from four simple ingredients- rhubarb, organic sugar, arrowroot powder, and coconut cream. Make sure to use coconut cream that has no additional additives, water, or oils in it for this recipe to work well.
First, I like to cook my rhubarb and sugar in a small saucepan until softened. Then, I add the softened rhubarb and coconut cream to a blender to create a smooth puree. Next, I add the rhubarb puree back to the saucepan and whisk in the arrowroot powder. Finally, heat until the curd is nice and thick and set aside before baking!
What Does Rhubarb Taste Like?
Fun fact- Rhubarb is actually a vegetable! It has stalks similar to celery that range in color from red to green that you can eat.
In Seattle, rhubarb is usually in season between May- July. However, rhubarb actually freezes well so you can make these rhubarb bars all year long! Rhubarb tastes pretty tart and tastes best mixed with other sweet fruits as I did in these Frozen Strawberry Rhubarb Margaritas, or with sugar, as I did in this recipe! Beware, the leaves are toxic so stick to eating the stalks for any rhubarb recipe.
Refrigerate rhubarb bars before slicing
Once your rhubarb shortbread bars have been layered and baked, let them cool at room temperature. It's really important to do this before adding them to the fridge so they don't get soggy. After the bars are cooled, cover and add the vegan rhubarb bars to the fridge for at least 1-2 hours to set. This allows the rhubarb curd to set to a firm texture and makes it so you can easily cut the rhubarb bars into perfect squares.
Being able to refrigerate these vegan rhubarb bars actually makes them super easy to make ahead of time and store in the fridge for guests. As a final step, use a dusting wand or small sifter to dust powdered sugar on top right before serving!
Hopefully, this recipe has convinced you that team rhubarb is the place to be! I am a firm believer that there is never too much of a really good thing in life- especially when it comes to vegan rhubarb desserts. In this case, I recommend eating these Vegan Rhubarb Bars by the handful!
More vegan dessert recipes on SGTO you will love:
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Vegan Rhubarb Bars
Rhubarb Curd Layer
- 1 ½ cups chopped rhubarb
- ½ cup organic white sugar
- ¼ cup water
- ½ cup canned coconut cream *not milk, just the cream
- 1.33 Tablespoons arrowroot powder *equal to 1 Tbsp+ 1 tsp
Shortbread Cookie Layer
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup cold vegan butter
- ¼ cup cane sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed *golden flax preferred
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon almond milk or any plant-based milk
- ¼ cup organic powdered sugar
First, make the shortbread layer
- Preheat your oven to 350F. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a standing mixer (or in a large bowl using an electric mixer) cream together the butter and sugar. Once creamed, add in the flax, vanilla, and nut milk and beat until well combined.
- Add the bowl of sifted dry ingredients to the standing mixer and mix until just combined.
- Line an 8*8 baking dish with parchment paper and press the dough into the tray so that it is even and flat. Add the dish to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Then, make the rhubarb curd
- While the shortbread is cooking, make sure rhubarb curd. Begin by chopping the rhubarb and adding it to a small saucepan along with the sugar and water needed for the curd. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat about 5-8 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and pierceable. Make sure to stir the rhubarb constantly while cooking.
- Add the cooked rhubarb to a blender along with the coconut cream and blend until smooth. Transfer the smooth rhubarb puree back to the saucepan and whisk in the arrowroot powder.
- Turn on the heat and cook the rhubarb until it thickens. This will only take about 3-5 minutes. Once thick, set aside and let cool to room temperature.
Finally, bake it all together
- Remove the shortbread from the oven and top with the vegan rhubarb curd. Add bake to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove from the oven and let the rhubarb bars cool completely to room temperature. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours to set. Once you are ready to eat, remove and top with powdered sugar right before serving. Enjoy!
- Rhubarb Bars can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days in a closed container. Layer the bars between stacks of parchment paper or they will stick together and become soggy. Do not store the bars outside of the fridge.
- Rhubarb Bars can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Simply remove from the freezer and defrost on the counter before eating.
Lauren H says
Love the clarity of the recipe. Easy to follow even for beginner cooks. I underestimated the cooking/assembly time, not allowing sufficient cooling time. My garden rhubarb left the curd blah beige, not pink.
Would it work well to individually wrap these for a bake sale?
Not sure! The curd may stick to the wrapper but otherwise, it should be okay.
Have made this a bunch of times now. I’ve made it as written and doubled the curd—good both ways. Delicious and not too sweet. Thank you!
So happy you enjoy them!
Thanks for sharing! You can definitely double the curd for a thicker layer 🙂
this was really good and easy to make but the recipe for the curd needs to be doubled, it only makes a tiny small layer of curd so the shortbread layer is about twice as thick as the curd layer if you do the recipe as written
Megan Horowitch says
Thanks for sharing! If you try it with double next time let me know how it goes 🙂 Glad you liked it!
Very yummy! Next time I would probably double the amount of curd to change the ratio of curd to shortbread, but nevertheless it was still delicious. I really enjoyed having a tart dessert! And a very easy recipe.
Hey! I was wondering if I absolutely need flax seed for this?
Megan Horowitch says
I haven't tried it without so I can't recommend it, but it may work! Ground flax helps to bind the dough together so it may fall apart if it is not added. If you have chia seeds on hand they should work!
Just did the rhubarb curd and it's so good 😀 It's going to make an amazing topping for yogurts! I replaced the arrowroot with cornstarch and it worked really well.
So glad you loved it and thanks for sharing the substitution!