This vegan rhubarb crumble might be the best dessert recipe to make in the spring. You will enjoy its tangy rhubarb creamy base that's topped with a nutty oat crunchy topping. Easy to make, healthy and gluten-free.
Every year when spring begins, I feel such in a rush of rhubarb-recipe-making-projects. We have 2 large plants in our garden that come out super early, however, they just don't seem to stay plump and beautiful for very long. So, we have lots of rhubarb for such a short time.
Last year, I had lots of fun making this barley breakfast bowl for the blog that's served with a quick strawberry-rhubarb compote. And it was a big hit again this year. But although rhubarb is often combined with other fruits, I decided to make something else that's super simple and keeps the rhubarb as the center of the recipe.
Because as you know, rhubarb is so intense with tart flavor that it benefits from mixing up with other sweeter fruits. I actually remember growing up eating the rhubarb straight from the stalk, still raw. Crunchy-extra-sour-RAW-rhubarb. That's crazy, who does that?!?.
Ok, I have to admit that I would dip the stalk in white sugar with every bite, but still, the tart & sour flavor must have been brutally ruining my taste buds.
Childhood memory aside, this easy rhubarb crisp combines tart rhubarb with a hint of vanilla flavor and just enough sweetener to keep the tart level down, without masking the rhubarb unique delicious flavor. It also has that nice rustic look that makes the rhubarb really shine. Hope you enjoy this seasonal treat!
Ingredients you'll need to make this vegan rhubarb crumble
Again, this is a simple recipe that only requires 7 pantry ingredients, plus the rhubarb. It is also easily customizable depending of what you already have or looking for.
- Rolled oats: choose the thick old-fashioned kind of oats so the crumble has some texture. The quick cooking oats might give you a mushy final consistency. Make sure to look for a certified gluten-free oats if necessary.
- Almond flour: using almond flour not only keeps this recipe gluten-free but also helps create mini clusters of crunchy oats. I use store-bought almond flour, which I think is better than using almond meal (homemade ground almond into a flour texture) for this recipe.
- Walnuts: you can also use pecans or almonds.
- Maple syrup: it gives a nice deep flavor to the fruit crisp. You can substitute for agave, but do not use granulated sugar.
- Vanilla extract: vanilla flavor combines so well with the rhubarb and maple flavor.
- Coconut oil: helps create clusters of oats after the crumble has cooled down for a bit.
- Cornstarch: essential to transform the rhubarb into a delicious creamy texture while cooking and prevent the fruit filling from becoming too syrupy. Arrowroot powder would work well too.
What's rhubarb and how to prepare it
Rhubarb is a vegetable (not a fruit!) that's in the same family as sorrel. It has such a funny look with its long celery-like fibrous shape. The stalks can be all the way bright red or greener with some reddish areas. The color won't affect the taste much, although deep red stalks can be a little sweeter.
Rhubarb grows usually from March to mid-June, although you might be able to find some all year long (can grow indoor). When picking the talks, either at the market or from your own plant, look for plump, as red as possible, large stalks with minimal bruises.
How to prepare rhubarb
First, make sure to remove the leaves from the stalk if they were not taken off already. They are toxic as they contains lots of oxalate, so cut it off and discard.
Then, look at the stalk and remove any bruises you can see. You can use a peeler to do this. Also, some larger rhubarb stalks can have an outer layer that's a little more rough and thick. If that's the case, then peel that layer off (even if it means removing the red layer, it won't affect flavor) so the fruit compote from the crumble is not too fibrous. Clean and dry the stalk before using.
Then cut the stalk in cubes. For this recipe, I found that cutting in smaller cubes (about ½ inch or less) rather than larger ones gave a creamier fruit base, which was more pleasant.
How to make a vegan rhubarb crisp
This rhubarb dessert is super easy to make! You will have to prepare the fruit base right in the baking dish, top with a oat mixture, then bake.
Make the fruit layer
Start by mixing the cornstarch with water in a small bowl until there are no clumps anymore. Then, to the bottom of a 8 x 10 baking dish, add the maple syrup, vanilla extract, corn starch mixture and cubed rhubarb and stir to combine. Set aside.
Make the crumble topping
In a medium bowl, add the melted coconut oil, oats, almond flour, walnuts, salt and maple syrup. Stir well to make sure the mixture is uniform.
Distribute the oat topping over the fruit and spread evenly using a spoon or your hands. You can press the mixture down a bit so it creates nice clusters of oats. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is nicely golden brown and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Watch how to make it
Tips to make the best gluten-free vegan rhubarb crisp
- Make sure to melt your coconut oil before adding to the crumble ingredients so it distributes evenly.
- You can use any baking dish, but you might have to adjust the cooking time if using a dish that's significantly different than a 8 x 10. For example, if your dish is smaller, then the crumble will end up being thicker, so you might have to cook a little more.
- Careful, the crumble can burn quickly!
- Try keeping the nuts on a larger side as it brings lots of texture to the crisp.
- If trying to keep the added sweetener to a minimum, then I recommend to use a combo of rhubarb with another super sweet fruit, like strawberries, cherries, peaches or pears. If doing so, try half rhubarb + half other fruit and cut in half the added sweetener (¼ cup instead of ½ of maple syrup) when making the fruity base.
Vegan rhubarb crumble serving suggestions
This rhubarb crumble can be eaten warm or cold. When the crumble is just getting out of the oven, then you can serve it warm, with vegan ice cream, if you want, that will slowly melts over the warm saucy fruit compote. It is also delicious served with coconut whipped cream.
Similar to a baked oatmeal, you can also prepare it ahead of time and serve it for breakfast. In this case, you can serve it with banana ice cream to keep it healthy or add a large dollop of coconut yogurt.
Keep the leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. The crumble topping is at its best crunchy texture the same day it was prepared and will lose on its crispiness after storing in the fridge (which is still very good!).
Other summer desserts you might like
- Strawberry muffins
- Caramel ice cream cups
- Raspberry mousse
- Peach coconut popsicles
- Strawberry chocolate bars
- Blueberry lemon mug cake
- Cherry energy balls
I hope you enjoy this vegan rhubarb crumble as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
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Vegan Rhubarb Crumble (Gluten-Free)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch - + 2 tbsp water
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 cups rhubarb - chopped in about ½ inch pieces
For the crumble topping
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ cup pecan or walnut - roughly chopped
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp coconut oil - melted
- Pre-heat the oven to 375º.
Prepare the fruit base
- Combine the cornstarch with the 2 tbsp of cold water in a small bowl and stir to dissolve all the clumps.
- In the bottom of a baking dish (I used a 8 x 10 in dish), add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and the cornstarch mixture and stir. Then, add the chopped rhubarb and stir to combine. Set aside.
Prepare the crumble
- In a medium bowl, combine all the crumble ingredients together and stir to combine. Make sure to use melted coconut (melt for a few seconds first in the microwave if necessary).
- Distribute the crumble topping mixture evenly over the rhubarb in the baking dish. Then, gently press with your hand or spoon.
- Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes or until slightly browned on top and bubbly on the side (watch so it does not burn). Then, let it cool for about 10 minutes before eating.
I used peanut butter instead of the coconut oil in the crumble topping and it turned out delicious 😋 Great, easy recipe. Thank you for sharing your creations with us 💚
Oh great! Using peanut butter is such a great idea, I have to try it! Thanks so much for sharing Hannah 🙂
Can you use frozen rhubarb?
Hi Heather! I haven't tried this recipe using frozen fruits, but I think it should work. The texture will be different I think, probably a little 'saucier', but should still be delicious. I would recommend to thaw the rhubarb first. Hope that helps! Let me know how it turned out. 🙂