Six delicious rhubarb dessert ideas

19 February 2016 ( 26 March 2019 )

Poached, baked or roasted – is there anything more appealing than a good rhubarb pudding in early spring? Try one of these tantalising dessert recipes.

Rhubarb is a fantastic vegetable to grow because it can provide fresh produce in March when there is not much happening in the vegetable patch, and by forcing it with terracotta pots you’ll get to enjoy it even earlier. 

Find out how to grow and force rhubarb with our growing guide

Rhubarb is quite tart so it’s best suited to being served as part of a sweet and creamy dessert. In fact, it’s so tart that for a long time it was widely considered inedible and primarily used for medicine. It wasn’t until the repeal of the sugar tax in the 1800s that it became a popular dessert ingredient.

Cook these desserts with the smaller, younger stems but don’t let the large, overgrown stems go to waste – they make a lovely rhubarb cordial that can be enjoyed all summer.

Rhubarb and ginger crumble

Rhubarb crumble is a must for any round-up of yummy rhubarb desserts and this is a crumble with a difference. The addition of warming ginger really livens it up and it’s perfect wih a good glug of double cream. If ginger isn’t to your taste you could try this recipe for individual rhubarb and berry crumbles instead.

Recipe: rhubarb and ginger crumble

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Rhubarb and custard cake

Rhubarb and custard cake

Rhubarb cake is the perfect pud for easy transportation. Bake this tasty, moist rhubarb and custard cake to take with you on picnics or when visiting friends. Serve with fresh custard for an extra-luxurious treat.

Recipe: rhubarb and custard cake

Rhubarb and lemon pudding

Rhubarb and lemon pudding

Beautifully sweet and tart, Diana Henry's rhubarb and lemon pudding makes a wonderful dessert. It’s incredibly simple to throw together – just bake chopped rhubarb and allow to cool, then fold into a rich, creamy batter and, when cooked, sprinkle with icing sugar for a pretty, dainty topping.

Recipe: rhubarb and lemon pudding

Panna cotta with poached rhubarb

Panna cotta with poached rhubarb

A classic vanilla panna cotta is a beautiful thing. Deliciously sweet and creamy, it pairs perfectly with tart poached rhubarb. What’s more, this is the perfect dessert to make in advance as the panna cotta and rhubarb can be prepared and cooled separately and then combined at the last minute.

Recipe: panna cotta with poached rhubarb

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Rhubarb pie

Classic rhubarb pie

Dickens described March days as ‘when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it’s summer in the light, and winter in the shade,’ and is there a dessert more perfect for those days than a classic rhubarb pie? A winter warmer full of fresh, zingy spring flavour that gets you thinking about the sunny days ahead.

Recipe: classic rhubarb pie

Rhubarb trifle

Rhubarb and crumble trifle

Crumble and trifle in the same dessert? Yes, really! Nathan Outlaw’s lavish recipe combines two classic British puddings with this layered dessert of rhubarb jelly, custard and roast rhubarb topped with a generous sprinkling of crumble topping. Definitely one to try if you’re looking to impress with an unusual twist on an old classic.

Recipe: rhubarb and crumble trifle

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