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Rhubarb Dream Bars

Dreaming of a different way to use rhubarb? Try these sweet bars with a tender shortbread-like crust topped with rhubarb, walnuts and coconut for delicious results. —Marion Tomlinson, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 45 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 dozen


  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups diced fresh or frozen rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut


  • In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour and the confectioners' sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Pat into a lightly greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 13-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.
  • In a large bowl, combine sugar and remaining flour. Add eggs. Stir in the rhubarb, walnuts and coconut; pour over crust. Bake 30-35 minutes longer or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
Editor's Note
If using frozen rhubarb, measure rhubarb while still frozen, then thaw completely. Drain in a colander, but do not press liquid out.

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  • MsMousse
    Dec 26, 2020

    Reading some of the comments here, I decided to increase the crust recipe by half. There was plenty for my 9x13 baking dish and I had some left over--I didn't want the crust to be too thick! The filling came out great without any adjustments, although I always cut down a little on the sugar and I added a tad more rhubarb because...well, you can't have too much rhubarb! The consistency was fine and spread nicely on the crust. I also replaced the walnuts with toasted slivered almonds (my family doesn't care for walnuts). I can't comment on how well they cut since it's still cooling, but I can't wait to give it a try! This could become my new staple dessert.

  • Cathy
    Jun 6, 2020

    WORST RECIPE EVER!!!! Reviews were saying the crust was too thin. Whereas I do enjoy crust, this was thin, but I had no problem patting it in the pan, and had adequate coverage. My problem came with the filling. WHAT PICTURE OF WHICH RECIPE DID YOU USE FOR YOUR BARS? NO WAY WAS THIS THESE BARS! I knew there was a problem as soon as your instructions said: Pour filling on crust. That filling is so thick! I had to pat it into the pan! You have sugar, flour, rhubarb, walnuts, coconut, and to hold ALL THAT together... 2 EGGS! My bars had a crunchy coating on them. They barely browned, causing me to over-bake the already paper-thin bars, Your picture shows browned bars, coconut, rhubarb... I baked sugar and eggs! White crucnh on top... no way for any ingredients to show through. Then trying to get them out was worthless, they were so thin, there was nothing to them... and trying to brown them, causing them to over-bake, let's just say, I ended up having to scrape them out of the pan, and into the garbage. WHAT A WASTE!

  • Sandy
    May 19, 2017

    I agree that the crust is too thin. Mine as holes in it too.

  • tednsuzy
    Jun 7, 2011

    PS: cool completely before covering and refrigerating: the plastic wrap I used was covered in moisture and so was the tray they were on when I took them out just now to snap a photo...

  • tednsuzy
    Jun 7, 2011

    Having read both previous reviews, I decided to double the recipe and use a 15x11 pan, larger than the 9x13, but not twice the size. My crust became doughy (not crumbly) before I turned off my machine. I patted that easily into the pan and then used my pizza dough roller* to get it to the edges. I am not sure if the custard was supposed to be so soft, but the bars have held together well and are delicious. Not only did I double it, but I increased the walnuts by about a 1/4 cup, and the coconut by about a 1/4 cup, as well. I decided to chop my rhubarb with the hand chopper*. This means that after chopping, the rhubarb may actually measure less than four cups. I started out with an ample amount, maybe 1/4 cup extra. (I have a few *pampered chef things, but don't know what the names are). I baked the bars for a total of 45 minutes, setting the oven at 325, for the most part (350 for the crust, then down to 325, then up a bit in the end: after 30 minutes at 325, the custard was still liquid across the middle, that is when I bumped it up to 350 for the last 15). The rhubarb seems to add a bit of juice to the custard mixture, so that may have affected the quality of the jell, in the end. I would call this a first rate recipe!

  • dkolesar
    Oct 6, 2010

    The recipe is tasty; no trouble there. However crust is too thin; took ingenuity topat it out to cover the entire pan. Some"holes" let filling seep through to make itstick. Should be thicker, and it'd cut mucheasier into squares. Also a bit more fillingwould be nice too.

  • di2859
    May 6, 2010

    No comment left

  • hag2nut2000
    May 27, 2009

    I made these for a birthday party and everyone went crazy over them. I don't even like rhubarb, and I couldn't keep my hands off them, either.