If you thought summer was only for relaxing and soaking up the sun, think again! Because it's strawberry and rhubarb season, I present you with a delicious dessert nobody can resist - this easy vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars recipe.
These fruity and wholesome bars made with fresh and juicy strawberries, tart rhubarb, rolled oats, coconut sugar, brown sugar, vegan butter, and coconut oil are the perfect dessert for picnics, barbecues, or family gatherings, not to mention they make your home smell divine and taste like summertime in every bite!
I couldn't resist making these crumble bars with one of my favorite spring and summer fruit combinations - sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb! Whether you're vegan or not, everyone will enjoy these delectable Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars.
Make these delicious crumble bars and freeze them individually for an easy grab-and-go dessert or snack that doesn’t require prepping or heating up. You can share this classic treat with friends and family around a picnic table. Get ready for an amazing summertime snack!
The incredibly fresh rhubarb and strawberries I saw at the market inspired this recipe and my vegan gluten-free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.
Here are the simple ingredients you need to make these vegan crumble bars.
- Rhubarb - you can use fresh or frozen rhubarb stalks sliced ¼-inch thick. If the rhubarb is thick, peel it. I buy fresh rhubarb while it's in season, cut it into cubes, freeze it in a single layer, and then place it in freezer-safe bags for baking year-round.
- Fresh strawberries - I buy organic strawberries - dice them for this recipe.
- Orange juice and orange zest - I used a blood orange to mix with the fruit for additional flavor; you can use any orange.
- Whole wheat pastry flour - for the crumble layer.
- Organic cane sugar - this is vegan.
- Coconut sugar and brown sugar - this is for the crumble layer. I love the taste that each type of sugar provides.
- Tapioca flour - for thickening the fruit mixture. Tapioca comes from the root of the cassava plant. The amount used depends on the juiciness of the fruit. If you want a firmer filling, use 5 tablespoons. If you want a juicier filling, use 3 tablespoons. I use Bob's Red Mill tapioca flour, the same as tapioca starch. It is not cassava flour. See substitutions below.
- Ginger - for extra flavor, making the kitchen smell divine while these bars are baking!
- Vegan butter - I used Earth Balance vegan soy-free buttery sticks. Do not use the type of butter in a tub since it will have too much water.
- Coconut oil - I love the taste that coconut oil adds to the crumble layer.
- Rolled oats - I use old-fashioned rolled oats for the crumb base and crumb topping; I don't recommend quick-cooking oats or steel-cut oats. I use Bob's Red Mill organic rolled oats.
- Vanilla extract - I use pure vanilla extract.
See the recipe card for quantities.
What is Rhubarb?
Rhubarb is a very sour-tasting vegetable with thick, reddish stalks and is usually cooked with a sweetener such as sugar. The texture is similar to celery; however, rhubarb is much more firm and crisp.
As I was growing up in Canada, we grew rhubarb in our backyard garden; rhubarb requires cold winters to grow. It's common in gardens in North America and Northern Europe and can also be found in mountainous Northeast Asia.
Although rhubarb is a vegetable, it is commonly characterized as a fruit. Only the stalks are eaten, not the leaves. It is rarely eaten raw and is commonly used in pies, crumbles, crisps, jams, sweet soups, sauces, and tarts.
How to Make This Easy Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars Recipe
It's easy to make these vegan strawberry rhubarb crumble bars, even if it is your first time. So get your apron, gather all necessary ingredients – including fresh strawberries and rhubarb - and let’s get baking together!
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish, line it with parchment paper, and butter it.
- First, we'll make the crumb layer, reserving a portion for the topping, and press it into the prepared baking dish for the bottom crust.
- Then, we'll make the strawberry rhubarb layer and spoon it over the bottom crust.
- Top the strawberry rhubarb mixture with the remaining crumb mixture and bake.
Here is the step-by-step process to make these tasty bars:
Melt vegan butter and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, sea salt, and ginger in a large bowl.
Add rolled oats, light brown sugar, and coconut sugar. Whisk to blend; break up small clumps of brown sugar with your fingertips.
Pour the melted butter mixture over the rolled oat mixture. Stir with a spatula until the mixture is evenly combined.
Press ⅔ of the crumble mixture into the prepared baking dish and set aside the remaining third - this will be the topping.
Add diced strawberries and rhubarb to a medium mixing bowl for the fruit filling. Add orange zest and orange juice, stirring to combine. Stir in the tapioca flour.
Pour the strawberry and rhubarb filling over the bottom crumb layer in the baking dish.
Evenly sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture on top of the fruit mixture.
Bake in a preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes until the top is golden brown and the strawberry rhubarb filling is bubbling. This may take more or less time, depending on your oven and the juiciness of the fruit.
Cool completely on a wire rack for 3 hours, then lift the bars out of the pan with the parchment paper before cutting into squares.
Hint: If your fruit mixture is especially juicy, add another tablespoon or two of the tapioca flour to help it thicken as it bakes.
Here are some substitutions you can try:
- Rhubarb - If you can't find rhubarb, use strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.
- Strawberries - use raspberries instead. You may need a longer bake time because there will be more moisture. Consider adding another tablespoon of tapioca flour.
- Whole wheat pastry flour - use organic unbleached all-purpose flour or spelt flour.
- Tapioca flour - use arrowroot flour or organic corn starch instead.
- Orange juice and zest - use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest instead.
- Vegan butter - use coconut oil instead.
- Coconut oil - use vegan butter instead.
- Coconut sugar - use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar. You can use organic cane sugar instead, but it won't have the taste of molasses.
- Light brown sugar - use dark brown sugar or coconut sugar instead.
Here are a few variations you can try:
- Flavor - add a pinch of cardamom or cinnamon to the crumble mixture.
- Deluxe - top with vegan vanilla ice cream or whipped sweetened coconut cream before serving. Or add Grand Marnier to the fruit mixture before baking.
- Fruit - try these vegan crumble bars with all strawberries or all rhubarb, or add some fresh blueberries or raspberries. If you make it with all rhubarb, you will need to add more sugar since you won't have the sweetness of the strawberries.
- Gluten-free - try a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend instead of whole wheat pastry flour.
Here is the equipment you need to make this recipe:
- 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish - I have found the best results in a large baking dish. I like this ceramic baking dish by Staub. I don't recommend halving and baking this recipe in an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish; you will get the best results with the large baking dish.
- Mixing bowls
- Cutting board
- Chef's knife and cutting board
- Colander for washing the fruit
- Parchment paper for lining the baking dish
Let the bars cool completely before covering them for storage. Store leftovers on the counter in an airtight container for up to 3 days, and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
Freeze these bars for up to one month - wrap them individually and freeze them for an easy grab-and-go dessert or breakfast. Thaw them in the fridge overnight.
Bake until the crumble topping is golden brown and the fruit mixture bubbles at the edges.
If you make this recipe, please take a moment to ★★★★★ star-rate it and leave a comment below. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and share your creation with me! Tag me @resplendentkitchen and hashtag #resplendentkitchenrecipes.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these vegan summer baking recipes:
These are my favorite drinks to serve with these vegan strawberry rhubarb crumble bars:
Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars Recipe
Strawberry rhubarb layer
- 4 cups hulled and diced strawberries
- 3 ½ cups diced rhubarb sliced ¼-inch thick
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 4 tablespoons arrowroot powder or tapioca flour
- Melt vegan butter and coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.¾ cup vegan butter, ¼ cup coconut oil, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish and line it with parchment paper, and butter it also.
For the crumb layer:
- In a mixing bowl whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, sea salt, and ground ginger. Add rolled oats, light brown sugar, and coconut sugar. Whisk to blend; break up small clumps of brown sugar with your fingertips.2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, 2 cups rolled oats, 1 cup packed organic light brown sugar, 1 cup coconut sugar
- Pour melted butter mixture over rolled oat mixture. Stir with a spatula until the mixture is evenly combined.
- Press ⅔ of the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and set aside the remaining third.
For the strawberry rhubarb layer
- Add diced strawberries and rhubarb to a medium mixing bowl for the filling. Add organic cane sugar, orange zest, and orange juice, stirring to combine. Stir in arrowroot powder.4 cups hulled and diced strawberries, 3 ½ cups diced rhubarb, 1 teaspoon orange zest, 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice, ½ cup organic cane sugar, 4 tablespoons arrowroot powder or tapioca flour
- Pour strawberry and rhubarb mixture over the bottom crumb layer in baking dish. Evenly sprinkle remaining ⅓ crumb mixture over top.
- Bake in preheated oven until top is golden brown. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top of the crisp is golden and the fruit filling is bubbling.
- Cool completely on a wire rack for 3 hours, then lift the bars out of the pan with the parchment paper before cutting into squares. Serve with vegan vanilla ice cream if desired.
Resplendent Kitchen offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site as a courtesy. Although resplendentkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information from online calculators, these figures are estimates.