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Rhubarb Custard Bars

Once I tried these rich, gooey bars, I just had to have the recipe so I could make them for my family and friends. The shortbreadlike crust and the rhubarb and custard layers inspire people to find rhubarb that they can use to fix a batch for themselves. —Shari Roach, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 50 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    3 dozen


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 5 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped


  • In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar; cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, for filling, combine sugar and flour in a bowl. Whisk in cream and eggs. Stir in the rhubarb. Pour over crust. Bake at 350° until custard is set, 40-45 minutes. Cool.
  • For topping, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth; fold in whipped cream. Spread over top. Cover and chill. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Heavy whipping cream gives custard fillings a luscious, decadent texture, but half-and-half cream or whole milk can be substituted with nice results.
  • This is a potluck hero: It makes a mountain of bars. If you're cooking for a smaller crew, however, just halve the recipe and use a 9- or 8-inch square baking dish.
  • If you prefer your bars on the tart side, bump up the rhubarb to 6 or 6-1/2 cups or reduce the sugar in the filling to 1-1/2 cups.
  • Go full garden party for your friends and family by adding the seeds of one vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon rosewater to the filling. Both flavors pair beautifully with rhubarb and take these already fab bars to another level.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 bar: 198 calories, 11g fat (7g saturated fat), 52mg cholesterol, 70mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein.
    Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.


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    Average Rating:
    • Vsa
      Mar 23, 2021

      Nice one

    • cyndi9781x
      Mar 13, 2021

      These are so good. I've been making it for 15 years ever since I found it. My family loves them. When rhubarb season is here. They are made. If I get really busy, I use canned cream cheese frosting.

    • dilligaf4402
      Sep 19, 2020

      I love these bars, sometimes I add 1 cup of either raspberries or strawberries to the rhubarb to change things up. They are delicious either way.

    • Rochelle
      Aug 25, 2020

      Tracy you can also use the following measure: one cup of diced raw rhubarb equals 0.27 lb. of raw diced rhubarb.

    • teresaskate
      Aug 25, 2020

      Tracy, 1 cup of liquid is usually 8 ounces or 230 ml, where as 1 cup of white granulated sugar weighs 7 ounces. Here is a conversion chart that you might find helpful. This recipe is yummy, but I would increase the rhubarb in the filling, and decrease the whipping cream in the topping, it was over baring.

    • Tracy
      Aug 7, 2020

      Can anyone please tell me the weight of a “cup” as we don’t use this measure in England.

    • Denise
      Jul 5, 2020

      Theses were fabulous. I picked my rhubarb in the morning. I made the 1/2 recipe more tart version and they were liked by all. I agree that people who think they don’t like rhubarb would love these. So different!!

    • Dale
      Jul 1, 2020

      Can these rhubarb bars be frozen after baking?

    • Bev
      Jun 29, 2020

      Very tasty, I usually don’t like rhubarb.

    • Lisa
      Jun 6, 2020

      SO GOOD! The shortbread crust is a little labor intensive, but worth making! My new favotie rhubard recipe!!