Rhubarb Crunch + Being an Aunt

Rhubarb Crunch

The other day, my sister called me up and asked if I’d be willing to stay with the kids while she made a trip into town. Of course I said yes – being home alone is kinda lonely sometimes, and I love my little niece and nephew to death.

Rhubarb Crunch

While she was in town and the kids were napping, I decided to harvest some of her beautiful rhubarb and make a dessert.

Rhubarb Crunch

Everything went together easily and it baked up as described by the recipe. When the kiddos woke up from their nap, they were very interested in my creation and desperate to give it a try.

Rhubarb Crunch
Rhubarb Crunch

The guys got home from work and Reuben spied the rhubarb crisp. He, too was eager to try some – perhaps before supper?

Rhubarb Crunch

Just as we were getting ready to eat, my sister announced that she was going into labor. We quickly finished the meal and cleared away the dishes – but she need us to leave: NOW. We scooped up the kids (and the dessert) and headed home.


Judah and Ellie finally got to eat their dessert (with whipped cream, of course). We waited (somewhat) patiently for news of the arrival of the baby. Ten o-clock rolled around and no phone call. We put the kids to bed and settled down at the computer to relax a bit after a very busy day.


Just as Reuben and I were drifting off to sleep, we got the call. It’s a girl!

The next morning we packed up the kids and headed out to see the newest member of the family: Susan.

And what a doll she is.


I’ve gotta tell you, these kids are aDORable. But, like all little kids, they’re also a handful. They need help doing almost everything, from wiping their faces, to washing their hands, to getting dressed. They seem to have two modes: super energetic or sleepy. After two days of taking care of them I was exhausted.

All of this to say, I have a new appreciation for the unsung heroes of the world: mothers.

The only time you have to yourself is the few short hours when the kids are taking a nap. All other hours are spent keeping the kids fed, happy and safe. Just living becomes a chore.

But their happy faces and excited voices make it all worth while.

So to all mothers: my hat is off.

Rhubarb Crunch

But about this rhubarb crunch.

It’s a bit different than most crisp recipes I’ve made – you press half of the topping into the pan before adding the rhubarb. Also, you boil together sugar and water and pour over the rhubarb in the pan for sweetener.

I used whole wheat flour and a natural sweetener, partly because that was all that I could find in Audra’s pantry (go sis!). Also, she didn’t have any regular rolled oats on hand, so I used quick instead. Feeling a bit lazy, I decided to melt the butter and mix into the topping ingredients instead of cutting it in. A trick my mum taught me.

Reuben thought it was a tad too sweet, even though I cut out some of the sugar. Of course, rhubarb recipes usually call for a ton of sugar to combat the sourness of the fruit (is rhubarb a fruit or a vegetable?). And we’re not very tolerant of overly sweet desserts.

Would I make this again? Definitely. It was very easy, and I think it would easily convert to other fruits, such as raspberries.

Rhubarb Crunch | adapted from Taste of Home | printable page | make 6-8 servings


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned or quick oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (I used about 3/4 cup sucanat)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed (or melted)
  • 4 cups diced fresh rhubarb or frozen rhubarb
  • 1-1/3 cups sugar (I used 1 cup of sucanat)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • whipped cream or ice cream, for serving


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a square baking dish (I used a pie pan because that’s all I could find).

2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in the cold butter or mix in the melted butter. Press half of the topping into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the rhubarb on top.

3) In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Slowly mix in the cold water and heat over medium until the mixture boils; boil for 2 minutes or until thickened a bit. Pour over the rhubarb in the pan.

4) Sprinkle with remaining crumb topping. Bake in the preheated oven for about an hour (start checking at 40 minutes) or until bubbly and beginning to brown.

5) Serve warm with ice cream, lightly sweetened whipped cream or plain cream.


23 thoughts on “Rhubarb Crunch + Being an Aunt

  1. Congrats to your sister on the new baby! I love the name 🙂 Yes, being a mom is difficult but you do get used to it. It is very hard to become mom for a day and not feel like you never got a moment. Us mom’s, we have it down!

    I am going to try your rhubarb crisp. I am not a rhubarb fan but my husband is so I will make it for him. If it goes over well I will post on my site and link back to you!

    Have a wonderful day and give that baby a big kiss!

  2. My kiddos are both napping and of all things I could have done, I chose to read your blog…don’t you feel special! 🙂 Okay, I probably should be mopping the floor, but oh well. Gotta live a little! 🙂 Enjoyed the pictures of my new little cousin! Thanks, Erica.

  3. Congrats on the new addition to the family! I have six nieces and nephews (no kids of my own yet) so I know how rewarding it can be to spoil the little ones. Your crisp looks delicious! Believe it or not, I have never baked with rhubarb and your recipe is a definite inspiration to start doing so. Wonderful post!

    • Julia: Yes, it’s fun to take care of the kids and “play mom.” 🙂 You should definitely try cooking with rhubarb! It’s a bit tart/sour, but I love it.

  4. Mmmmmm! Love crisps! They are the ultimate comfort food to me: delicious, easy and good for dessert or breakfast (am I the only one who does this?). Never used rhubarb at all, but am intrigued.
    Regarding the kiddos, isn’t God gracious to only give us (usually) 1 or 2 at a time? We moms get to gradually adjust to caring for them while you surrogates get all of them at once- on the job training!
    Beautiful baby! Oh, what fun a house full of kiddos is! The lack of me time is absolutely worth it.

  5. What wonderful news! I’m so happy for your growing family.

    When the time comes for you to take care of yours, you find inner reserves of strength, patience, and endless love you never thought you had. It’s quite extraordinary.

  6. Found your blog today and just love it! Especially because you aren’t afraid of using butter and whole milk in your recipes. Yay! for good fats! 🙂 I’m a mom of five and was drawn to your title “Cooking for Seven” because that’s exactly what I’m doing day to day. Thank you for sharing your tasty recipes and lovely pictures. God Bless!

    • Shar: Yes! Another lover of good fats! I used to be on the “low-fat” bandwagon, but now I can’t stand skim milk and have to have butter on my bread. 🙂

  7. I’ve never cooked with rhubarb, so this may get me to do so. Congratulations on Susan’s arrival – I really like the picture of her older sister holding her – the expression on big sister’s face is priceless!

  8. Pingback: Susan Margrette | Simple Days

  9. God gives us moms the patience and energy and ability to get things done. I throw my 11 week old in my baby carrier and wear him while I prep dinner, tend to my garden and such. he loves having mom hold him and I love being able to “feel” him and talk to him while I work.
    The crisp looks yummy…I may try this with some blackberries next month…YUM.

  10. I just found your blog through the DMBLGiT roundup. I am so glad I discovered it – you have so many beautiful recipes! You have a new fan :-).

    I would like to invite you to share this post (and other posts 🙂 ) on a new photo based recipe sharing site that launched this month. The idea is simple: all recipe photographs are published within minutes of submission. And, of course, the images link back to the author’s site.

    It’s called RecipeNewZ (with Z) – http://recipenewz.com

    I hope you get a chance to visit and to share some of your delicious posts with our viewers. It would be a pleasure to have you on board 🙂

  11. Pictures look awesome for the dessert. Quick question – I’m wonder how much of a ‘crunch’ the crunch actually had. I haven’t had too much luck lately…and am hoping this one is more of what I’m looking for.

    • T.J. Thering: It seemed to have about as much “crunch” as most crisps I’ve made. The fruit filling is pretty soft, so it kinda rises up and envelops the topping a bit. I suppose if you cooked it longer it would get crunchier, but if you’re looking for something extremely crisp, this may not be the recipe for you. 🙂

  12. Pingback: Rhubarb Crunch – Warm Vanilla Sugar

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