Celebrate rhubarb season with this easy, homemade gluten-free rhubarb crisp (aka gluten-free rhubarb crumble)! Tangy roasted rhubarb meets crunchy streusel made with almond flour, oats, and spice. Make it dairy-free and vegan using plant butter!
This homemade gluten-free rhubarb crisp is one of my favorite rhubarb recipes and one that I make every spring! I never tire of thick, saucy fruit lidded with salty brown sugar streusel laced with nuts, oats, and spices. Ice cream is mandatory. That space where melty ice cream meets warm rhubarb compote and buttery streusel is pure bliss.
This gluten-free rhubarb crisp comes together with minimal effort. The filling is pleasantly tangy, laced with a bit of lemon and vanilla to enhance the floral-tart flavor of the rhubarb. The topping ingredients are simply stirred together into buttery, brown sugary bliss.
This gluten-free rhubarb crisp is:
- gloriously tangy
- a celebration of rhubarb
- topped with salty-sweet almond flour crisp topping
- easy to whip up in about 20 minutes of active time
- perfect for topping with vanilla ice cream
TBG TIP: Cold, leftover rhubarb crisp topped with plain yogurt makes an ace breakfast the following day!
Ingredients & Substitution Suggestions
Gluten-Free Crisp Topping
This gluten-free crisp topping is buttery, crumbly, and not-too-sweet, with a good hit of salt that makes it super addicting!
- Almond flour forms the base of this topping, adding moisture and a touch of nutty flavor. I use blanched almond flour from Bob's Red Mill. Sub by weight almond meal, hazelnut meal, or try tiger nut flour for nut-free.
- Oat flour makes the crisp light and delicate. Sub by weight sorghum flour or teff flour, or use buckwheat flour for a richer flavor.
- Tapioca flour helps the streusel clump together in addictive little clusters.
- Rolled oats add heft and chew. For oat allergies, omit the oats and use more.
- Sliced almonds add a delightful crunch and flavor. Sub chopped pecans or walnuts, or omit the nuts for nut-free.
- Brown sugar adds sweetness. I used organic light brown sugar here, but dark brown sugar should work too. Or sub by weight coconut sugar for refined sugar-free.
- Cardamom adds a hint of spice that pairs beautifully with the rhubarb and almond. Sub cinnamon for a more classic crisp topping.
- Salt sharpens the flavor and makes the topping sugar addicting.
- Melted butter brings the topping together and adds richness. Sub plant butter to make this dish dairy-free and vegan!
This filling is perfect for rhubarb lovers!
- Sliced rhubarb forms the base of this filling. Look for fresh rhubarb that's bright pink or red in color as this will make the prettiest crisp. You can augment the color by adding in a handful of fresh or frozen raspberries. (Or try my gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crisp!)
- Sugar adds just enough sweetness to balance rhubarb's tartness. Sub by weight maple sugar for refined sugar-free.
- Lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla enhance rhubarb's bright flavor. I especially like Meyer lemon here if you've got some!
- Cornstarch thickens the rhubarb juices. Sub tapioca or arrowroot powder.
How to Make Gluten-Free Rhubarb Crisp
Like all fruit crisps, this gluten-free rhubarb crisp is easy to throw together! You don't need any special equipment, just a bowl and a baking dish, and the recipe only takes about 20 minutes of active time plus about an hour to bake.
Gluten Free Rhubarb Crisp... or is it Rhubarb Crumble?!
It's both! In the US, the terms are interchangeable, with crisp being the more common term. Call this a rhubarb crisp or a rhubarb crumble – just don't call it late for dinner. Or maybe do, because it's a dessert...
Rhubarb Varieties: Field Rhubarb vs. Forced Rhubarb
Rhubarb grows in patches of slender stalks crowned with large, green leaves. The leaves are toxic if consumed in large quantities (and they can be toxic to cats and dogs too), so be sure to trim them away.
In warmer climates like coastal California, field rhubarb can grow outdoors much of the year, though it's happiest in the spring and fall during mild weather. Field rhubarb comes in varieties that range in hue from green to bright red and everywhere in between. In California, I've only ever found red stalks tinged with green. When cooked, the color can look drab, which is why I often use only the lower reddest parts of the stalks. I'll sometimes add red-hued ingredients such as beet or hibiscus powder or blood orange juice as well. A handful of red berries adds color and flavor too.
In cooler climates such as the UK, forced rhubarb is commonly grown in dark hothouses. Stalks can grow quickly in these conditions – up to four inches per day – and are harvested by candlelight. With no light for the leaves to photosynthesize, the leaves stay small and pale yellow. These stalks are bright magenta all the way through.
Forced rhubarb is hard to come by in California, perhaps because our hothouses are occupied by more profitable berries and lettuces. I was lucky enough to find some forced rhubarb from Washington State, which I used to shoot the process photos for this vegan & gluten free rhubarb crisp. But then I overbaked my crisp and had to make it a second time using field rhubarb (which I was lucky enough to harvest from my mother-in-law's garden). To this version, I added a spoonful of beet powder and little fresh raspberry puree to bump up the color.
Vegan Rhubarb Crisp...or not!
Use a good plant-based butter to make vegan rhubarb crumble. I prefer Miyoko's vegan butter, which is made from cashews and coconut and cultured so it has a salty tang. Serve with a vegan vanilla ice cream that you love. A couple that I'm partial to are Green Girl and Nada Moo.
If you prefer to go dairy all the way, use dairy butter and ice cream. I've tried it both ways and it's delicious!
Looking for a grain-free paleo rhubarb crisp? Use maple sugar in the filling and top it with my almond flour crumble topping.
*Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this gluten-free rhubarb crisp, I’d love to see. Tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet.*
Homemade Gluten-Free Rhubarb CrispPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 5 cups (600 g) rhubarb, leaves trimmed away, cut into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal
- zest and juice of ½ large lemon (preferably Meyer)
- ½ cup (100 g) organic granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons (15 g) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- ½ cup (55 g) almond flour
- ½ cup (50 g) GF old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup (55 g) sliced almonds
- ¼ cup (25 g) oat flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons (11 g) tapioca flour
- ½ cup (110 g) packed organic light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
- ¼ - ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (I like my streusel salty with ½ teaspoon, but use the smaller amount if you prefer!)
- 5 tablespoons (70 g) unsalted dairy or vegan butter (such as Miyoko’s), melted
- vanilla ice cream, for serving
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF.
- In a large bowl, toss the rhubarb with the lemon zest and juice, sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla. Scrape the mixture into a 9- or 10-inch round baking dish, pie plate, or ovenproof skillet. Place the baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips, and bake until the rhubarb starts to bubble, 25-30 minutes. Gently stir the rhubarb to redistribute.
- To make the topping, combine the almond flour, oats, almonds, oat flour, tapioca flour, brown sugar, cardamom, and salt in a medium bowl (you can reuse the rhubarb bowl if you scraped it clean enough). Stir in the melted butter until the mixture forms large clumps.
- When the rhubarb has baked, sprinkle the topping over the fruit. Return to the oven and bake until deep golden and bubbling furiously, about 25-35 more minutes. Let cool for a few minutes or to room temperature. Scoop into bowls and serve with ice cream and a sprinkle of rose petals if you like.
- The crisp is best when freshly baked, but leftovers keep, covered and chilled, for up to 3 days. Enjoy cold or warm.