This rhubarb bread recipe is the best! Tender and fluffy, it’s flecked with sweet tart rhubarb and sprinkled with a crunchy streusel topping.

Rhubarb bread

When the season rolls around, it’s all we can do to hold ourselves back from making all the rhubarb recipes: pies, muffins, and more. This year, we’ve added a new standard: this irresistible Rhubarb Streusel Bread! It’s light and fluffy, made with buttermilk to make an impossibly tender crumb. It’s flecked with just the right amount of sweet tart rhubarb, then sprinkled with a crunchy streusel topping. It’s totally dreamy, perfect for serving to guests or as a present for friends or neighbors. Summer baking just got better!

Ingredients for rhubarb bread

This rhubarb bread recipe has the best texture, due mainly to the secret ingredient: buttermilk! It makes for an exceptionally fluffy and light bread. Other than that and the rhubarb, the remaining ingredients are the traditional cast of baking characters. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Rhubarb
  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  • Buttermilk
  • Butter
  • Neutral oil
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
Rhubarb bread

Secrets to a light and fluffy bread

Quick breads can be notoriously dense, dry or filled with air pockets. This rhubarb bread is anything but! There are two tricks to the velvety soft texture:

  • Use real buttermilk. Buttermilk is absolutely crucial to making a fluffy quick bread with a tender crumb. Don’t be tempted to use even a buttermilk substitute here! It’s got to be the real thing.
  • Use both butter and oil. Butter and oil work uniquely in baked goods. Typically we use oil in our quick bread recipes, but we love the richness in flavor and texture that butter adds here.

Optional adder: orange zest

Rhubarb and orange are a classic combination, and here’s why: the zesty orange perfectly accentuates the sweet and sour flavor of the rhubarb. It’s a great way to step up this bread from delightful to gourmet! Simply add ¼ teaspoon orange zest into the streusel topping. This simple addition makes a big impact!

Rhubarb bread recipe

Rhubarb bread storage info

How to store it? This rhubarb bread tastes best the day it’s baked. However, it does hold up pretty well over time! Here’s what to know:

  • Refrigerator: This bread stores well in the refrigerator for up to 1 week! This is what we recommend due to the streusel topping. Let the slices stand at room temperature for a few minutes before eating: it’s not quite as tasty cold (we think).
  • Freeze: Freeze in a sealable container and store up to 3 months.
Rhubarb bread

More rhubarb recipes

Rhubarb season is our favorite! Here are a few more rhubarb recipes you might enjoy:

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Rhubarb bread

Rhubarb Bread

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices 1x



For the bread

  • 2 cups rhubarb, finely diced
  • 2 cups [280 g] all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup neutral oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the streusel topping

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Optional: ¼ teaspoon orange zest


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  2. Chop the rhubarb and set it aside. Grease a 9 x 5-inch aluminum loaf pan with butter.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, buttermilk, melted butter, neutral oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  5. Make the streusel: In a small bowl, mix the sugar and all-purpose flour. Cut the butter into small pieces, then use your fingers to rub it into the dry ingredients until well distributed and crumbles form.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients from the batter (Step 4) into the well in the dry ingredients. Mix gently until just combined and there are no longer streaks of flour.
  7. Add 1 2/3 cups of the diced rhubarb and fold it in with a spatula, taking care not to overwork the batter.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with ⅓ cup of the chopped rhubarb, then sprinkle evenly with the streusel.
  9. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs, rotating the pan halfway through baking, about 55 to 65 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. 
  10. Run a knife around the edge and invert the loaf onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool fully to room temperature (about 1 hour) before slicing into pieces. This bread is best the day it’s made, but you can store refrigerated for up to 10 days: make sure to bring to room temperature before enjoying. Alternatively, store frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Category: Baking
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Baked
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Rhubarb bread, rhubarb bread recipe, rhubarb bread recipes

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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    1. I have made several of your recipes and love them especially the corn bread!
      It would be helpful to me if you gave the nutritional values, my husband is diabetic so it is important to know the carbs and sugar.

      1. Added! I’m behind on updating these so feel free to leave a comment on any you’d like to prioritize.

    2. So many cake, muffin, and bread recipes call for buttermilk and say that a substitute is just as good. Why is it not good for this recipe? I always have milk and lemon juice and vinegar on hand and really do not want to purchase real buttermilk.

      1. Hi! You are welcome to substitute and will still have a good result, there is definitely a difference in taste and texture if you use the real thing!

  1. OMG, this sounds just like my grandmother’s recipe. I lost all of my recipes when our city was hit by a wildfire 5 yrs ago and I have searched high & low for a similar recipe but this sounds IDENTICAL to hers. I can hardly wait to try it!! Thank you!!

  2. Any chance you can convert the measurements to grams for UK bakers! Rhubarb is grown on every single allotment here so always keen to try new recipes 😋

    1. You should be able to google conversions! We will definitely consider providing them in the future. Thank you for the comment!