This rhubarb cheesecake bars recipe has a few steps but is simple to follow and the result is an impressive-looking dessert that will wow your friends and family. The sweet-tart flavor of the rhubarb pairs perfectly with the creamy cheesecake filling.
While this tart rhubarb dessert is amazing using fresh rhubarb during rhubarb season, it can be made throughout the year. I have found that you can use frozen rhubarb in many rhubarb recipes interchangeably with fresh.
If you are a huge fan of seasonal rhubarb, then this decadent dessert needs to be in your recipe box.
How to Freeze Rhubarb
It’s easy to freeze raw rhubarb. Just cut the stalks into one-inch pieces. Then place them in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to one year. I like to spread the rhubarb pieces out in the bag by laying it flat. I find it takes up less space, freezes faster, and I can use just a small amount if needed as it is not all stuck together.
It is so easy to freeze rhubarb straight from the garden. Cut off the leaves, clean, and dice. If the stalks are fibrous, peel off the tough outer fibers. Place in a storage container and freeze.
One pound of rhubarb makes 3 cups of sliced rhubarb.
The redder the color of the rhubarb, the sweeter the taste.
Rhubarb is not a fruit; it is actually considered a vegetable.
The leaves of the rhubarb plants are poisonous, so be sure to trim and discard it when harvesting directly from the garden.
Layered Rhubarb Dessert
This dessert is sure to wow your guests with four scrumptious layers that just work so well together. Each layer is baking while you get the ingredients ready for the next layer.
Pie Crust Layer. We make this layer using flour, sugar, and butter mixed just like you would when making a pie crust. Pro Tips. You can also use cold butter by grating it and stirring it in. Work on the next layer while this layer is baking. Save even more time; pre heat oven while mixing the buttery crust ingredients.
Rhubarb Filling. Slice the cleaned rhubarb into ½ to 1-inch pieces. Add that to a large mixing bowl and stir in sugar and flour. The flour helps soak up any juices that will come from the rhubarb while baking these bars.
Creamy Filling. In a medium bowl, I use an electric hand mixer to blend the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and eggs together. This cream cheese mixture really adds such a delicious flare to this recipe.
Sour Cream Glaze. It is amazing how well this simple topping brings the whole dessert together. The last layer is made using sour cream, butter, lemon, powdered sugar, and vanilla. A bit of lemon zest would be a wonderful fresh addition if you happen to have a fresh lemon on hand.
These layers just work so well together, and the layers really made this recipe look like you spent all day making it. It is one of my favorite things to make during rhubarb season in the spring.
Storing Fresh Rhubarb
Remove the leaves, place stems in plastic bag and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Rhubarb will keep 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Prepare Rhubarb for Recipes
To prepare, wash each stem thoroughly one at a time. Trim off any blemishes and cut stems into ½ to 1 inch uniform slices. If you do have larger stalks of rhubarb, use a knife and peel the outer tough layer. Just place a paring knife on an end just under the outer layer. Hold that end between your knife and finger and peel down. Do this all the way around the stalk. When you cook it up, it will be tender.
Storing Rhubarb Dessert
This should be refrigerated once the dish is cooled to room temperature. Either store in a single layer in an airtight container or the baking container covered. Or store in layers with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper between the layers to prevent them from sticking together. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars Recipe
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- 1 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
- ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ¾ Cup Butter Softened
- 4 Cups Rhubarb Cleaned and Sliced
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 4 Tablespoons Flour
- 12 Ounces Cream Cheese 1 ½ Packages Softened
- ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 3 Large Eggs
Sour Cream Glaze
- ¾ Cup Sour Cream
- ½ Teaspoon Vanilla
- ¼ Cup Butter Softened
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- ½ Teaspoon Lemon Juice
- Crust. Combine crust ingredients, flour, sugar, and butter. Then press the flour mixture in a 9 X 13 baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Pro Tip. If using softened butter, use a pastry cutter or a food processor to incorporate the butter with the flour and granulated sugar, just like you would for a pie crust. You can also use cold butter by grating it and stirring it in.
- Rhubarb Layer. In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, granulated sugar, and flour. Add the rhubarb mixture to the baked crust. Continue baking for 15 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cheesecake Layer. In a medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer on medium speed, mix the cream cheese and granulated sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Pour the mixture over the rhubarb layer and bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Sour Cream Glaze. Mix the sour cream, softened butter, powdered sugar, and lemon juice until well combined. Spread over the rhubarb cheesecake bars as soon as they come out of the oven.
- Let cool 15-20 minutes before cutting and eating.