Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding


Everyday Culinary Delights 👩‍🍳


Rhubarb, often celebrated as the harbinger of spring, holds a cherished place in the pantheon of ingredients used in seasonal baking. Its vibrant, tart flavor makes it a favorite for desserts, particularly in the form of Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding. This dish is not only a testament to the versatility of rhubarb but also serves as a cultural artifact, echoing the culinary traditions of regions where rhubarb thrives.

Overview of Rhubarb

  • History and Origin: Originally cultivated in Asia for its medicinal qualities, rhubarb traveled across continents to become a staple in British and North American kitchens. Learn about Rhubarb Cultivation here.
  • Seasonality and Harvesting Tips: Rhubarb is typically in season from April to June. For the freshest rhubarb, choose firm stalks with a deep red color. More about seasonal ingredients can be found in our comprehensive guide on Pinterest.

Introduction to the Dish

Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding transcends the typical dessert fare with its delightful balance of sweet and tart flavors. Here’s why it’s considered a special treat:

  • Popularity: Gaining momentum from online culinary forums to local community potlucks, this pudding has a growing following. Discover similar popular desserts here.
  • Cultural Significance: This pudding is a springtime favorite, especially in regions like the Midwest USA, where rhubarb is abundantly grown. The history of such puddings can be traced back through various culinary traditions detailed in the History of Puddings.
  • Description of Taste and Texture: The pudding is known for its gooey texture under a golden-brown crust, a perfect canvas for the tangy rhubarb. This contrast in textures and flavors is what often leads to its centerpiece status at gatherings.

This introductory section sets the stage for a deeper exploration into the recipe and its variations, inviting readers to discover the joy of cooking with rhubarb. Whether you are a seasoned baker or new to the world of desserts, Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding offers a unique blend of flavors that celebrates the essence of spring.

Ingredients List

The Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding beckons with its simple yet pivotal choice of ingredients, each contributing to its beloved taste and structure. Here’s the detailed list of what you’ll need to recreate this treat:

  • 3 cups rhubarb, diced: The star of the show, rhubarb should be firm and vibrant. Its natural tartness balances the sweetness of the dessert.
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour: Provides the essential structure to the pudding, ensuring it holds together well after baking.
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar: Sweetens the dish, countering the sharpness of the rhubarb and enhancing the dessert’s overall flavor.
  • 1/3 cup milk: Adds moisture to the batter, helping to achieve a smooth and pourable consistency.
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled: Infuses richness into the pudding, contributing to a moist and tender texture.
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder: A leavening agent that helps the pudding rise and become fluffy.
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt: Salt is a flavor enhancer that sharpens the other elements and balances the sweetness.
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract: Adds a subtle depth and aroma to the pudding, complementing the rhubarb’s tang.
  • 1 cup powdered sugar: Used in the topping, it melts during baking to create a sweet, crusty glaze.
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch: Thickens the topping, ensuring it forms a delightful gooey layer as it bakes.
  • 1 cup water: This unusual addition interacts with the cornstarch and powdered sugar to form a syrup-like consistency that seeps into the pudding, enriching its texture and flavor.

Each ingredient in this list plays a specific role, working in harmony to create a dessert that is both delightful to the palate and pleasing to the eye. By following this carefully curated list, you ensure that your Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding achieves the perfect balance of sweet and tart, with a texture that’s ideally gooey and satisfying.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Creating Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding is a delightful process that combines simple preparation with intricate baking techniques. Here is your step-by-step guide to achieving the perfect dessert:

  1. Preparation: Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Properly greasing a 9-inch square baking pan is crucial; it ensures that your pudding can be removed easily without sticking. Evenly arrange the diced rhubarb at the bottom of the pan, setting the stage for the layers to come.
  2. Mixing the Batter: In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk these dry ingredients together to ensure they are well mixed and free from lumps. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract, creating a wet mixture that will add moisture and richness to the batter. Gradually combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring until you achieve a smooth batter without overmixing to maintain a tender texture.
  3. Layering the Dish: Pour the batter gently over the arranged rhubarb, spreading it evenly with a spatula to cover all the rhubarb. This step is crucial as it forms the base that will soak up the juicy rhubarb flavors during baking.
  4. Preparing the Topping: In a separate bowl, mix together the powdered sugar and cornstarch. This combination helps to create a thick, sweet layer that will caramelize beautifully in the oven. Evenly sprinkle this mixture over the batter, ensuring complete coverage.
  5. Adding the Water: Carefully pour the cup of water over the entire surface of the dessert. While this may seem unusual, the water is essential for creating the sticky, syrupy texture that characterizes this pudding. It dissolves the sugar and cornstarch, allowing them to penetrate the batter and fruit, creating a luscious, gooey topping as it bakes.
  6. Baking: Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 60 minutes. The top should turn a golden brown, and the edges should start to pull away from the pan, indicating that it is done. The middle should be set but still slightly wobbly, ensuring that it retains a bit of creaminess.
  7. Cooling and Serving: Allow the pudding to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. This resting period helps the layers to settle and the topping to thicken slightly, enhancing the overall texture. Serve warm, perhaps with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, to complement the tartness of the rhubarb.

This step-by-step guide ensures that each phase of the cooking process is executed with precision, leading to a dessert that is visually appealing and deliciously satisfying. With these detailed instructions, even novice bakers can confidently prepare Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding, destined to become a favorite at any gathering.

Nutritional Information

Understanding the nutritional content of Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding can help you appreciate not just its taste but also its health aspects. While it is a dessert, the inclusion of rhubarb adds a valuable nutritional element:

  • Calories: Each serving of this pudding contains approximately 380 kcal. The caloric content is mainly derived from the sugars and butter, making it a rich and indulgent treat best enjoyed in moderation.
  • Carbohydrates: Predominantly coming from the sugar and flour, carbohydrates provide about 60 grams per serving. These are primarily simple sugars, which contribute to the dessert’s sweet taste and satisfying texture.
  • Fat: There are about 15 grams of fat per serving, mostly from butter. This fat contributes to the pudding’s creamy texture and rich flavor.
  • Protein: A modest 4 grams per serving, protein in this dish comes from the milk and to a lesser extent from the flour.
  • Fiber: Rhubarb is a good source of dietary fiber, with roughly 2 grams per serving in the pudding. Fiber is beneficial for digestive health and can help to moderate the body’s absorption of sugar.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Rhubarb is notably high in Vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health. It also provides calcium and vitamin C, albeit in smaller amounts.

This dessert, while decadent, does offer some nutritional benefits, particularly from the rhubarb, which is not only flavorful but also packed with vitamins and minerals. However, due to its high sugar content, it’s best enjoyed as an occasional treat rather than a staple of your diet. Incorporating rhubarb into your desserts is a delightful way to enjoy its benefits while indulging in a sweet treat.

Cooling and Serving Suggestions

Once your Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding is beautifully golden and bubbly from the oven, allowing it to cool properly is crucial for both safety and enjoyment. Here are some tips and serving suggestions:

  • Cooling Time: Allow the pudding to sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes after removing it from the oven. This cooling period helps the pudding set, making it easier to cut into servings without collapsing.
  • Serving Warm: This pudding is best served warm. The warmth enhances the gooey texture and deepens the rhubarb’s tart flavor, making it a comforting dessert perfect for chilly evenings.
  • Accompaniments: Enhance your serving experience by pairing the pudding with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. The creaminess complements the tartness of the rhubarb, balancing the dessert’s flavor profile.
  • Presentation: Serve the pudding in individual bowls or plates. Garnish with a sprig of mint or a dusting of powdered sugar for a touch of elegance.

These simple yet effective tips ensure that every serving of Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate, making your culinary creation a guaranteed hit at any dining table.

Advanced Cooking Tips and Variations

Enhancing your Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding can be as simple as experimenting with variations or refining your baking techniques. Here are some advanced tips and creative alternatives to elevate this classic dessert:

  • Texture Adjustments: If you prefer a crispier top, consider broiling the pudding for a few minutes after baking. Monitor closely to prevent burning. This method adds a delightful crunch that contrasts beautifully with the soft, gooey interior.
  • Flavor Enhancements: Introduce citrus zest, such as orange or lemon, into the batter to add a bright, aromatic twist to the pudding. The citrus notes can beautifully complement the tanginess of the rhubarb, creating a more complex flavor profile.
  • Dietary Modifications: For a gluten-free version, substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free blend. Ensure that it is a 1:1 substitution capable of closely mimicking the texture of regular flour.
  • Vegan Options: Replace the dairy milk with almond or oat milk and use vegan butter. For a healthier topping, consider reducing the sugar content and adding a drizzle of maple syrup instead.
  • Seasonal Variations: Mix other fruits with rhubarb during different seasons. Strawberries in spring, apples in fall, or pears in winter can add a delightful twist and make the dish suitable year-round.

These advanced tips not only cater to diverse dietary needs and preferences but also encourage culinary creativity. Experimenting with these suggestions will not only enhance the dish but also provide a personalized touch to this beloved dessert, ensuring that Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding remains a favorite in any season.

Pairing and Serving Suggestions

Selecting the right accompaniments and beverages to pair with your Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding can elevate this dessert from delightful to extraordinary. Here are some curated suggestions that complement the unique flavors and textures of this pudding:

Beverage Pairings

  • Wine: A sweet dessert wine like Moscato or a late-harvest Riesling pairs wonderfully with the tartness of the rhubarb, enhancing both the dessert and the wine. The sweetness of these wines will balance the tangy flavor profile of the pudding.
  • Non-Alcoholic Drinks: For a non-alcoholic option, a sparkling elderflower cordial or a freshly brewed hibiscus tea can offer a refreshing contrast to the richness of the dessert. Their floral and slightly tart profiles harmonize beautifully with the rhubarb.


  • Creams and Custards: A light vanilla custard or clotted cream can soften the intense flavors of the pudding, adding a smooth texture that complements the gooey consistency.
  • Fresh Fruits: Add a garnish of fresh berries or a citrus fruit salad to introduce a refreshing element to the dessert, cutting through the sweetness and providing a colorful presentation.
  • Nutty Accents: Sprinkle chopped toasted almonds or walnuts over the pudding before serving. The crunch of the nuts adds a delightful texture contrast and a nutty flavor that pairs well with rhubarb.

Presentation Tips

  • Serving Dishes: Serve the pudding in clear glass bowls to showcase the layers and colors of the dessert.
  • Garnishes: A sprig of mint or a dusting of cinnamon can add visual appeal and a hint of additional flavor, enhancing the overall dining experience.

These pairing and serving suggestions are designed to complement the Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding perfectly, ensuring that every bite is as enjoyable as it is memorable. Whether you choose to enhance it with wine, fresh fruits, or elegant presentation, these tips will help make your dessert a standout feature of any meal.


What are the best rhubarb varieties for baking?

  • Choosing Rhubarb: For baking, the best rhubarb varieties are those that are firm and have a bright red color, as these tend to be more flavorful and less fibrous. Varieties like ‘Canada Red’ and ‘Victoria’ are well-suited for desserts due to their sweetness and tenderness.

Can Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding be made gluten-free?

  • Gluten-Free Adaptations: Yes, Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding can easily be made gluten-free by substituting the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Look for blends that are designed for direct 1:1 substitution to ensure the texture remains pleasingly soft and cohesive.

How long can you store Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding?

  • Storage Tips: This pudding is best enjoyed fresh but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Ensure it’s covered tightly with plastic wrap or in an airtight container to maintain its moisture and texture. For longer storage, it can be frozen for up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating gently in the microwave or oven.

Is there a way to reduce the sugar content without compromising the taste?

  • Reducing Sugar: To reduce the sugar content in Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding, you can decrease the granulated and powdered sugars by up to 25% without significantly affecting the overall sweetness, thanks to the natural tartness of the rhubarb. Alternatively, consider using natural sweeteners like honey or agave syrup, but adjust the liquid content accordingly to maintain the right consistency.

Can the pudding be made dairy-free?

  • Dairy-Free Options: Yes, the pudding can be adapted to be dairy-free by replacing the milk with almond milk, coconut milk, or another dairy-free alternative. Use a plant-based butter substitute for the melted butter to keep the lush texture of the dessert.

What other fruits can be added to the pudding?

  • Incorporating Other Fruits: Rhubarb pairs beautifully with strawberries, apples, and even peaches. Adding these fruits can introduce additional flavors and textures to the pudding. Adjust the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of the added fruits.

These FAQs provide valuable insights into preparing, adapting, and enjoying Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding, addressing common questions and concerns that might arise for both novice and experienced bakers.

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Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding

  • Author: Naomi
  • Total Time: 75 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings


Baked Sticky Rhubarb Pudding is a delightful dessert that combines the tartness of rhubarb with a sweet, custardy base, topped with a crispy, caramelized crust. It’s a traditional dish that brings a hint of nostalgia and comfort with every bite, perfect for springtime when rhubarb is in season.


3 cups rhubarb, diced
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup milk
2/3 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup water


Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Arrange the diced rhubarb evenly at the bottom.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, milk, melted butter, baking powder, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth. Pour this mixture over the rhubarb in the pan and spread evenly.
In another bowl, mix powdered sugar and cornstarch. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter. Gently pour water over the entire surface.
Bake for 60 minutes, or until the top is golden and crusty.
Remove from the oven and let cool. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. Refrigerate any leftovers.


  • Rhubarb Preparation: Ensure that the rhubarb is fresh and firm. If using frozen rhubarb, thaw completely and drain any excess liquid to prevent the pudding from becoming soggy.
  • Batter Consistency: The batter should be smooth but not overly runny. If it appears too thick, a little extra milk can be added to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Sugar Adjustments: Depending on your preference for sweetness or the tartness of the rhubarb, the amount of granulated and powdered sugar can be adjusted. Less sugar will enhance the rhubarb’s natural tartness, while more sugar will create a sweeter dessert.
  • Baking Time: Oven temperatures can vary, so start checking the pudding at around 50 minutes. The perfect point is when the top is caramelized and the edges are pulling away from the pan but the center still has a slight wobble.
  • Serving Suggestions: This pudding is best served warm. If you have leftovers, gently reheat them in the microwave or oven before serving to revive the gooey texture.
  • Allergy Advice: For gluten-free or dairy-free versions, ensure all substituted ingredients are suitable for your dietary needs. Always check labels if you’re using store-bought gluten-free flour or dairy substitutes.
  • Storage: If not serving immediately, cover and refrigerate the pudding. It can be enjoyed for up to three days when stored properly. For longer storage, freeze individual slices and reheat as needed.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 350 kcal per serving

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