Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb bread

The other day, I was having one of those days. I’ve been training for the “Cycle for Sight” – a 140Km bike ride this coming Saturday – so I’ve been waking up especially early. I keep telling myself that waking up at 5:20 only affects you for the first few minutes and then you’re past it, but then somewhere around 7:30, I did this, which is good proof that lack of sleep can be lingering


Within an hour of my coffee mishap, I decided to experiment with some rhubarb as a dangerous food. Rhubarb isn’t quite as adventurous as some of my other blog featured foods, but I had still never cooked with it, and I couldn’t think of many ways I’d eaten it other than in strawberry rhubarb pie. Turns out it’s healthy – rich in B vitamins and vitamins A and K, good for eyesight, brain health, and fighting lung and oral cancers. If I were ever to do a PhD I think I’d prove that natural foods with the most distinctive flavours are healthiest (kale, spinach, beets, garlic, karela, tart/bitter rhubarb…).


Even though I wanted to veer away from pie, I still wanted to pair its bitey flavour with some sugar, so I hunted for a banana bread recipe that used rhubarb instead. I snagged one from Canadian Living, only substituting the white flour for whole wheat. I made muffins and one loaf of bread. (they’re fine lines between muffins/cupcakes and bread/cake, aren’t they?)

Rhubarb Bread (Makes 2 loaves or 24 muffins)

  • 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) wheat flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk (I made mine with 1C milk and 1Tbsp lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
  • 2 cups (500 mL) chopped rhubarb
  • Topping
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon

Directions: Preheat to 350. Mix dry ingredients. In separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Add dry to wet until just incorporated (with wooden spoon) and mix in rhubarb.



Add to buttered tins. If making muffins, fill tins 2/3 full. Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle over batter.


Bake loaves 40-45 mins, or muffins 20-25 mins or until tester comes out clean.




My coffee incident wasn’t the only sleep deprived one that morning – somehow I set the oven to 450, so if the sugar topping looks slightly black in the pictures… I also only read the topping part after I had partially baked the batter, so I added it quite late. But even with those wee sleepy gaffes, this was a great recipe. The cake was still moist, and the bites of rhubarb went well with the sugary topping. I highly recommend this loaf recipe as an alternative to the typical banana. Rating: 4 Yums

PS I heard years ago that when extras are talking in the background of a shoot, they’re whispering “rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb,” to each other because those mouth movements look like real speech. Does anyone know if this is just urban legend?



  1. Leave a Reply

    Jackie Dale
    June 21, 2013

    I can attest to the fact that this was delicious! The kids love it too! Dangerous, maybe but delicious, yes! I had no idea about it’s health benefits either. Must eat more rhubarb!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      June 21, 2013

      Thanks Jackie! And, FYI, a recent update on the sleep deprivation – that same day I bought hair colour. Sometimes when my regular brand isn’t there, I go for the foamy version, which as a different box, and I had to do that that day. Just put it on. Thought it looked slightly purply. Looked at box. “Burgundy brown.” You may notice a slight change in me this afternoon….

  2. Leave a Reply

    Joanna @ Midwestern Bite
    June 26, 2013

    Rhubard IS dangerous. Crazy dangerous. Aren’t the leaves poisonous or something?

    When I was a kid my mom made this fabulous sweet peach rhubarb sauce thing topped with biscuits dipped in cinnamon sugar. So good. Soooooo good. This looks pretty amazing too!

    • Leave a Reply

      Ann Allchin
      June 26, 2013

      Yum! Rhubarb is kind of underrated I think. I’m going to make it a tradition to grab some every spring as soon as I see it. But yes, the leaves are totally poisonous. Bright side, that could make rhubarb even better. You could cook with the stalks, then leave the leaves around your yard for the raccoons. Aaah, no I DIDN’T. (Kidding, I love the big lazy lardy mean little sweethearts)

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