This easy, tender Cinnamon Swirl Rhubarb Bread is tasty, moist, and balanced with a sweet ribbon of cinnamon sugar and tart chunks of fresh rhubarb.
Have you baked with rhubarb? This is a good starter recipe for a vegetable that’s available for a short stint in the summer. This rhubarb quick bread is a delicious way to get your first taste!
Cinnamon Swirl Rhubarb Bread
I grew up with a rhubarb patch in my backyard. My mom would harvest and make her favorite rhubarb recipes, typically a sauce or pie. Thi tart vegetable is thought of as a fruit as it’s transformed into a soft, sweet addition to pies, crisps, tarts and bread by counteracting with a generous amount of sugar.
I had my mom’s ancient rhubarb bread recipe on a faded index card, and I used that as a starting point. I topped my first attempt with a streusel topping, but most of that fell off as I was slicing. The second batch was a compilation of a couple of recipes but fell short on flavor. It was adding some cinnamon to the mix that finally delivered!!
How to Make Rhubarb Bread
Like most quick breads or soda breads, there are a few tips to follow for successful results.
- First, prep your pan properly. You should grease, then dust with flour or use an oil and flour non-stick cooking spray. Place a small rectangle of parchment paper onto the bottom of the greased pan and grease the top as well.
- In advance, set out the egg and milk on the kitchen counter to take the chill off. This will make for easier incorporation.
- Wash, trim, and chop your rhubarb and set aside.
- Mix together the sugar topping mixture and set aside.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients in another bowl.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir just until it comes together. Do not overmix; the batter should not be smooth.
- PRO-Tip: Overmixing quick bread or muffin batter will cause tunnels in the bread after it’s baked. It will still taste good, but it won’t have the desired consistency.
- Mix in the rhubarb, and scrape half the batter into the prepared pan.
- Sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar, then add the rest of the batter followed by the remaining cinnamon sugar.*
- Bake as directed. The timing depends on your oven, so you will need to check by inserting a toothpick into the middle. It will come out clean when the bread is done.
- Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan. You will lose some of the topping when flipping over. PRO-Tip: *Alternatively, you can swirl in the topping with a table knife or thin spatula.
- Fully cool on the rack, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate before slicing.
More Tips for Making one of the Best Rhubarb Recipes
Rhubarb is an extremely tart vegetable that’s treated like a fruit. This is why it typically is cooked with plenty of sugar and paired with sweet fruit like bananas, raspberries, strawberries and apples.
Yes, they contain high levels of oxalic acid which can cause renal failure if large amounts are ingested.
Rhubarb is best harvested in spring and early summer. As summer progresses, the stalks get woody and won’t taste nearly as good as the younger, more tender stalks.
Rhubarb bread can be stored at room temperature, well wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container. After 3-4 days, if you have any leftovers, freezing it will prevent it from getting stale.
Yes, most quick breads freeze well. Make sure your loaf is well wrapped in plastic wrap and for extra protection, you can place the wrapped bread in a freezer safe Ziploc bag. It will keep well for up to 3 months.
Besides rhubarb bread and muffins, rhubarb is delicious in pie, crisps, crumbles, coffeecakes, sauces and more. Almost any recipe that utilizes fruit can be made with rhubarb, although the sugar amounts will need to be adjusted.
More Quick (Soda) Breads You’ll Love:
- The Best Blueberry Bread from Julie Blanner
- Buttermilk Banana Bread
- Easy Pumpkin Bread Recipe
- Sour Cream Pear Bread
- Peach Soda Bread
- Brown Sugar Apple Bread
- More Easy Bread Recipes
- 1 ⅓ cups sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup large diced rhubarb
May add 1/2 cup chopped nuts to the cinnamon mixture. Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.