Ginger Cardamom Rhubarb Crisp Recipe (like a pie without the fuss)

Servings: 8 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Take me to the recipe

ginger cardamom rhubarb crisp

I have eaten a lot of rhubarb crisp in my day.

Fruit crisps are just about the easiest dessert going…Like a pie without the fuss. You get that addictive combination of tart, soft, saucy fruit and a crisp, buttery topping plus they take all of five minutes to throw together.

Fruit crisps, or crumbles (which ever name you prefer) were my mom’s go-to dessert to feed a crowd when I was growing up.  They’re one of the best ways to showcase and enjoy in-season fruit and easy to whip up, especially when you hate to come in from the garden to get supper on.

Rhubarb crisp (any fruit crisp, really) has been an all-time favourite of mine. Something about the way the fruit bubbles up from under the crust and creates a toffee-like sauce around the edges, and that sweet buttery topping…

ginger cardamom rhubarb crisp

I know ice cream is a popular accompaniment to rhubarb crisp but I prefer a little cream alongside. It adds a richness to the sauce but doesn’t take over.

If you want to get your kids cooking I’d say start them with rhubarb crisp. They can pull the rhubarb, give it one tart bite (so they can understand the magical transformation of rhubarb cooked with sugar) and then get chopping. The topping doesn’t have to come together perfectly to make a great crust.

If you’d like to make a gluten free rhubarb crisp:

Substitute ground almonds or brown rice flour for the flour called for in the topping and to thicken the filling.

A big thank you to baker extraordinaire, Movita Beaucoup, for the cardamom + rhubarb idea.

ginger cardamom rhubarb crisp

Ginger Cardamom Rhubarb Crisp Recipe


  • 5 cups chopped rhubarb
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom
  • 2 Tbsp. flour


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ cup butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. In a medium bowl combine rhubarb with sugar, molasses, spices and flour. Toss to coat and scrape into a 9” by 9” (or thereabouts) baking dish.
  3. In another bowl combine the flour, oats, sugar and ginger.
  4. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or rub with your fingers, until the mixture forms pea-sized chunks.
  5. Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture and bake for 35-40 minutes, until fruit is bubbling and topping is starting to brown.
  6. Serve with a drizzle of fresh cream.

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe. 

Something about the way the fruit bubbles up from under the crust and creates a toffee-like sauce around the edges, and that sweet buttery topping…

34 thoughts on “Ginger Cardamom Rhubarb Crisp Recipe (like a pie without the fuss)

  1. Penny Snell says:

    Always love receiving the wonderful recipes, Thank you Bridget.

    1. Thanks Penny, I’m happy you’re enjoying them. Lots more to come…

  2. Squeeeeeeal! This sounds AWESOME!

    1. It’s very good. The world could use more fruit crisps and less Nutella.

      1. Angela says:

        even if I wasn’t allergic to nuts, I still don’t like the idea of nutella, yuck. If I don’t have any cardamom, what will work as a substitute?

        1. Bridget Oland says:

          Hi Angela, You could add a little extra ginger or replace the cardamom with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Enjoy.

  3. B Jones says:

    I’ve been enjoying your recipes. Thanks.

    1. You’re welcome. It’s always great to get a bit of feedback.

  4. Lorraine says:

    Hi there;
    Love the idea of serving dessert in a lovely teacup and saucer. :) Can’t wait to try the recipe; I love cardamom.

  5. Patricia says:

    Hi Bridget: In honor of the first day of summer, I made this crisp (as I haven’t had anything “rhubarb” since I was a kid) and it was wonderful….sweet and tart at the same time…took me right back to my stewed rhubarb childhood days :)

    1. Hi Patricia — Your message made my day. There’s nothing I like more than a little time traveling through your stomach.

  6. Sandy says:

    My family is not very fond of molasses.. how would maple syrup work in this recipe??

    1. Hi Sandy, You could substitute the same amount of maple syrup, or you could go half fancy molasses and half maple syrup. The molasses works especially well with the cardamom, ginger and rhubarb flavours.

  7. Dorothy Gowan says:

    I found ,on this website, a recipe for old fashioned gingerbread, came from an old cookbook and I remember Signal Hill was mentioned in the info..( Signal Hlll is in Newfoundland) so perhaps the recipe came from there.. it also had a link for Toffee Coffee Sauce to serve on it…I found the sauce recipe, but when I went back to get the gingerbread recipe, it was gone & I can’t find it anywhere on your website.. would it be possible to get it in an email??? would really appreciate it as it sounds like the one my mum used to make, ( in N.B)… D. Gowan

    1. Hi Dorothy, The recipe is on its way to you.

  8. Patti says:

    I made this last night, it was awesome. Served it with chocolatey cookie dough ice cream. Loved the spice combination.

    1. Hi Patti, Glad you liked the rhubarb crisp. I bet it was extra yummy with the ice cream.

  9. patty donovan says:

    I just love the recipes on this site.. they feel like my Mom, but with a modern twist! Thank you for sharing them!

    1. Hi Patty, Thanks for the compliment. They make me think of my mom too.

  10. Barb says:

    what is the difference between cooking molasses and fancy molasses.


    1. Hi Barb, Fancy molasses is pure cane juice that has been cooked to a syrup. It’s the lightest and sweetest molasses. Cooking molasses is a blend of fancy (30%) and blackstrap (70%) molasses. Blackstrap is a very robust molasses that’s a by-product of the refined sugar making process. It’s very nutrient dense.

  11. Wanda Frampton says:

    Sorry I am Canadian, But what is CARDAMOM ? I have never heard of it.. Thanks

    1. Hi Wanda, Cardamom is an aromatic spice that you can buy either ground or in little pods. It isn’t overly common so you’re definitely not the only one unfamiliar with it. It’s quite expensive ground so if you want to give it a try you might want to start with the pods (You can buy them at bulk stores or health food stores). You break open the little pods to get the black seeds out and then you can crush the seeds. The flavour is lovely — quite exotic.

  12. yvonne says:

    Just saw this recipe this morning – went out to my yard – gathered the rhubarb and now, two hours later, I have just had a small bowl of this delicious dessert. OMG – the best Rhubarb Crisp recipe ever – not sure if it is the spices, molasses or both.

    1. So glad that you enjoyed it, Yvonne!

  13. Leslie Leeds says:

    I’m going to try the rhubarb crisp recipe. Sometimes adding 3/4 c of some pulsed nuts, reducing the flour to 1/2 c in the topping recipe and then drizzling with 5 T melted and cooled butter makes the topping delightfully CRISP!!!! I do it at 425 for about 30 min.

    1. Hi Leslie, I love your suggestion to add the pulsed nuts to the crumble. And the melted butter…mmm!

  14. Margo Driscoll says:

    Hi Bridget. I have so enjoyed receiving the recipes from Crosby’s. I have been searching for many years for an easy and great tasting baked bean recipe and yours is finally it! I made a double batch for a pot luck and got amazing comments and there were none left to take home! One person said they reminded him of the beans his Mom used to make – that was a great compliment in my books! We also love the Oatmeal brown bread recipe and frequently make it – it is so easy. We plan to try the Walnut loaf and Sarah’s 3 hour brown bread, the cracked wheat bread and Nela’s zucchini bread – can’t wait. Also want to try the Rhubard Crisp come rhubard season. Thanks again for the wonderful recipess.

    1. So pleased that you enjoy the recipes, Margo!

  15. LPV says:

    This is a lovely recipe; time to make it again. Thanks for all the rhubarb recipes.

  16. Marie M Stone says:

    Can I use regular molasses for this recipe? Do not have access to Fancy molasses….thank you.

    1. Hi Marie, Since you’re in the U.S. I suspect you call light molasses “regular” molasses. Light molasses is the same as fancy molasses in Canada.

  17. Bonnie says:

    cld. I use steele cut oats for topping?

    1. Bridget Oland says:

      Hi Bonnie, The topping wouldn’t work with steel cut oats since they need water to cook. The rolled oats in this topping get a little candied and crunchy, more like granola. I’m afraid steel cut oats would stay very hard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *