Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp-Crumble

Gluten free strawberry rhubarb crumble
Warm from the oven gluten-free crumble with quinoa flakes.

Let me faux you.

Typing from a Topanga Canyon tree house perch here in blue sky California, blinking awake to the reality that we no longer East Coasters on the elbow of Cape Cod, or wandering the green woods of rural Northwest Connecticut. We are West Coasters once again, living out of a suitcase until we determine, firstly, what state to call home (California or Oregon), and secondly, what city/town/village to search for home (and studio) rentals. Our remaining modest belongings are tucked in a storage cube back in Massachusetts, awaiting, silently, for a destination and homecoming, not unlike Snow White in her hermetically sealed display. Our vintage Subaru wagon is arriving tomorrow on a cross country truck steered by a blue jeaned cowboy with a Polish accent and a fondness for baby blue Chevys.

Surreal? Yes. Pressure and stress? Um. A wee bit. After a month of micro decisions, yours truly is experiencing what we technically call Mush Brain. But I am thinking of you... and pondering what to share during strawberry season...

And this came to mind.

A fabulous strawberry rhubarb crisp-crumble with a secret ingredient.

For you.

With love.

We've been blessed with fecund weather here in Southern California. Love is in the air. House finches are singing. Mourning doves coo. Roses are unfolding their velvet petals. Jacaranda trees are budding violet-blue.

In other words, picnic perfect. So I've been craving crisp and crumble desserts. The easiest of baked fresh fruit sweets... lovely for summertime backyard get-togethers and grill-side dining. Although I have featured a strawberry rhubarb crisp in the past (kissed with a hint of balsamic vinegar) I decided to play around with an alternative topping to the classic pairing of tart rhubarb and sweet ripe strawberries. And I grabbed a secret ingredient from my pantry.

Can you guess what it is?

The secret ingredient in this old fashioned crumble dessert is an ingredient your grandmother probably never heard of.

Quinoa flakes. Gluten-free quinoa cereal flakes add a distinct, delicate flavor to this fruit crumble's sweet and nutty topping. The texture is light and lovely- and far less chewy than oats.

We thought it was spectacular.

An easy summer dessert means strawberry rhubarb crumble or crisp
Strawberry rhubarb crumble with a secret ingredient.

Karina's Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Recipe

Recipe originally posted April 2011 by Karina Allrich.

You'll notice something missing in my strawberry rhubarb filling. Cornstarch. Why? I'm not a fan. It's a texture issue. Cornstarch makes pie and crumble fillings a tad slimy. I also don't cook my fruit crumbles and crisps to death. I prefer my fruit tasting fresh, plump, and juicy. I'm not a fan of mushy.


2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved (or quartered for large berries)
1 cup rhubarb, trimmed, halved lengthwise, sliced into pieces
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar or touch of agave
1/2 cup quinoa cereal flakes
1/2 cup gluten-free millet flour (or sorghum flour)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup organic light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup vegan butter or use 1/4 cup coconut oil


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x9-inch baking or gratin dish with a little vegan butter (or use two smaller baking dishes, like I did).

Combine the strawberries and rhubarb in a bowl and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Toss to coat. Dump them into the greased baking dish and distribute the fruit evenly.

In a separate bowl, combine the quinoa cereal flakes, millet flour, chopped pecans, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt. Add the vegan butter in pieces; using your hands, rub the butter and dry mixture together to create a sandy, crumbly texture.

Sprinkle the crumble topping over the fruit.

Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven till browned and slightly bubbling. Check for desired tenderness with a fork. I baked mine for 25 minutes because I don't like my fruit overcooked. If you prefer your fruit traditionally soft, bake it for 35 minutes.

Set the crumble aside on a rack and allow it to cool a bit before serving. I love it slightly warm from the oven. A scoop of coconut milk vanilla ice cream is entirely optional.

Cook time: 25 min

Yield: Serves 4

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gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crisp crumble with quinoa flakes
Perfect backyard picnic food- strawberry rhubarb crumble.

Recipe Notes:

This is a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, rice-free, corn-free, vegan recipe.
Astute readers will notice this is also a gum-free recipe, for those of you avoiding xanthan gum and guar gum.

To replace the pecans, chopped walnuts or pistachios would be delightful. For nut-free omit the nuts, and add a little more quinoa flakes and millet flour to make up the difference.

I love the taste of millet flour with these complex flavors, but if you cannot use millet flour, certified gluten-free oat flour, sorghum flour, or brown rice flour should work. Quinoa flour would be overpowering with the quinoa flakes. I'd stay away from any starchy white flours.

If you prefer your filling sweeter, add more sugar.

If you are sugar-free, adjust the sugar content with your sweetener of choice.

And yes, for those of you using moo-cow dairy, you can use real butter if you prefer.

To replace other ingredients, please see my post Baking Substitution Help.

More: Check out Nicole's lovely Strawberry-Rhubarb Fool at Pinch My Salt for an elegant spring treat.

xox Karina


  1. Ok, what does it mean that I guessed quinoa flakes as soon as I saw secret ingredient? Probably that I know and love your recipes :) Thanks for another great one. Have a wonderful weekend.

  2. Valerie- You are one of my all time favorite readers! Have a lovely weekend. XOX Karina

  3. Oh YUM! I have to buy quinoa flakes IMMEDIATELY!

  4. Just took advantage of the organic strawberry sale at WF today. Need to go back and buy some rhubarb so I can make this!

  5. Great idea to use quinoa flakes, and it looks just fantastic!

  6. Hold the phone... you're in West Hollywood?! What a small world. I'm like 2 blocks from the WeHo Whole Foods (dangerous!) on Romaine. Perfect street for a vegan, hehe.

    Howdy, neighbor!

  7. this looks fantastic

  8. Strawberry rhubarb desserts have got to be one of my favorite flavors!
    And I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I really love the blue table you use in many of your photos. I think it adds an amazing element to them.

  9. OMG I absolutely adore the combination of strawberry and rhubarb. My grandmother used to make this amazing strawberry/rhubarb pie so this recipe makes me a little nostalgic. I'm looking forward to trying it!

  10. How funny, I just got back from the markets here in tropical Queensland with fresh grown organic strawberries and rhubarb to make a dessert for my blog too! Great minds really do think alike!

  11. Quinoa flakes are my preferred choice for a crumble topping too. I once tried them by accident when out of gluten free oats, and never looked back. This looks delicious Karina. And I agree millet and quinoa go great together, too.

    Your description of the southern California Spring brought back wonderful memories of it for me. Thanks for that, too.



  12. This looks and sounds delish, not to mention easy peasy. I am off to try this one out.

  13. very nice idea! I'm looking forward for rhubard here in italy, but it is very difficult to find... I'm trying to grow it by myself :-)

    very nice also the quinoa flakes, but I have the same problem: perhaps on amazon...

    very beautiful blog!

  14. Rhubarb is such an underrated ingredient imo. This reminds me of the strawberry rhubarb pie my grandma would make me when i was a kid. Thanks!

  15. Anonymous01:25

    We spent last weekend in L.A. Oh, my! Truly goddess territory! I now understand how you get such beautiful shots of your food--the light is perfect! We gorged on strawberries and avocadoes and tried not to think of the 52 degrees and drizzling that awaited us in Seattle. Fortunately, a fabulous recipe awaited from you when we arrived home! I almost used up my quinoa flakes today in a muffin, and am so glad they didn't meet that fate. This one's on the list for sure.

  16. This sounds fabulous, Karina! I've never tried quinoa flakes, but it's definitely something I'll check out in the future. I was reading the recipe notes and saw the suggestion to substitute chopped pistachios for the pecans - I think that would be so delicious (and pretty if you used the vibrant green ones)!

  17. This looks really good! The touch of cinammon with the strawberries and rhubarb sounds fantastic! And I agree about the comment about the blue table, I love it!

  18. oh my! I love strawberries too. And thanks for the recipe.

  19. I think I'm gong to try this one this weekend... with the strawberries left over from my crepes. =]

  20. Anonymous11:48

    Hi Karina

    Somehow I found your blog and just want to let you know I LOVE it!! I can't figure out how to post something on there, so just want to drop you this note. I've been gluten free for about ten years or so - when it was on the fringes. It's SO much easier now to be GF, and thanks to your blog, I am able to make my own sweets that are GREAT!!!! I made the Breakfast Brownies, which were AMAZING, and both my wife and my son, who are NOT gluten-free LOVED them, too. I made the Flourless Banana Snacking Cake today for Mother's Day, and it was a HUGE hit with my WHOLE family, including all the non-GF'ers - everyone loved it, and my sister-in-law asked me for the recipe. I'm really excited to try that Flourless Chocolate Cake - hopefully next weekend. I don't drink coffee (on homeopathics), so was wondering what to do, but read through the comments and will just use hot water instead. All of your recipes look fantastic, and I can't wait to try a different variation on the Breakfast Brownies (the first one I did was with dried figs and walnuts, dried cherries and almonds are up next). Thanks so much for sharing - you've really gotten me excited about making desserts again!!!!


  21. Thank you, Everyone, for the strawberry rhubarb love. The quinoa flakes make this crumble so light and distinctive.

    And thank you for sharing your kind and thoughtful comments about GFG. I appreciate your support- so much!

    xox Karina

  22. Can I just tell you how awesome this recipe is? I made it with coconut sugar last weekend. And ate some for breakfast the next morning too. So so good.

  23. I made the crumble for book club this morning - used brown rice flour instead of millet. Everyone raved about it. Thank you.

  24. I'm happy to see a crumble recipe without cornstarch! Not only is it good for individuals who are allergic or intolerant of corn, but also for those trying to eat less simple carbohydrates. Bravo!

  25. Wow it's looking very good...........I immediately want to try this.

  26. Anonymous14:24

    Do you have any other ideas for the vegan butter in this recipe?
    I seem to be able to tolerate GFCF ghee. Do you think that would work?

  27. This is the first year we'll be able to harvest our rhubarb, and I was thinking of doing a crumble. Yours is gorgeous, thanks for the inspiration.

  28. Love your website. I originally visited for good recipes not being concerned about gluten free. However, recently I have been trying gluten free on my eight year son who has bad eczema, asthma and some serious mood swings. I have not been doing it for long...but dare I say I am seeing some serious changes. I won't talk about it anymore or I will jinx us! His First Communion is this weekend and I am making one of your cakes! Yay!

    Thanks so much for all your help. Hope you are on the mend :).

  29. Karina, I hope you are feeling better soon! This looks so good. I got a rhubarb plant from my mom last year, but you aren't supposed to harvest any the first year or two, so I'll have to buy some.

  30. Darn it, I hate it when you are "under the weather," Karina! Hope you are well soon, especially since you think you have discovered the culprit. Beautiful dessert ... definitely worth a reprisal! ;-)


  31. Hi Karina!

    Sounds like a wonderful recipe, but I just have a quick question. I can't have quinoa, so is there something else I could use instead?

  32. Mary S22:00

    Hi Philippa- I imagine since the quinoa was subbed in for traditional oatmeal- how about oats? Or I've seen puffed millet that might be interesting... Karina- would you say the quinoa flakes you're using here are the same ones I have that mostly resemble dried potato flakes? Or am I looking for something a little different?

  33. Hi Phillippa and Mary-

    Yes, I think gluten-free (certified) rolled oats will work as a sub for quinoa flakes. Quinoa flakes are actually a hot cereal that, yes, does resemble potato flakes. I find GF rolled oats and quinoa flakes both work in fruit crisp recipes. be sure and get certified GF oats.

    xox Karina

  34. I'm newly gluten free, which ain't easy!!.. this looks awesome, thank you for sharing!

  35. Hi Karina,

    I finally got round to making this today, and in the end I went for rice flakes to substitute the quinoa. It was absolutely wonderful, and I'll definitely be making this more often. Only next time I'm going to use a bit more cinnamon I think. What a lovely recipe!

  36. I'm new to GF, so have been looking at recipes for a while, trying to gather ingredients needed. Seems like every recipe has one or two items that I've never seen or heard of. Consequently - haven't really tried making any recipes yet! What can be subbed for quinoa flakes? Haven't seen those anywhere (we are in a very small town in Wyoming, hundred miles round trip or more to any larger town. I'm sure the topping on this is light with flake cereal; but really... what can be subbed for that? And, is there any sub for sorghum flour? I've seen that, but do I absolutely need to use that kind of flour if I have about 6 other kinds that I've purchased for other recipes that I've seen?

  37. Thank you, this recipe is a hit with my friends! Not too sweet, just perfect. For our second batch last night we didn't have any quinoa or pecans, so just left it out, and it was still really good. Also used stevia instead. Ate it with butter pecan ice cream. yum.

  38. This is one of my favorite recipes - and I love mixing it up w/ seasonal fruit. Thank you!

  39. I was delighted to find this on your "front page" today. I opened my computer to find gf recipes for the rhubarb in my garden. This is so perfect because strawberry rhubarb is my husbands favorite. BTW, the last time I made one of your recipes, my dh (dear husband) polished off because he thought he was doing me a favor thinking it was not gf! Kudos!

  40. This looks fantastic! I make rhubarb crisps all the time and this looks delicious. Being in Wisconsin I have no issues with growing rhubarb so by the next week or two we will have an over abundance. Too bad strawberries are not in season here yet!

  41. Would you mind telling me where you got your Gratin Dish? It is beautiful.
    from another "Corrina"

  42. Karina, you're back on my coast! Hope you find "your" place. I just have to say how much I love your blog - one of the first I found in 2007 when I was diagnosed w/celiac. So funny to see "Frosted Mini-Wheats" as the pop-up advert on your site.


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Wishing you a delicious and beautiful day!

Karina - Gluten-Free Goddess xox