Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread with Brown-Butter Glaze
Moist, tender and warmly spiced with cinnamon, this Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread with Brown-Butter Glaze is an easy quick bread recipe. Perfect for freezing and gift-giving!
An Easy Rhubarb Quick Bread
As you may have guessed from the many recipes on this blog, as well as my in-depth Rhubarb 101 guide, rhubarb is a beloved ingredient in my kitchen. I’m always experimenting with new rhubarb desserts and other recipes. This Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread with Brown-Butter Glaze is one of my new favorites.
This sweet quick bread is sturdy, yet tender and perfectly moist, with a brown-butter glaze that is a glorious contrast to the little red and green hued pockets of puckery rhubarb goodness.
Rhubarb sweet bread comes together nice and easy and this recipe makes enough for two loaves. I like to eat one now and freeze the other for later, or gift it to a friend or neighbor. Who wouldn’t love to find one of these golden loaves at their front door?
You could surely do without adding the brown-butter glaze, but I can’t imagine why you’d want to skip this final step, this coronation of your perfectly turned-out loaves. My photos show a more minimal drizzle of the glaze, but I’ve also been known to spread it on, nice and thick. I promise you, it’s good either way.
Ingredients You Will Need
This rhubarb quick bread uses pantry staples and fresh rhubarb, no fancy ingredients necessary. And that mouth-watering brown-butter glaze requires just 4 ingredients too!
For the Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread
- All-purpose flour – I have not tested this with gluten-free or other types of flour.
- Baking powder – Lightens the texture of the bread.
- Cinnamon – For the cinnamon flavor, of course.
- Nutmeg – Adds to the overall warm flavor.
- Salt – Just a pinch.
- Large eggs – Holds it all together.
- Vegetable oil – Adds moisture to the bread. If you use a substitute, choose an oil with a light flavor.
- Applesauce – Adds a bit of sweetness and helps keep the bread moist.
- Pure vanilla extract – Adds a light flavor.
- Rhubarb – I love to use rhubarb fresh from the garden!
For the Brown-Butter Glaze:
- Half-and-half – You can also substitute whole milk.
- Powdered sugar – Provides the sweetness and light texture.
- Butter – Unsalted is best.
- Vanilla extract – Use pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla.
How To Make Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread
This sweet bread comes together quickly and easily. No need to allow the dough to rise – it can go straight into the oven!
- Prepare oven and pan. Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly spray the insides of two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans and set aside.
- Prepare dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- Prepare wet ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs. Stir in sugar, oil, applesauce, and vanilla.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients, and rhubarb. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Reserve a few pieces of the rhubarb. Fold the rest of the rhubarb into the batter and then divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Poke the reserved rhubarb pieces into the top of the bread, for a pretty effect.
- Bake. Bake about 60–65 minutes.
- Cool. Let the pan cool on wire rack for 10 minutes then remove loaves from pan and let cool completely.
- Prepare the brown-butter glaze. Pour half-and-half into a small bowl and set aside. Add sifted powdered sugar to a medium-sized bowl and set aside. Warm butter until golden brown and foaming, stirring occasionally. This should take about 6–8 minutes. Pour browned butter into the powdered sugar, leaving all but the darkest butter sediment behind. Add 1 tablespoon of the half-and-half, and then add the vanilla. Drizzle the glaze over the loaves while the glaze is still warm.
Tips for Success
This rhubarb bread should be tender and moist. To make sure you end up with the perfect loaf, follow these easy tips.
- The butter should smell delicious and toasty. If it smells burnt, you went too far. Burnt butter is not salvagable so you’ll want to repeat this step.
- The glaze should be thick but easily pourable. If it seems too thick, add a bit more of the half-and-half until you like the consistency.
- Take care not to overmix. Overmixing can lead to tough dough – the opposite of what we want!
- The thinner the rhubarb, the softer it will be. Thinly sliced rhubarb will soften completely while baking.
- Strain frozen rhubarb. If you use frozen rhubarb in this recipe, allow it to defrost completely and then strain any excess liquid before using.
I slice the bread for early morning breakfasts, weekend brunches, and after school snacking—along with cups of hot coffee or tea or tall glasses of cold milk. Or how about an iced brown sugar oatmilk shaken espresso?
With almost all quick breads and muffins, you’ll find me reaching for the butter dish. I just can’t resist adding a schmear of butter. But this cinnamon rhubarb bread is a different story for me, and it’s all because of the brown-butter glaze. I find that the buttery glaze is enough. Perfectly enough.
How to Store
You can store this Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread at room temperature or in the fridge. It will last 2-3 days on the counter and up to 4 days in the fridge. Whether it’s on the counter or in the fridge, it should be covered in an airtight container.
Can I Freeze Homemade Quick Bread?
Yes! This rhubarb quick bread freezes well. Since the recipe makes two loaves, I almost always end up freezing one.
Before freezing, allow the bread to cool completely. Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can wrap it in plastic and place it in an airtight container.
Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 2 months.
More Rhubarb Recipes:
- Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
- Rhubarb Margarita
- Rhubarb Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- Old-Fashioned Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
- Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
- Raspberry Rhubarb Skillet Coffee Cake
Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread with Brown-Butter Glaze
For the Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread
- 3 c. All-purpose Flour
- 1 tbsp. Baking Powder
- 1 ½ tbsp. Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. Nutmeg
- 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1 ½ c. Sugar
- ¼ c. Vegetable Oil
- ¼ c. Applesauce
- 1 tbsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- 2 c. Chopped Rhubarb
For the Brown-Butter Glaze
- 1 tbsp. To 2 Tablespoons Half-and-half As Needed
- 1 c. Sifted Powdered Sugar
- 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Cinnamon Rhubarb Bread:
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly spray the insides of two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs. Stir in sugar, oil, applesauce, and vanilla.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened, taking care to not over-mix. Reserve a few pieces of the rhubarb. Fold the rest of the rhubarb into the batter and then divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Poke the reserved rhubarb pieces into the top of the bread, for a pretty effect.
- Bake about 60–65 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center of each loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.
- Loosen edges and remove loaves from pans. Cool loaves completely on wire racks.
- For the Brown-Butter Glaze
- Once the loaves have cooled, prepare the brown-butter glaze. First, pour half-and-half into a small bowl and set aside. This is just to take the chill off, while you prepare the rest of the glaze.
- Add sifted powdered sugar to a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm butter until golden brown and foaming, stirring occasionally. This should take about 6–8 minutes. The butter should smell delicious and toasty. If it smells burnt, you went too far.
- Carefully pour browned butter into the powdered sugar, leaving all but the darkest butter sediment behind. Add 1 tablespoon of the half-and-half, and then add the vanilla. Stir vigorously until smooth. You want the glaze to be somewhat thick, but easily pourable. If it seems too thick, add a bit more of the half-and-half until you like the consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the loaves while the glaze is still warm.