Whole Grain Rhubarb Waffles with Strawberry Butter

June 1, 2010
Whole Grain Rhubarb Waffles with Strawberry Butter | Fake Food Free

I’m always inspired when I read about other food bloggers taking on challenging ingredients. It is usually something like a root veggie or an over abundance of cabbage in a CSA box. While there is apprehension at first, the final result is always beautiful even if you don’t prefer the star ingredient.

Rhubarb has been my challenging vegetable as of late. It was a staple in our garden growing up, but when I had the opportunity to grow it myself, I declined. But since my parents had an over abundance, I was offered some of this year’s harvest. Seeing it as a culinary challenge, I accepted.

I feel a bit sorry for rhubarb with its poisonous leaves. It really isn’t a nutritional superstar either; just a stalk that is often in the shadows of fruits like strawberries, in order to be enjoyed.

Whole Grain Rhubarb Waffles with Strawberry Butter | Fake Food Free

I like the flavor of rhubarb, just not the texture. This is especially true after growing up at dinner table with brothers who made disgusting jokes about said texture while eating the pie. Thus, be careful of the way you perceive and communicate perceptions of foods to children. I’m proof that those comments hang around and can control food preferences later in life!

But now, I was up for the challenge of tackling my rhubarb apprehension. With plenty on hand I had to come up with something that would present the flavor, but not the texture.

My first thought? Waffles!

Ever since I got my waffle maker last Christmas I’m always thinking about new waffle recipes. For this one, the rhubarb blended in nicely to the whole grain waffle and while it wasn’t quite as strong as I would have liked it was still good. I topped it off with some strawberry butter and breakfast was complete.

Whole Grain Rhubarb Waffles with Strawberry Butter | Fake Food Free

Whole Grain Rhubarb Waffles with Strawberry Butter

Makes: About 6 waffles



1 cup rhubarb, chopped
4 tablespoon water
¼ cup demerara sugar

1 cup white whole wheat flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsalted butter melted, plus 2 tbsp more for waffle iron
2 large eggs, lightly beaten


In a sauce pan, combine the rhubarb, water and sugar. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring often until the rhubarb cooks down to a jam-like consistency, about five to seven minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.


In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder and salt. Stir in the cooled melted butter, eggs and rhubarb. Stir to combine all the ingredients.

Heat your waffle iron and lightly brush each side with melted butter. Pour a heaping 1/3 cup of batter onto the iron, close and cook for about four minutes. Remove and repeat with the butter for the next waffle. Top waffles with strawberry butter (below) before serving. 

Strawberry Butter

I really enjoy fruit butters in place of syrup on waffles. We used to make them all the time when I worked in a bakery. There are a variety of ways to create them, but the easiest is with jam and butter. I used some strawberry freezer jam that my mom made with this year’s fresh strawberries.


¼ cup butter, unsalted, slightly softened
2 teaspoon strawberry jam, the thinner the consistency the better


Place ingredients in a small food processor. Process until everything is blended and the butter is soft and spreadable.

For more info, the University of Illinois Extension Service has a helpful page about rhubarb.


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  • kat June 1, 2010 at 7:23 am

    A great way to use up that rhubarb! I’m trying to come up with a recipe for it for my Farmers Market baking contest

  • MelindaRD June 1, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Great looking waffles. You are so true about your negative comments and perceptions of foods because the kids really pick up on these. Most of the time the kids just eat or don’t eat what their parents do. They are like little parrots.

    I have seen rhubarb here at the commissary. I am curious but I have never given this a try.

  • Tamara Marnell June 1, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Ditto Melinda: my sweetie has an aversion to whole wheat bread, tofu etc. because his family always classified it as “health food,” and health food is of course inherently unappetizing. Example: when visiting his father one weekend, we went to the store and I picked up a container of rolled oats for breakfast. His father looked at me askance and said, “You know that stuff isn’t flavored?” and, when assured that I did, was incredulous that I was going to buy it anyway instead of the “normal” sweetened packets. It’s no wonder sweetie refuses to even try my oats!

    But over the years he’s gotten much better at closing his eyes and putting new things into his mouth. Just last week when we were on vacation in Japan he ordered buckwheat noodles with fried tofu, with absolutely no prompting from me!

  • Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) June 1, 2010 at 11:41 am

    First of all, strawberry butter?
    I have to make some!!!
    Waffles sound like a great way to sneak some rhubarb in! While I don’t dislike rhubarb, it seems like once a year is enough for me, it isn’t like I get excited for rhubarb season!

  • Ricki June 1, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    They sound like a great way to use rhubarb–wish I had a waffle iron! I’ve been making pancakes and biscuits instead. 😉 Hope you can enter this recipe in our SOS Kitchen Challenge Blog Event–this month’s ingredient is rhubarb! 🙂

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss June 1, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Oh, those look delicious! That’s a creative use of rhubarb. It’s such a tricky ingredient to use (for me anyway) since if you don’t cook it enough, it’s super bitter. Anyway, have a good day!

  • Lori June 1, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    kat – Oh that sounds fun. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

    Melinda – It is definitely something to be mindful of.

    Tamara – Good for your husband. Sounds like he’s getting more adventurous with food. 🙂

    Emily – I know just what you mean. Good for something different, but I don’t shout about it. Yes, the butter is tasty and you only need a little bit for a lot of flavor.

    Ricki – Thanks for letting me know. I’ll check it out!

    Mary – Thanks! Yes, for me I have to have it cooked down so that it isn’t so slimy. It can be tricky. 🙂

  • Debinhawaii June 1, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    brilliant way to use up the “dreaded” rhubarb. I am loving that strawberry butter too. Yum!

  • Chef Dennis June 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I must say those waffles look very very good!! and strawberry butter sounds just wonderful!
    I just love people who think outside the box!!
    thanks for sharing

  • Cinnamon-Girl June 1, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I have yet to eat rhubarb but this would be a fantastic first! The strawberry butter is a delicious touch too. I love your new look – so fresh and bright and beautiful!

  • Juliana June 1, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Lori, what a nice waffle…so interesting with rhubarb…it is sure a great addition to any brunch 🙂

  • Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) June 2, 2010 at 12:12 am

    I’ve always been fond of rhubarb, even as a kid. But I like sour/tangy foods, so that’s probably why. I’d even steal the raw pieces when my mom was making pies, and dip them in sugar and eat them as is when I was a kid.

    It makes a great addition to oatmeal and muffins as well. Or cook it with some water and sugar and top ice cream or yogurt. You know, in case you need to use up more of your bounty.

  • 5 Star Foodie June 2, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Rhubarb is a favorite in my family and I love the idea of using it in waffles! Delicious with strawberry butter!

  • Tangled Noodle June 2, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    With our unusually warm spring, my rhubarb is already enormous! So far, I’ve only made a quickie sauce with it, but I could definitely go for some of these waffles.

  • Joanne June 3, 2010 at 4:18 am

    My brother made an unfortunate comment about hot dogs while I was growing up and now I can’t eat them. I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing though lol.

    These waffles look amazing, especially with the strawberry butter! These are one thing that I definitely need to make.

  • Lori June 3, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Deb – Thanks!
    ChefDennis – Thank you! I like a good balance of inside and outside the box. Ha, ha!
    Reeni – Thank you! I’m interested to see what you think after you try it.
    Juliana – Thank you!
    Marianne – My mom was big on the pies but I’ve never eaten it raw. Interesting. I did see a salsa recipe with it a week or so ago.

    5 Star – I learn more and more about people who really like it. I always thought it was rare growing up.
    TN – Yeah, I think my parents ended up cutting some of it down it was growing so much.
    Joanne – Oh, I can only imagine the hot dog joke. Although you bring up a good point. Perhaps we make should make jokes about processed foods to kids and not vegetables. I smell a strategy that needs to be funded for long term research!

  • Michelle @ Find Your Balance June 3, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I have never eaten it, except in pre-made pies. Not a huge fan! But the blog world is all a-buzz so maybe I should give it a go.

  • OysterCulture June 6, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    I never get enough rhubarb to think of it as dreaded. and I love the sound of this whole grain rhubarb waffles – what a great twist on the classic.

  • gastroanthropologist June 7, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I don’t know what is more genius the rhubarb waffles or strawberry butter. So wishing my wafflemaker was not in a box thousands of miles away. Might need to morph this amazing idea into a pancake…

    Strawberry butter…I’ll be slathering this on a few other things…