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Rhubarb Gelato


Rhubarb Gelato

In this blush pink Rhubarb Gelato, the bright flavor of rhubarb is balanced by the silky-rich vanilla gelato base. It’s a memorably refreshing summer treat!

Rhubarb Gelato //

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Is it gelato season yet? In my house, we love the iced treat so much that we enjoy it year-round, even in the heart of winter, although I like to rotate flavors according to seasons. Dark Chocolate Gelato is perfect for cold nights—especially served with an Italian digestif, such as Vin Santo—while White Chocolate, Strawberry and Basil Gelato sings of summer.

Fresh rhubarb stalks at the market //

In the spring, I always make a point of churning a batch of this blush pink Rhubarb Gelato. The bright, tart flavor of rhubarb is balanced by the silky smoothness of the Sicilian-style vanilla gelato base, while a hint of orange rounds things off perfectly. It’s a memorable springtime treat, one that, to me, rhymes with good things to come.

Rhubarb Gelato //

Helpful Tips for Making Rhubarb Gelato

How to Get that Irresistible Blush Pink Shade

To make rhubarb gelato with a beautiful blush pink color, you need to select the “pinkest” parts of rhubarb stalks. (You can save greener parts to make compote, crumb bars, or pudding cakes!) If using whole stalks, the gelato color might end up more beige than pink. If this is the case, you can add a drop or two of pink food coloring to give the shade a little nudge.

Add Some Crunch

Because I always like to serve gelato with a crunchy topping, I thought it would be nice to sprinkle this rhubarb gelato with sugar-coated fresh rhubarb pieces. This is a callback to a childhood memory of mine: when the rhubarb was ready in our backyard, my mom would hand my brother and I each a stalk and a small bowl of sugar. We’d dip the stalk in the sugar and crunch on that irresistible snack like our lives depended on it! This treat didn’t last long as we only could eat rhubarb stalks this way when the stalks were young and not too fibrous.

If you can find slender stalks in your own backyard or at the market, slice a few of them thinly, dip them into sugar, then sprinkle them over this rhubarb gelato. It’s a wonderful way to enjoy seasonal produce at its freshest!

Rhubarb Gelato //

Plan Ahead

As with all gelato flavors, you should start the rhubarb gelato-making process a day in advance. Both the rhubarb compote and the gelato base need to be refrigerated to cool completely before being combined and churned together. Gelato custard must be very cold before churning: this will produce the smoothest, silkiest texture.

Bring Rhubarb Gelato Back to Room Temperature Before Serving

Always remember to bring this rhubarb gelato to room temperature 15 to 20 minutes before serving. That will not only make it easier to serve—gelato’s lower fat content means it freezes rock hard—but also soften it to a consistency closer to what you would enjoy at a gelati bar, waking up the flavors and giving it the luxurious texture that is so easy to fall in love with.


Never made gelato before? Curious about what makes gelato different from ice cream? Check out my colorful masterclass! In it, you’ll find out what makes gelato different from ice cream, how to make a versatile gelato base you can turn into various flavors, and all my secrets and tips to churn and serve outstanding gelato. I even share how to make dairy-free, vegan gelato! In short, it’s a very thorough, colorful class that will quickly turn you into a gelato master.

This masterclass was previously hosted behind a paywall on an educational site where thousands of students rated it 5 STARS! It’s now available to all gelato lovers worldwide, absolutely free. Watch Now!

Love Rhubarb?

Then you’ll find lots of inspiration in my delicious recipe collection: 25 Rhubarb Dessert Recipes for Spring. Fresh spring rhubarb is a short-lived treat that you absolutely must make the most of! Get inspired by this collection that includes cakes, tarts, crisps, preserves, and many more classic and creative rhubarb-centric dessert recipes.

25 Rhubarb Dessert Recipes for Spring: Cakes, Tarts, Crisps, Preserves, and More! //

Rhubarb Gelato //

Rhubarb Gelato

In this blush pink Rhubarb Gelato, the bright flavor of rhubarb is balanced by the silky-rich vanilla gelato base. It's a memorably refreshing summer treat!
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:10 minutes
Freezing Time:4 hours
Servings 1 quart (4 cups/1L)


For the Gelato Base

For the Rhubarb Compote

  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb
  • ½ cup cane sugar, or granulated sugar
  • Zest from ½ orange
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 orange)
  • 1 tbsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier (optional, helps keep gelato at a softer texture even when fully frozen)


  • For the gelato base: Make the gelato base of your choice, then strain it into an airtight container. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight. The gelato base must be very cold before churning: this will produce the smoothest, silkiest texture.
  • For the rhubarb compote: In a saucepan, combine the rhubarb, sugar, orange juice and zest, and Cointreau or Grand-Marnier. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, stirring from time to time, until the rhubarb is very soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Blend to a very smooth consistency using a stand blender or stick blender. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely cool.
  • To churn the rhubarb gelato: Fish the vanilla bean out of the gelato base. Whisk the rhubarb compote into the cold gelato base. Pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Stop the machine when the gelato is icy but still soft.
  • STORAGE: Transfer the rhubarb gelato to an airtight container and freeze until firm, about two hours.
    Rhubarb gelato is at its creamiest and best if enjoyed within 2 weeks. Past that, some ice crystals will inevitably start forming (especially if the gelato is kept in the freezer section of a regular fridge, as opposed to a chest freezer) and the texture won't be quite as smooth. The gelato will still be perfectly edible for up to 2 months, but my advice is: enjoy it as quickly as possible after churning.
  • SERVING: Always take rhubarb gelato out to room temperature 20 minutes before serving to make it easier to scoop. This will also allow you to enjoy the treat at its ideal temperature and texture.
  • COLOR NOTE: To achieve a blush pink color, you need to select the "pinkest" parts of rhubarb stalks. If using whole stalks, the color gelato might be more beige than pink, but you can add a drop or two of pink food coloring to give the shade a little nudge.
  • MAKE IT DAIRY FREE: When making the gelato base, substitute lactose-free milk or oat milk for the regular milk, and lactose-free heavy cream or soy cream for the regular heavy cream.

Did you make this?

Tell me how you liked it! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it with @foodnouveau on Instagram.

Author: Marie Asselin

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Freezing Time: 4 hours


Rate + Review

3.86 from 21 votes (16 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

  1. Oh, the combination of blush pink rhubarb and creamy vanilla gelato sounds absolutely delightful! I can already imagine the refreshing burst of flavor from the bright rhubarb paired with the smoothness of the gelato. This is the perfect treat to cool down on a hot summer day

  2. Rhubarb is such a beautiful ingredient to use in ice cream, that tart fruitiness, comforting flavour with the smooth creaminess and ice cold sensation. Delicious!

  3. This gelato seems like a tasty treat, perfect for summer. I like that a vegan version is provided as well!

  4. I love rhubarb recipes, and have not tried something like this before. Sounds delicious! Excited to give it a try!

  5. 5 stars
    Wow! This gelato recipe looks absolutely delicious! The color makes this so enticing and very appealing! Perfect for such hot weather! Loved it!

  6. 5 stars
    This rhubarb gelato turned out lovely. It was creamy and refreshing. It is the perfect summer treat.

  7. 5 stars
    I tried making it, and it turned out absolutely delicious. The combination of ingredients was spot-on, creating a delightful balance of flavors. The creamy texture of the gelato paired with the tangy sweetness of the rhubarb was a match made in heave