Kid-friendly VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE Wee Rhubarb Cream Cheese “Bridie” Hand Pies Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE Wee Rhubarb Cream Cheese “Bridie” Hand Pies

Recipe: VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE Wee Rhubarb Cream Cheese “Bridie” Hand Pies

VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE Wee Rhubarb Cream Cheese “Bridie” Hand Pies

by Erin Fletter
Photo by edchechine/
prep time
40 minutes
cook time
25 minutes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE Wee Rhubarb Cream Cheese “Bridie” Hand Pies

Spring and summer are the time for Rhubarb! These Vegan and Gluten-Free "Bridie" pies are delicious and fruity hand-held pies stuffed with vegan cream cheese and hot, bubbly rhubarb. If you can't find rhubarb in your grocery store, use strawberries or raspberries instead (or try a mix of all three). Rhubarb is awesome because you can use it in savory or sweet applications! Sour, fibrous, and stringy when raw, rhubarb transforms into the most delicious pie filling when mixed with sugar and cooked. A super hardy plant, rhubarb is perennial and grows prolifically in spring. Until recently, I thought we were making "Birdie" hand pies for this sweet recipe! It wasn't until I started researching the history of "Bridie" hand pies that I found out their true name and the fun story of the woman behind it. Our Bridie Pies are pint-sized but oh-so-delicious, just the same.

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Rolling pin, clean water bottle, or mason jar for rolling out dough
  • Mason jar lid or similar for cutting circles (or knife for cutting rectangles


VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE Wee Rhubarb Cream Cheese “Bridie” Hand Pies

  • 2 C gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour + more if needed
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (use only if your gluten-free flour blend does not contain it)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 T cold vegan butter (like Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or Spread)
  • 1/2 to 2/3 C cold water + more if needed
  • 1/2 heaping C fresh or frozen/thawed chopped rhubarb (or raspberries/strawberries)
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 tsp gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 oz vegan cream cheese, like Daiya brand


VEGAN & GLUTEN-FREE Wee Rhubarb Cream Cheese “Bridie” Hand Pies

measure + whisk + cut in

Measure and whisk together 2 cups gluten and nut free flour, 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (if needed), 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add 8 tablespoons cold vegan butter in chunks to the dough and use hands or a fork to incorporate or "cut in" the butter into the flour. Once the butter is the size of peas, start adding 1/2 to 2/3 cup cold water.

mix + form

Mix the dough with your hands to form a dough ball, adding more cold water by the tablespoon, as needed. If the dough is too wet and sticky, add more flour by the tablespoon. Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes while you prepare the rhubarb and cream cheese mixture.

chop + measure + mix

When ready to bake, chop a heaping 1/2 cup of rhubarb into small pieces. Add to a mixing bowl. Measure and add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon gluten and nut free flour, and 1 pinch of salt to the rhubarb. Mix! Then add 4 ounces of vegan cream cheese and mix again to coat the rhubarb. Let the rhubarb sit for 30 minutes while you preheat your oven and cut out the dough shapes.

preheat + roll + cut

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out dough on a floured surface. Using the lid of a mason jar, cut out circular shapes in the dough, making as many as you can. Or, cut out rectangles with a butter knife.

spoon + fold + seal + bake

Spoon 1 to 2 teaspoons of rhubarb mixture in the center of each dough shape. Trace edges with a wet finger, then fold over and seal edges closed. Arrange on a baking sheet, slide into the oven, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until pastry is golden brown and flaky and rhubarb filling is bubbly! Drizzle with Sticky Orange Glaze (see recipe)!

Surprise Ingredient: Rhubarb!

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Photo by EsHanPhot/

Hi! I'm Rhubarb!

“I kind of look like celery, but I can be red or green, and we're from different families. Europeans didn't start eating me until the 18th century, when sugar became more widely available; however, people in the Islamic world ate a rhubarb variety in the 10th century. Before that, over 2,000 years ago, I was used as medicine in China! You can use me in savory dishes, but I'm best known for sweet foods, like jams, crumbles, and pies. Did you know that I'm included in two national pie days?! There's a National Rhubarb Pie Day on January 23 and a National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day on June 9!"


  • Rhubarb is native to China! Before discovering its culinary properties, the Chinese used it as medicine for thousands of years, especially the rhubarb root, which was a good blood cleanser and laxative!
  • Rhubarb was found in recipes right around the same time sugar became affordable and more widely available. 
  • Rhubarb used to be very expensive for people in Europe, as the cost to travel across Asia, where it originated, was high. As a result, rhubarb was more costly than spices during medieval times.

Anatomy & Etymology

  • Rhubarb is related to buckwheat! It tastes earthy and sour and is crunchy and fibrous like celery.
  • Rhubarb is a rhizome—other rhizomes include ginger and turmeric.
  • The edible parts of a rhubarb plant are the thick stalks (called petioles) that vary in color on the outside from light green to deep red. Red rhubarb stalks are sweeter than the green stalks, which are quite sour. A rhubarb's flesh is white.
  • Rhubarb is a perennial plant. That means, after planting, it will return year after year for at least ten years. 
  • Because of Alaska's long, sunny days in the summertime, rhubarb plants can grow there to over five feet tall!
  • Rhubarb contains a carbohydrate called PECTIN, a plant's natural thickening agent! You can use pectin to make jam.
  • The word "rhubarb" comes from the Old French "reubarbe," from the medieval Latin "rheubarbarum," and the Greek "rha barbaron" (foreign or barbarian rhubarb). 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Rhubarb leaves are poisonous, so you should never eat them!
  • Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, though its stalks are consumed primarily as a fruit. You can use them in pies, cakes, crumbles, cobblers, breads, sorbets, ice cream, coffee cakes, and more.
  • You can sweeten rhubarb stalks with sugar and cook them down to jam, or use them in savory recipes as a sour ingredient. Rhubarb is a great stand-in for cranberries.
  • Nicknamed the "pie plant," rhubarb is commonly cooked into a pie filling, often combined with strawberries or cherries!
  • Store rhubarb stalks in the fridge until ready to use.
  • It's even possible to make paper from the fibers of rhubarb stalks!


  • Fiber! Rhubarb contains a healthy amount of fiber, which helps keep our intestines clean and running smoothly.
  • Vitamin K! Three and a half ounces of cooked rhubarb contains about 25 percent of our daily requirement. Vitamin K is necessary to help blood clot and keep our bodies from losing blood when we get a cut.
  • Antioxidants! Rhubarb is a rich source of polyphenols, which the body uses as internal vacuum cleaners to clean up dirty, harmful stuff, keeping us healthy and strong!


What is a “Bridie” Hand Pie?

Photo by Vladislav Noseek/
  • "Bridie" hand pies come originally from Forfar, a county town in Scotland. One origin story is that the pies were created by Margaret Bridie, a woman who sold her hand pies about 200 years ago. She baked her pies and traveled six miles from her village to Forfar to sell them at markets. People loved them and referred to them as "bridies" after their maker.
  • Bridie pies are similar to "pasties," which were made famous during the era of tin mining in Cornwall, England. The miners would take these pies to work because they were easy to carry in their lunch tins, and they were filling and tasty.
  • You make traditional bridies and pasties with a mixture of meat and vegetables. Hand pies are convenient, portable, and hand-held (hence their name!).

Let's Learn About Scotland!

Photo by Alexey Fedorenko/
  • Scotland is a country in Europe, at the northern end of the island of Great Britain, and is part of the United Kingdom, along with England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  
  • Scotland is made up of over 700 islands! These include the Orkney, Shetland, and Hebrides archipelagos (island groups).
  • Edinburgh is Scotland's capital city and is famous for Edinburgh Castle. Glasgow is the largest city. 
  • Scotland is home to much wildlife, including seals, mountain hare, ptarmigan, stoats, and the golden eagle. 
  • The national animal of Scotland is the mythical Unicorn, loved for its purity and strength. 
  • The thistle is a national symbol of Scotland!  
  • In Scotland, people drive on the left-hand side of the road!  
  • Scotland has a unique culture with traditions like bagpipes, kilts, tartans, and highland dancing.
  • Two sports invented in Scotland are golf and curling. Golf first appeared in the 15th century and curling in the early 16th century. Scottish settlers to Canada brought curling with them, where it has become very popular.
  • Archaeological evidence suggests that the first indoor toilets were possibly built in 3,000 BCE in a Neolithic settlement on Mainland, the largest of the Orkney Islands.
  • Scotland was the first country worldwide to educate both boys and girls, beginning in the 17th century.
  • Scottish dishes are well-known for their peculiar names: Forfar Bridie (meat pie), Cock-a-leekie (soup), Collops (thin meat slices), Crappit heid (stuffed boiled fish head), Arbroath smokie (smoked haddock), Partan bree (seafood soup), Rumbledethumps (potato, cabbage, and onion dish), and Skirlie (oatmeal side dish).  
  • The most infamous Scottish dish is "Haggis," a savory pudding. It is usually made with sheep's 'pluck' (heart, liver, and lungs) that is minced and combined with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, then mixed with stock, and traditionally boiled in a casing of the animal's stomach for about an hour.

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Scotland?

  • In addition to Haggis, kids may eat "Neeps and Tatties" (mashed turnips and potatoes). Some popular sweets are Shortbread biscuits (cookies); Scottish Tablet, a medium-hard sugary confection made with sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and butter; and Irn-Bru, a carbonated soft drink.
  • Scottish kids may play football (soccer), rugby, curling, golf, tennis, cricket, shinty (similar to field hockey), and ice hockey.
  • Scotland is full of places to hike and lochs (lakes) and castles to visit. On the Isle of Skye, Fairy Glen is a popular place for kids to explore. Its name comes from the unusual land formations on the hills. 
  • Kids can ride the Harry Potter Train (actually the Jacobite Steam Train) that runs from Fort William to Mallaig in the Scottish Highlands. The train crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which was seen in a Harry Potter movie when the Hogwarts Express crosses it.

That's Berry Funny

What type of water yields award-winning rhubarbs? 


Lettuce Joke Around

Why was the rhubarb by itself? 

Because the banana split!

The Yolk's On You

Why did the pie go to a dentist? 

Because it needed a filling!

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