Perfect Rhubarb Muffins
This recipe creates the perfect, delicate, airy muffin with a slightly crunchy sugar crust topping. The delicious contrast in texture will make this your favorite muffin recipe.
The Best Rhubarb Muffins Recipe
The secret to baking the best muffins is to use real butter (not oil) and milk. Butter gives off a better flavor when compared to oil, while milk creates a lighter muffin when compared to using sour cream, yogurt, and buttermilk.
Homemade Rhubarb Muffin Ingredients
- Rhubarb: Rhubarb is the star of the show. With a slight tang, rhubarb will bring interest to the muffin taste.
- Flour: Flour is the glue that holds the ingredients together. Flour provides structure to keep the muffin shape. For flour substitutions, see below.
- Baking powder: Make sure to use aluminum-free baking powder (aluminum consumption and cooking in aluminum have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease).
- Salt: Salt enhances the flavors of the ingredients, and holds moisture in the muffin for proper texture.
- Milk: Milk provides hydration to the dry ingredients, adds flavor and fat, activates leaveners (for rising), and holds the batter together while rising. For milk substitutes, see below.
- Vanilla: Vanilla enhances the flavors of the ingredients, in addition to giving off its own flavor.
- Honey: Honey gives flavor and texture to the muffins, while also bonding the batter together. Use local raw honey for nutritional and health benefits, and to avoid herbicides and chemicals applied to store bought sugar. The 3/4 cup of honey can be substituted for 1 cup of sugar (per dozen muffins) if desired.
- Sugar: Raw sugar (also called Turbinado sugar), can be sprinkled on top of the muffins before baking. The sugar crystallizes in the oven, and gives a sweet crunchy shell to the top of the muffin. (Similar to a streusel topping, but not overwhelming.)
- Butter: Butter provides moisture and flavor to the rhubarb muffins. Butter provides the best flavor for muffins, however, substitute options are listed below.
- Eggs: Eggs provide leavening, texture, and structure to the muffins. Substitute options for eggs are listed below.
Equipment Needed to Make Rhubarb Muffins
How to Make Homemade Rhubarb Muffins
This recipe makes 12 delicious rhubarb muffins. To make a small batch of 6 rhubarb muffins, click the 0.5x. You can also make a large batch of 24 rhubarb muffins by clicking the 2x box.
- 2½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup honey
- ½ cup butter (room temperature)
- 2 large eggs
- 2½ cups rhubarb
- 6 teaspoons sugar (optional) (for crunch topping)
- Mix butter, milk, and sugar well, ensuring there are no clumps of butter.¾ cup honey, ½ cup butter, ½ cup milk
- Add eggs, and mix well.2 large eggs
- Add remaining ingredients, leaving rhubarb and flour for last. This makes mixing the batter easier and more thorough if mixing by hand.2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Add flour and mix, then mix in rhubarb.2½ cups flour, 2½ cups rhubarb
- Grease the muffin pan (or use cupcake liners), and fill the muffin pan. Bake at 400 °F for 18-25 minutes. (Make sure the pan is in the center of the oven, to cook the muffins evenly.)
- Sprinkle the optional sugar topping for crunch, and to promote a higher dome shaped muffin. Use about ¼ to ½ teaspoon per muffin.6 teaspoons sugar (optional)
- Muffins are done when the tops of the muffins start to turn golden brown.
- Allow the muffin pan to cool on a rack (allowing for cool airflow underneath the pan), for 15 minutes before removing the muffins from the pan.
Rhubarb Muffin Recipe Substitutes
- Vegan rhubarb muffins: You can easily replace the butter with oil, and the milk with almond milk. You can also replace each egg with 1.5 tablespoons of oil, 1.5 tablespoons of water, and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
- Healthy rhubarb muffins: It is easy to make this recipe a bit healthier by replacing 3/4 cup of flour with 3/4 cup of oats (per dozen muffins). Oats contain more minerals essential for health than all purpose flour. These minerals include magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber. Using honey also makes this recipe more healthy. Honey has a lower glycemic index than sugar, and contains slightly less fructose and glucose. Honey also contains more minerals than sugar.
- Oatmeal rhubarb muffins: Replace 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of oats, and soak the oats in the milk for at least 20 minutes before making the batter. Don’t soak the oats overnight, because overnight is too long.
- Rhubarb breakfast muffins: Replace 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of oats (either dry for texture, or soaked in milk for texture similar to flour). Oats are higher in protein and fiber than flour, and reduces blood sugar spikes and crashes when compared to flour. Replace honey with maple syrup (real maple syrup also has nutritional benefits, which you can read about on this post). You can also add a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder to add additional protein to the muffins. Protein provides a steady and prolonged energy boost, perfect for breakfast on the go.
- Gluten free rhubarb muffins: For gluten-free recipes, you can replace the flour with all-purpose gluten-free flour. You may need to add 1.25 teaspoons of xanthan gum per dozen muffins, if it is not already blended in the flour.
Easily Add More Fruit to Rhubarb Muffins
- Apple rhubarb muffins: Replace half of the rhubarb (1.25 cups per dozen rhubarb apple muffins) with peeled and chopped apples. (You can also use applesauce, but you won’t have the chunks of apple.)
- Strawberry rhubarb muffins: Replace half of the rhubarb (1.25 cups per dozen rhubarb strawberry muffins) with diced strawberries.
- Blueberry rhubarb muffins: Replace half of the rhubarb (1.25 cups per dozen rhubarb blueberry muffins) with blueberries.
- Rhubarb is usually ripe for harvest beginning in May, June, and July. Rhubarb usually generates multiple stalks ready for harvest, but try to leave at least 1/3 to 1/2 behind on the plant for the plant’s health.
- There is no need to peel or cook the rhubarb before baking.
- How to prepare rhubarb for freezing: Prep the rhubarb before freezing by removing the leaves, and cutting the rhubarb into 1/2 inch thick pieces. (If the rhubarb stalk is more than an inch wide, I slice it down the middle also.) Spread the diced rhubarb on a tray and freeze for an hour. Put the frozen rhubarb pieces in a freezer container or bag (make sure it is sealed), and put the rhubarb back in the freezer immediately. Store the frozen rhubarb in the freezer for up to a year.
- Read more about rhubarb, its health benefits, growing, harvesting, and storing in this article.