Rhubarb Muffins

This easy Rhubarb Muffins recipe features tender, moist muffins flavored with vanilla, orange zest, and melty pockets of baked, tart rhubarb. The crispy, buttery crumb topping makes them a favorite breakfast and brunch treat!

side view of rhubarb muffins with crumb topping

Calling all my rhubarb fans! This easy Rhubarb Muffins recipe is for YOU! These muffins are perfectly tender and moist from buttermilk, flavored with lovely touches of vanilla and orange zest. With jammy baked bites of tart rhubarb and a crispy, buttery crumb topping, they’re a gorgeous, delicious treat for breakfast, brunch, or any ol’ time!

Why We Love This Rhubarb Muffins Recipe

First off, we’re a muffins-lovin’ family – a few favorites include banana bread muffins, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and my grandma’s blueberry muffins. And because we’re also a rhubarb-lovin’ family, I’m certain that this rhubarb muffin recipe was our destiny. Here’s why we love it:

  • Muffins are perfectly sweet-tart.
  • They have a moist, tender crumb.
  • Recipe is easy to make.
  • No fussy ingredients required.
  • They’re sprinkled with an irresistible crumb topping!
ingredients to make rhubarb muffins

Ingredients Needed

This recipe for rhubarb muffins calls for simple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need. For the exact ingredient amounts, scroll down to the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

  • Rhubarb – Chop it into 1/2-inch pieces, to fold into the muffin batter. And chop some into 1/4-inch pieces, to top the muffin batter (for an extra-pretty look!).
  • Orange zest – This adds another layer of fresh flavor to the muffin batter.
  • Buttermilk – This adds tangy flavor and moist texture to the muffins. Plus it activates the baking soda, which helps the batter rise.
  • Butter – Adds rich flavor and texture to both the muffins and the crumb topping.
  • Vanilla – This adds a delicious warm flavor to the muffins.
  • Dry ingredients – All-purpose flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt are incorporated into both the muffin batter and the crumb topping. Additionally, baking soda is included in the muffin batter.

How to Prepare the Rhubarb

I recommend using rhubarb stalks that are bright to deep red in color, about ¾” thick.

To prepare fresh rhubarb for these muffins, trim off the root ends and leaves from the stalks; discard both. Then cut the stalks into 1/2″ slices and 1/4″ pieces.

close-up photo over the top of a rhubarb muffin

How To Make Rhubarb Muffins?

I adore a fruit-filled muffin that’s topped with a crunchy, buttery crumble topping. Especially when they’re so easy to make! Here’s how:

crumb topping in a white bowl

Make crumb topping: In a small bowl, use a fork to combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add melted butter and mix with fork until crumbs form. Place topping mixture in fridge to chill.

Whisk dry ingredients: Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and orange zest.

Whisk wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Combine dry & wet ingredients, then add rhubarb: Create the muffin batter by combining the wet and dry ingredients, and then fold in the 1/2″ pieces of rhubarb.

Portion batter: Divide batter evenly between the 12 lined muffin cups.

Top with rhubarb & crumble: Add small ¼” rhubarb pieces to top of batter. Then sprinkle chilled crumb topping over the top.

Bake: Place muffin pan in oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until crumbs are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

overhead photo of rhubarb muffins

Brenda’s Tips for Perfect Rhubarb Muffins

  • I always recommend using fresh rhubarb in baking, for the very best texture. If frozen rhubarb is your only option, do not thaw it first – fold it into the batter straight from the freezer.
  • I also recommend using true buttermilk when baking (not milk mixed with vinegar or lemon juice). This simply gives the best, most trustworthy results.
  • Do not overmix the batter, as this can give the muffins a dense, tough texture. Batter should be slightly lumpy.
  • For easy portioning, use a large 3-tablespoon scoop to add the batter to the muffin cups.
  • After portioning the batter into a few of the muffin cups, fold the batter one more time to evenly distribute the rhubarb.
  • Don’t skip the crumb topping! Really. It’s SO GOOD!!
  • Do not overbake, as this will make your muffins turn out dry.

How Long Do Muffins Last?

Enjoy these rhubarb muffins warm from the oven or let them cool first. Just know that the crumb topping will have the best crispy texture on the day they’re made.

Here’s how to store the muffins:

Counter: To keep the topping crispy, let the muffins sit on the counter, uncovered, at cool room temperature for a day or two. Or place the cooled muffins in an airtight container for up to two days, to preserve their moist, tender crumb.

Fridge: Place the cooled muffins in an airtight container or baggie and store them in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Freezer: Store cooled muffins in the freezer, in an airtight container, for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature, then heat them straight from the freezer in a 350°F oven until warm to your liking, or in 20-second intervals in the microwave.

More Rhubarb Recipes

side view of rhubarb muffins, one with the paper liner pulled away from the muffin

Rhubarb Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins
prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 25 minutes
total time: 55 minutes
This easy Rhubarb Muffins recipe features tender, moist muffins flavored with vanilla, orange zest, and melty pockets of baked, tart rhubarb. The crispy, buttery crumb topping makes them a favorite breakfast and brunch treat!
4.8 Stars (5 Reviews)
Print

Ingredients

Crumb Topping

  • cup all-purpose flour
  • cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon Morton kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, gently melted

Rhubarb Muffins

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Morton kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons very lightly packed fresh orange zest (do not press to compact)
  • cup unsalted butter, gently melted
  • 1 large egg
  • cup buttermilk (do not substitute a homemade version)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • cups chopped (½" slices) fresh rhubarb
  • ¼ cup small-diced (¼" pieces) fresh rhubarb

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a standard muffin pan with paper liners.

Crumb Topping

  • Create the crumb topping first. In a small bowl, use a fork to combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add melted butter and mix with fork until crumbs form. Place bowl in fridge to chill while you make the muffin batter.

Rhubarb Muffins

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and orange zest.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla. It's ok if it looks curdled/lumpy.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir just to bring the batter together – do not overmix. It will be somewhat thick and lumpy.
  • Fold in 1½ cups chopped (½" pieces) rhubarb, just enough to evenly distribute the rhubarb throughout the batter.
  • Use a large 3-tablespoon scoop to portion batter evenly between the 12 lined muffin cups. If needed, fold the batter partway through, to redistribute rhubarb evenly throughout the batter again.
  • Sprinkle tops of muffin batter with ¼ cup small-diced (¼" pieces) rhubarb pieces, and press them in very slightly.
  • Remove crumb topping from fridge and use your fingers to break up any large pieces while sprinkling the topping evenly over the muffin batter.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, or until crumbs are golden brown. A toothpick should come out clean from the center of the muffins, and muffins should spring back when you gently press the top center of a muffin with your fingertip.
  • Remove muffin pan from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Then remove muffins from the pan and let cool on a baking rack. Enjoy warm right away or let them cool first – just know that the crumb topping will have the best crispy texture on the day they're made.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 Calories: 232kcal Carbohydrates: 35g Protein: 3g Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 5g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0.3g Cholesterol: 38mg Sodium: 166mg Potassium: 103mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 19g Vitamin A: 313IU Vitamin C: 3mg Calcium: 82mg Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Spoonacular. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
Did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles or tag @farmgirlsdabble!

This post was originally published in 2013, then updated in 2024.

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24 comments on “Rhubarb Muffins”

  1. Rachel (teacher-chef)

    I can’t wait to make these this weekend to bring to my in-laws! We picked some rhubarb from their lake-house and I will bake it into these muffins to bring some of the lake to their other house :-)

  2. In Good Flavor

    I love your food styling. There is such fluidity in it. I hope I’ll that to that point someday.