Rhubarb Streusel Muffins Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min.
You’ll want to grab those bright-pink rhubarb stalks at the market for these rhubarb muffins with a pecan-cinnamon topping. One batch of these muffins is the perfect way to welcome spring.

Updated: May 01, 2024

Isn’t seasonal baking so fun? Late spring’s rhubarb season feels like such a special treat. As soon as we see those bright-pink, perky stalks of rhubarb at the farmers market or grocery store, we know we have to dig out the recipe for these rhubarb muffins. It’s a contest-winning recipe for a reason, from the tender muffin crumb that’s studded with rhubarb to the cinnamon-pecan mixture on top. These muffins taste like the first 75-degree spring day.

Check out our more of our best muffin recipes for spring to really soak up the season and have any excuse to meander the farmers market.

Ingredients for Rhubarb Muffins

  • Butter: Soften the butter beforehand so it creams with the sugars and creates those highly desired air pockets. You can soften butter quickly just in case you forgot to bring the butter to room temp.
  • Sugars: We use a mix of brown and granulated sugar in this rhubarb muffin recipe. Granulated sugar is better for crisping, while brown sugar creates moisture and tenderness.
  • All-purpose flour: This type of flour is our favorite for muffin recipes. All-purpose flour creates just enough structure and stability for a tall muffin while keeping a tender crumb.
  • Sour cream: Tangy and creamy, sour cream adds flavor and richness to these rhubarb muffins. Don’t have any on hand, but want to save a trip to the store? Try one of these substitutes for sour cream.
  • Rhubarb: Feel free to use fresh or frozen rhubarb here. Rhubarb is in season during late spring and is normally available fresh at a farmers market or grocery store. Sometimes a rhubarb’s green leaves are already removed as they’re inedible and actually toxic!
  • Pecans: We make a crunchy topping for these muffins with a mixture of pecans, cinnamon, sugar and butter.


Step 1: Cream the wet ingredients

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to cream the butter and sugars together until the mixture is light and fluffy, five to seven minutes. Crack in the egg, and beat until it’s combined.

Editor’s Tip: Take a moment to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure everything is incorporated.

Step 2: Beat in the flour mixture and sour cream

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In a separate bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, and beat just until no flour streaks remain. Add in the sour cream, and beat well.

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Add the rest of the flour mixture, and beat just until combined. Fold in the rhubarb.

Editor’s Tip: Be careful not to overbeat once the flour mixture is added to the creamed mixture, or you risk creating dense muffins.

Step 3: Scoop the batter

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Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, or grease the muffin tin with baking spray. Fill the muffin tins three-fourths full with the batter.

Editor’s Tip: This rhubarb muffin recipe makes 1-1/2 dozen muffins, so you’ll either need to use two muffin tins or to bake the muffins in batches. We like to use a cookie scoop to fill the muffin tins. It’s cleaner and creates consistency!

Step 4: Create the topping

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In a small bowl, stir together the pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.

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Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the muffin batter.

Step 5: Bake

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Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Cool the muffins at room temperature for five minutes in their pan. Remove the muffins from the pans and onto wire racks. Serve them warm—we love them with a pat of butter!

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Recipe Variations

  • Add extra fruit: Replace 1-1/2 cups of the rhubarb with strawberries, or make our strawberry-rhubarb muffins. Instead of strawberries, try mixed berries or stone fruit.
  • Make a streusel topping: If you like a little texture on your sweets, omit the pecan topping in this recipe, and try one of our favorite toppings instead: streusel. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup sugar, 2/3 cup all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in 1/2 cup cold butter until the mixture is crumbly, then sprinkle evenly over the batter in the muffin cups. Bake the muffins using this recipe’s instructions.
  • Add some extract: Add 1/2 teaspoon floral vanilla extract to play up the sweet springiness this rhubarb muffin recipe holds, or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract to complement the nuttiness in the pecan-cinnamon topping.

How to Store Rhubarb Muffins

Keep the muffins on the wire racks until they’ve cooled completely to room temperature. You’ll then want to line an airtight container with paper towels, then place the muffins inside. Store these muffins at room temperature for up to three days. If you want to prolong storage by a few days, keep them in the fridge.

Can you freeze rhubarb muffins?

Cool the muffins completely to room temperature, then pack them away in an airtight container. They can be kept in the freezer for up to two months. To thaw, transfer them to the fridge so they can slowly defrost overnight, or place them on the kitchen counter for about an hour or two.

Rhubarb Muffins Tips

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Should you press the liquid out of frozen rhubarb after it thaws?

Once you freeze rhubarb, put it in a colander to thaw, and allow any excess liquid to strain out. However, don’t press on the rhubarb; it will get smashed and possibly fall apart.

Why didn’t my muffins rise?

If your muffins didn’t rise during baking, you may have had too much liquid in the batter, especially if you used frozen rhubarb. Follow our steps above for thawing frozen rhubarb. You can even lightly coat the rhubarb in flour for extra protection against sogginess.

Another cause could have been overmixing the batter. This can overdevelop the gluten, resulting in tough, dense muffins instead of bouncy, tender ones. You’ll want to only beat in the flour and sour cream additions just until they’re combined.

Although taking a peek is so tempting, resist the urge to open your oven’s door. Letting the heat escape and a large gust of cold air whoosh in is detrimental to the rise of muffins (and cakes and quick breads, for that matter!).

Lastly, double-check what you’re working with. Make sure your baking powder and baking soda aren’t expired, and use an oven thermometer to truly ensure your oven is up to temp.

How do I cut and prepare fresh rhubarb?

Rhubarb is shaped like celery, so you’ll want to cut and prepare it the same way. Cut off the two thick, rough ends from the stalks, cut the stalks in half lengthwise, then chop them crosswise into small pieces.

Watch how to Make Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

Easy Rhubarb Muffins

Prep Time 15 min
Cook Time 25 min
Yield about 1-1/2 dozen.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in egg. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Fold in rhubarb.
  2. Fill paper-lined or greased muffin cups three-fourths full. For topping, combine the pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 22-25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

1 muffin: 238 calories, 11g fat (5g saturated fat), 36mg cholesterol, 149mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate (22g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

What a pleasure it is to set out a basket of these rhubarb muffins...although the basket doesn't stay full for very long! I have six children and two grandsons, so I do a lot of baking. The snacks are based on a coffee cake recipe. —Sandra Moreside, Regina, Saskatchewan