On to the plate

Experimenting with flavours, colours and style of food served at our place

Rhubarb Crumb Muffins


I had a tub of Sour Cream that needed to be used. I found a recipe I liked, but it was for a cake, and used chopped Rhubarb. I wanted to make muffins. Muffins would cook quicker than the cake, and would leave cut rhubarb a little undercooked.

I came up with a plan. Stew the rhubarb and layer the cake batter with the rhubarb, in a muffin case. Brilliant. Mostly.

I say mostly because as soon as I put the butter and sugar into the mixer and began to cream the two together I realised I should have melted the butter, added it to the other liquid ingredients and then poured the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and lightly mixed the two together. That might have produced a more muffin-type consistency.


Have I mentioned that it was 31degrees outside and I was baking inside. Having already made a Crusty Loaf of bread and putting together cookie dough for Ginger Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe tomorrow), having tried my hand making browned butter and of course stewing the rhubarb. A better idea would have been to lounge outside making the most of the fantastic summer weather we’re experiencing in Christchurch.


I put enough batter into the bottom of the muffin liner and spread it out a little. Then I added a dessertspoon of stewed rhubarb and smoothed that over the cake batter, on top of that came more cake batter which I again spread out to cover the rhubarb and lastly sprinkled over the crumb topping.

Because I didn’t know if this would really work I only baked the four. This gave me an out if it all turned to custard. I’d jut make a smaller cake with the remaining batter. No problem.

But it turned out OK so I carried on.


Rhubarb Crumb Muffins


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 170gm Butter, softened
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream (250gm tub)

Rhubarb Filling

  • 3 cups stewed unsweetened rhubarb

Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

56gm cold Butter


  • Heat oven to 180°C.

For the cake batter

  • Combine sugar and butter in large bowl.
  • Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.
  • Add eggs one at a time until combined.
  • Add vanilla and continue beating until creamy.
    Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.
  • Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, mixing well after each addition.
    For the crumb topping
  • Combine brown sugar, 1/4 cup flour and cinnamon in small bowl; cut in 56gm butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

To assemble

  • Spoon about a dessert spoon of cake batter into the muffin liner. Top with stewed rhubarb and then about a tablespoon more of batter to cover the rhubarb. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over each muffin.
  • Bake for 21-23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
    Turn the muffin tray around 1/2 though baking.

Remove muffins from the tin immediately to cool.

Inspired by Rhubarb Sour Cream Crumb Cake by Land O Lakes


Despite doing my best to evenly spread the cake batter in the muffin pan, as the muffins baked they did the usual thing and expanded and therefore there’s no nice layer of rhubarb. The unsweetened stewed rhubarb, on it’s own, tastes like it needs sweeting. You’ll have to take my word that the unsweetened stewed rhubarb in this muffin is just right. You might have noticed there’s 1.5 cups of sugar in the mixture, that’s plenty to combat the tartness of rhubarb.

The muffin texture is quite cake-y. I don’t mind. It looks like a muffin and it tastes good. I got what I wanted. And I have a new flavour in muffin for next week’s lunches. But of course if I make the recipe again, I’ll change the method to a muffin method by combining the liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients rather than creaming the butter and sugar to make a cake batter.


After spreading more warmth through the house with these muffins, at almost 9pm I finally sat down with a bowl of Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream and hot Chocolate Sauce I’d made a few weeks ago. That hit the spot. Now if I can just clear some space in the fridge next to that cookie dough I think I’ll have found my happy place. These muffins are destined for the freezer, that’ll be just a little too cool for my comfort.


2 thoughts on “Rhubarb Crumb Muffins

  1. Yum! I made these the other day after I stewed rhubarb and then discovered that ALL the recipies want it raw! The muffins were so yummy, I added some rolled oats to the crumble topping and the topping is so good! I will make them again and will add more rhubarb next time. I think this recipe would be super yum cooked in ramekins, and served as an individual desert with custard or ice cream! Thanks for posting, loved it! 🙂

    • Hi Sarah, thanks for letting me know you’d made the muffins. I absolutely agree with you, I can see these as little individual desserts. I’d love it with vanilla bean ice cream, the rest wouldn’t have a warm dessert served with anything but custard 🙂

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