Rhubarb muffins are a sure sign of spring – or that you have saved a batch of rhubarb in the freezer.
Rhubarb is one of the first fruits of the spring season, so anything rhubarb goes on my list of favorite spring recipes.
Well technically it is one of the first vegetables of the season, but most of us think of rhubarb as a fruit and use it as one.
Rhubarb has quite a tart taste, so works best with some sugar. I have cut the amount of sugar from the original recipe I was given many years ago from 1 full cup to 3/4 of a cup.
I think the muffins are sweet enough with the lesser amount of sugar, but if you think you might like it sweeter, simply increase the amount of brown sugar you use back to the full 1 cup.
I love easy muffin recipes like this one. Fruit muffins are wonderful because they give you that nice sweet flavor of fruit in a simple muffin.
They are perfect as a snack, for breakfast or as dessert after lunch or dinner. How about rhubarb muffins in a Sunday brunch bread basket?
Here’s the recipe:
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups rhubarb , finely chopped
- 1/2 cup nuts
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon butter , melted
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Combine the brown sugar, oil, egg and vanilla and beat them together until the mixture is well blended. Stir in the milk, rhubarb and nuts.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the rhubarb mixture all at once. Blend it together well but do not over mix (see the note below).
- Fill 12 muffin tins 2/3 full. There is an optional sugar and cinnamon topping for the muffins shown below. Sprinkle the topping over the muffins before baking them if you are using it, pressing it gently into the batter.
- Bake at 400°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick or metal prod. The muffins are done when there is no batter sticking to the toothpick.
For the Topping:
- Mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle evenly over the muffins before they go into the oven. Gently press the mixture into the muffin batter, just slightly, to make sure it stays on during baking.
Replacing the Buttermilk
- The recipe calls for buttermilk, but you can use regular milk as well. The buttermilk does add a wonderful flavor and makes the muffins beautifully tender.
- To Sour Milk - You can also make your own sour milk to replace the buttermilk in the recipe. Just add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to a 1 cup measure. Fill the rest of the cup with milk and let it sit for 5 minutes to sour the milk. Use it in baking as you would use buttermilk.
Over mixing the Muffin BatterMuffin recipes always caution you against over mixing the batter. That's because over mixing can result in muffins that are tough instead of tender. They can also bake unevenly and create holes or tunnels in the baked muffins. The recipe calls for the rhubarb to be "chopped". Some stalks of rhubarb are fairly thin, while others are quite thick. If you have thick stemmed rhubarb I would slice it in half or even in thirds down the middle before chopping it. Ideally, you want to get nice little pieces of tart rhubarb throughout each muffin.
I hope you enjoy them.
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