The tartness of the rhubarb goes perfectly with the sweet streusel topping for an easy and sweet breakfast or afternoon snack. A layer of rich cream cheese is swirled throughout making these the muffin recipe you’ll go back to over and over again. These rhubarb muffins take just 25 minutes in the oven, and are even better than the bakery. This is a great recipe for new bakers and old pros alike! 

A single rhubarb streusel muffin with sour cream.

Get Ready For A Tasty Little Rhubarb Muffin 

Super light and moist, these tender muffins are just what every rhubarb fan is looking for. They’re sweet, but the tart rhubarb and sweet pecan streusel balance each other in both texture and flavor. A surprise swirl of cream cheese makes them heavenly.

I like to make a big batch of these to have on hand throughout the week or to bring to brunch parties and get-togethers. They go so well with a hot cup of coffee or tea!

A rhubarb muffin split open.

This seasonal spring vegetable is often confused for a fruit since it’s so common in baked goods. Naturally bitter and sour when raw, trying at least once is quite the experience! It’s almost like a green apple mixed with celery, but don’t worry, that’s not what you taste in these muffins! The chopped rhubarb is cooked with enough sugar to become the sweet treat we all know and love. 

Even when cooked with sugar, rhubarb is tart! That’s why I paired it with sweet cream cheese and a brown sugar streusel. These muffins are similar to a rhubarb coffee cake and go well with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Can’t find rhubarb in your farmers market, no problem you can use frozen and enjoy rhubarb sour cream muffins all year long.

If you’re like me and picked up more rhubarb than needed, try one of my favorite bread puddings.

A batch of rhubarb streusel muffins.


Fall In Love With This Rhubarb Streusel Muffin Recipe

  • Rave Reviews – Sweet, tart, and soft, these muffins are always a crowd-pleaser!
  • Seasonal Ingredients – ​Rhubarb season is from spring to late summer depending on your location, which means it’ll have the best flavor possible, but frozen rhubarb retains all it’s great flavor and can be used in this recipe.
  • Excellent Texture – The fluffy muffin crumb and crunchy streusel topping contrast each other in a delicious way! 
  • Super Moist – Sour cream, buttermilk and cream cheese ensure that you’ll have moist soft muffins.

Ingredients For Tasty Muffins

The ingredients for the muffins.
The ingredients for the muffins.
Ingredients for the rhubarb mixture
The ingredients for the rhubarb cream cheese swirl
Ingredients for the streusel.
The ingredients for streusel.



Rhubarb – you just need 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb so about 2 large stalks.

Dairy – sour cream, buttermilk, and cream cheese.

Pantry Staples – butter, sugar, brown sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

Pecans – the most common nuts used in baking in the South. You could use walnuts instead.

How To Make Rhubarb Muffins

Step One: Cook Rhubarb 

Cook rhubarb in a mixture of water and sugar until softened and slightly thickened. This will take about 15 minutes. Remove the rhubarb from the mixture and let cool to room temp.

Chopped rhubarb on a cutting board.
Chop the rhubarb.
Chopped rhubarb in a skillet with water and sugar.
Cook the rhubarb until softened.
Cooked rhubarb in a saucepan.
Cook until thickened.

As the rhubarb cooks, combine the cream cheese and sugar in a small bowl; set aside.

Cream cheese mixture in a bowl.
Mix cream cheese and sugar.

Step Two: Cream Butter 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy then add sugar and beat until light and fluffy; about 3-5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. 

Eggs and vanilla added to the batter.
Add eggs and vanilla
Creamed butter and sugar.
Cream the butter and sugar.

Step Three: Combine Ingredients

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. In a measuring cup or bowl, combine the buttermilk and sour cream.

Step Four: Mix Batter

In a large bowl, alternate between adding ⅓ of the flour mixture and ⅓ of the buttermilk, ending with the flour. Beat until just combined. With a spatula, swirl in the rhubarb mixture and cream cheese mixture so that you can see the swirls in the batter.

Rhubarb mixture added to the muffin batter.
Add the cooked rhubarb and cream cheese mixture.
Rhubarb stirred into the muffin batter.
Mix in the rhubarb & cream cheese

Step Five: Make Streusel 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Add pecans and melted butter, stirring with a fork to combine. Sprinkle streusel on top of the muffins. 

Melted butter added to the streusel.
Add melted butter.
A bowl of streusel topping.
Mix with a fork.
Uncooked rhubarb muffin batter in muffin tins.
Add streusel to the top.

Step Six: Bake Muffins

Bake for 5 minutes at a high heat, then turn down the oven to 350º without opening the door. Bake for an additional 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

rhubarb muffins in a muffin pan.

Tips For Making Homemade Muffins 

  • ​Avoid over-mixing! With muffins and cupcakes, you want to mix all the ingredients until just combined to avoid a dense muffin. 
  • For muffins with streusel, I like to use tulip paper liners to catch any stray streusel.

Storing Muffins

Keep the muffins at room temperature for a day or two. Putting them in the fridge will dry them out. It’s best to store them in an airtight container in the freezer.

A batch of rhubarb muffins on a cooling rack.

Fresh Rhubarb Streusel Muffins With Cream Cheese

The tartness of the rhubarb goes perfectly with the sweet streusel topping for an easy and sweet breakfast or afternoon snack. A layer of rich cream cheese is swirled throughout making these the muffin recipe you'll go back to over and over again. These rhubarb muffins take just 25 minutes in the oven, and are even better than the bakery. This is a great recipe for new bakers and old pros alike! 
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 400kcal

Ingredients

RHUBARB

  • 1 ½ cups rhubarb chopped
  • cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

CREAM CHEESE SWIRL

  • 3 ounces cream cheese room temp
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

MUFFIN

  • 8 tablespoons butter room temp
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

STREUSEL

  • ¾ cup pecans chopped
  • ¾ cup flour
  • cup sugar
  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter melted

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425º. Line a 12 cup muffin tip with tulip liners.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, cook rhubarb with water and ⅓ cup sugar until it has softened and is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove to a bowl to cool to room temperature.
  • Combine the cream cheese and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy then add ¾ cup sugar and beat until it’s light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a measuring cup combine the buttermilk and sour cream.
  • Add ⅓ of the flour mixture and ⅓ of the buttermilk alternating, ending with the flour beating just until combined
  • With a spatula, swirl in the rhubarb mixture and cream cheese mixture so that you can see the swirls in the batter. Divide between muffin cups and cover with streusel.

Streusel:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Add pecans and melted butter, stirring with a fork to combine.
  • Bake for 5 minutes, then turn down the oven to 350º without opening the door. Bake for an additional 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

Notes

  • You can use frozen rhubarb instead of fresh, just let it thaw first.
  • Don’t overmix the batter, just mix until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  • Tulip muffin liners work great with a streusel topping.

Nutrition

Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 360mg | Potassium: 138mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 542IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @easy.southern.desserts or tag #easysoutherndesserts!

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