Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins with Streusel

Golden baked strawberry rhubarb muffins cooling on a black round rack.

These Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins are jam packed with fruity goodness and bursting with flavour. They’re easy to bake up and stay moist for days.

Did you know rhubarb has been a prairie staple for hundreds of years? Even though it’s also known as the ‘pie plant’, there are many other ways to enjoy its tart flavour. Try it in a savoury barbecue sauce slathered over grilled pork chops or chicken or simply roast it with vanilla and strawberries for a sweet treat.

Golden baked strawberry rhubarb muffins cooling on a black round rack.

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

These golden beauties are filled with tasty fruit and accented with crunchy walnuts. You can leave off the streusel topping, but why would you? It doesn’t take too long to make and really adds another dimension of texture and flavour to the muffins.

The classic Spring combination of fresh strawberries and tart rhubarb really shines in these muffins. This dynamic duo is a favourite of mine and I want to bake it into everything!

This recipe is a throwback to an older cranberry muffins recipe that I couldn’t get out of my mind. They were perfect in every way; taste, texture, and crumb. I had to see if the recipe would also work with strawberries and rhubarb.

Thankfully, the final result was amazing! I’m happy to say the recipe produced perfectly soft, tender, moist muffins. These tasty muffins are irresistible and my family gobbled them up that same day.

Ingredients used in making strawberry rhubarb muffins with streusel topping.

Ode to a Muffin

Muffins are the unsung heroes of the breakfast world. They are a part of the ‘quick bread’ baking category. Muffins are an individually sized, baked product that uses leavening agents (baking powder, baking soda, or both) to achieve a coarse grained texture.

Muffins are generally sweet, thought not as sweet as cupcakes which are identical in shape. They can have plain tops, or have a crumbly top layer of streusel but they are never frosted like their sweeter cousin is.

They are quick to bake up and easy to modify by adding in ingredients such as berries, fruit, chocolate chips, or nuts.

A spoon sprinkles streusel on unbaked strawberry rhubarb muffin batter.

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffin Ingredients

All the usual baking ingredients are in these muffins. Leave out the strawberry and rhubarb, and you still have a great muffin base. However, I suggest that you add in your own fruit or berries, as they will add both flavour and moisture to the muffins.

  • Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Walnuts
  • Strawberries
  • Rhubarb

Why two sugars? Each style of sugar plays a different role in this recipe. The white sugar helps to aerate the batter when it is creamed with butter, while the brown sugar combines with butter and flour to make a crunchy streusel topping.

While many muffin recipes call for baking soda and baking powder as leavening agents, this recipe only uses the latter. Baking powder includes an acidic component and can stand on its own in baking. It does not need an additional acid (such as buttermilk or yogurt) to activate.

Golden baked strawberry rhubarb muffins in a muffin pan.

In general, the percentage of milk fat does not matter in this recipe. Use whatever milk you have in your fridge, bet it dairy or otherwise. The same goes for butter. However, I do suggest using unsalted butter in most baking as this makes it much easier to control the amount of salt in the recipe.

Feel free to leave out the walnuts to make this recipe nut free or substitute them with either chopped pecans or almonds.

Try to find the ripest strawberries you can. Sweet red strawberries will give the muffins maximum flavour and moisture.

Golden baked strawberry rhubarb muffins cooling on a black round rack.

What is Rhubarb?

Rhubarb is a hardy herbaceous perennial that grows from thick underground rhizomes. Although it’s classified as a vegetable, the edible stalks, or petioles, are used as a fruit in a variety of sweet recipes.

The stalks may be bright red, or green (or both) in colour depending on the amount of anthocyanins present. They can be eaten raw, though are quite tart in flavour so are best when combined with sugar and other fruits such as strawberries or raspberries.

Rhubarb was originally cultivated in China where it played (and remains) an important role in Chinese medicine. From there, the herbaceous plant traveled along the Silk Road to Europe and the Mediterranean.

The high cost of import, coupled with the ease of growth and increasing demand led to widespread cultivation in the UK. Today rhubarb is widely grown in both northern and southern hemispheres.

Note that rhubarb leaves should never be consumed as they contain a high level of oxalic acid while is slightly poisonous and may lead to kidney stones. Fatal and non fatal rhubarb poisoning may be caused not by oxalates, but rather by an additional, unidentified toxin.

Golden baked strawberry rhubarb muffins cooling on a black round rack.

How to Bake Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

Begin by making the streusel topping so that it is ready sprinkle on top of the batter before baking.

Place the flour, sugars, butter, and salt into the small bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the walnuts and pulse until the walnuts are desired size. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425F and line a muffin pan with paper liners. Next, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.

In the large bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture becomes pale. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the milk.

Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients only until it the batter comes together. Do not overmix. Fold in the the walnuts, strawberries, and rhubarb.

Next, use a measuring scoop to evenly distribute the muffin batter amongst the paper lined muffin cups. Top each cup of batter with 1 tablespoon of the streusel topping.

Bake at 425F for 15 minutes or until an toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean (no more than 18 minutes).

Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

A strawberry rhubarb muffin on a white plate with whole red strawberries and chopped rhubarb.

Muffin Tin Liners vs. Greasing the Pan

Muffins bake up quickly in muffin tins which can either be lined with paper, aluminum, or silicon cups or simply greased. Lining the pan makes it so much easier to remove the baked muffins.

Choosing how to line the pan depends upon what kind of muffin you want to end up with. If you want a muffin with a crusty bottom, use either butter, oil, or cooking spray to grease the muffin cups.

I’m a fan of using paper muffin cups. It’s so much easier to remove the baked muffins and clean up is a breeze. I also find that the liners help keep the muffins nice and moist.

A golden baked strawberry rhubarb muffin topped with streusel.

Are Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins Healthy?

I’m not entirely sure why this recipe works with just 6 tablespoons of butter but it does. So, that alone makes this recipe quite a bit healthier than many muffin recipes with at least one cup of oil. Note that there is still a fair amount of sugar in these muffins.

Rhubarb is rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanins (which are what make a beautiful red colour) and is a very good source of vitamin K1 and a moderate source of calcium. While it does not have much in the way of essential nutrients, it’s an excellent source of fiber.

Strawberries are also a rich source of antioxidants, along with Vitamin C, potassium, folic acid, and even more fiber. They are thought to help protect your heart, prevent strokes, and guard against cancer.

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Pinterest image of golden baked strawberry rhubarb muffins cooling on a black round rack.
Yield: 12 muffins

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins with Streusel

A golden baked strawberry rhubarb muffin topped with streusel.

These streusel topped Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins are jam packed with fruity goodness and bursting with flavour. They're easy to bake up and stay moist for days.

Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

FOR THE STREUSEL TOPPING

  • 3 tsp flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar; packed
  • 1 tbsp cold unsalted butter; cut into pieces
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup walnuts

FOR THE MUFFINS

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter; softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup walnuts; chopped
  • 1 cup strawberries; chopped
  • 1 cup rhubarb; small diced

Instructions

FOR THE STRUESEL TOPPING

  1. Place flour, sugars, butter, and salt into the small bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Add walnuts and pulse until the walnuts are desired size. Set aside.

FOR THE MUFFINS

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture becomes pale. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the milk.
  4. Gently stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture until it comes together. Do not overmix.
  5. Fold in the the walnuts, strawberries, and rhubarb.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter in the muffin cups. Top with 1 tbsp of the streusel topping.
  7. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, then check for doneness by inserting a toothpick. If it doesn't come out clean, bake for a few more minutes (no more than 18 minutes).
  8. Cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes, then remove and cool muffins on a wire rack.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 258Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 285mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 4g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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20 comments

  1. Chef Dennis

    Yum! Nothing beats a good dessert made with strawberries! These Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins with Streusel look absolutely divine.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you Dennis! They are a real treat.

      Reply

  2. Zuzana Paar

    I have never actually baked with Rhubarb. This is exactly what I needed. Thnk you so much for this recipe

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Oh! Well I hope you try it soon because I love baking with it.

      Reply

  3. Eva

    As an Italian I take my breakfasts on the sweet side. So I am a big fan of muffins, as they are the “continental breakfast” item that most aligns with my preference! All my neighbours have rhubarb so I have easy access to it at the moment. I have no excuse but make your muffins asap!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      They are slightly sweet…and a little tart, too. They are also wonderful with afternoon tea.

      Reply

  4. Brianna

    I love the combo of rhubarb and strawberries together and your muffins are divine! My family devoured these and your recipe was easy to follow.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Excellent! Glad you all enjoyed them so much Brianna.

      Reply

  5. Farrukh Aziz

    We love muffins, and jam as well! And putting it together makes an awesome dessert! I love the texture of these muffins! Surely making this again!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      yesss, stay tuned Farrukh. A Strawberry rhubarb jam post is coming up soon! I made it the same day as I did the muffins and sent some to my son and daughter in law. They ate them together in BLISS!

      Reply

  6. Beth

    I love rhubarb and think these muffins look divine. I’m growing rhubarb but it’s too little to harvest yet, so now I’m on the lookout for it in the market. Can’t wait to try that streusel.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I picked mine a bit early this year as it was so cold I thought it would freeze. Now, it’s growing like mad and ready for picking #2!

      Reply

  7. Heidy

    These Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins with Streusel look so amazing! I just need to get my hands on some rhubarb so I can make them! Do you think one of the markets would have them? I live in Florida and never seem to see any here. Maybe a Whole Foods? I definitely want to make these!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      I think rhubarb may be more of a mid west thing…and it may be too late to find it fresh in Florida. Your best bet would be to find some frozen. Whole foods sounds like a good option.

      Reply

  8. Jenny

    The combo of strawberries and rhubarb means early summer freshness and deliciousness for me. And, streusel makes everything taste better. I love the addition of walnuts. Thanks so much for this recipe!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      So true. There are few combinations I love as much as strawberry and rhubarb.

      Reply

  9. Enriqueta E Lemoine

    I took your recipe and made a loaf instead of the muffins. I only adjusted the baking time. Perfect recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      That’s great! Thank you so much for letting me know. I will have to try it in a loaf pan next time.

      Reply

  10. Amy

    I haven’t baked much with rhubarb ~ these muffins were delicious! The streusel topping is a fave!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      So glad you enjoyed them Amy. They are a favourite here for sure.

      Reply

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