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These rhubarb recipes are the best ways to use this bright pink, sweet and tangy ingredient! Try crisps, pies, muffins, and breads, all highlighting the versatility of this seasonal delight.

Rhubarb recipes: rhubarb muffins with rhubarb stalks
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Got rhubarb? This sweet tart fruit is absolutely sublime when it’s in season! I grew up with a rhubarb plant in my backyard, so when it’s that time of year I always feel a little nostalgia about my mom’s rhubarb crisp. Once you can find those green and pink stalks at the store, farmer’s market, or your garden, it’s time to dig in and get cooking!

Rhubarb and when it’s in season

Though it’s used like a fruit in desserts, rhubarb is technically a vegetable since it’s the stalks of a plant. The stalks have a tart and acidic flavor, kind of like apples or cranberries, but with a unique rhubarb-y tang that’s hard to put into words. It makes me think of summers growing up in Minnesota, digging my fork into a big helping of sweet tart rhubarb crisp (and one time I had a killer homemade rhubarb crisp in Sweden).

Rhubarb is typically in season from late spring to early summer, depending on your location. Here in the Midwest US, you’ll find rhubarb peaking in May and June.

Pro tip: Only eat the bright red stalks of the rhubarb plant! The leaves are toxic, since they contain high levels of oxalic acid.

Types of rhubarb recipes

Rhubarb is most often used in pies, crisps, and crumbles, but there are so many more ways to use it! It’s great in muffins and breads (our Rhubarb Bread is a favorite). You can also cook it down into a compote to serve with ice cream or even savory dishes like pork chops, or make it into a syrup for summer cocktails and mocktail recipes.

As cookbook authors who are major rhubarb fans, Alex and I love experimenting with this essential summer ingredient in our cooking and baking! So here are our very best rhubarb recipes to try this season! From crisp to muffins to French toast, there’s something for everyone. We’ve also included some ideas from some of our favorite recipe authors around the web.

And now, 20 rhubarb recipes to try this season!

Frequently asked questions

Is rhubarb a fruit or a vegetable?

Rhubarb is the edible stalk of a perennial plant with large green leaves. While often used in sweet dishes, its botanical classification places it in the category of vegetables. However, a 1974 court ruling in New York proclaimed it as a fruit since it’s used primarily in desserts!

What part of the rhubarb plant can I eat?

Only eat the bright red stalks! The rhubarb leaves contain high levels of oxalic acid, which is toxic if consumed.

Do I need to peel rhubarb before using it?

For most recipes, peeling is unnecessary. Simply wash the stalks thoroughly, trim the ends, and cut them into desired pieces. If the rhubarb is very thick or stringy, you can peel the outer layer with a vegetable peeler.

What are some classic sweet rhubarb recipes?

Rhubarb Pie: A timeless dessert showcasing the tartness of rhubarb balanced with sweetness.
Rhubarb Crumble: A comforting combination of tender fruit filling and a crumbly oat topping.
Rhubarb Jam: A delicious spread perfect for toast, pastries, or even cheese boards.

Can I use rhubarb in savory dishes?

Absolutely! Rhubarb’s tartness complements savory flavors beautifully. Try:

Rhubarb Chutney: A tangy condiment perfect with cheese or grilled meats.
Roasted Rhubarb with Pork Chops: The rhubarb adds a sweet and acidic counterpoint to the richness of the pork.

What about rhubarb drinks?

Rhubarb shines in cocktails and mocktails! Try our Strawberry Rhubarb Margarita.

How can I store rhubarb?

Fresh rhubarb can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Wrap the stalks loosely in plastic or a damp paper towel.

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Rhubarb recipes: rhubarb muffins with rhubarb stalks

Rhubarb Muffins (& More Rhubarb Recipes!)


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x

Description

This rhubarb muffins recipe is simply the best! They come out light and fluffy, with sweet tart rhubarb and a crunchy streusel topping.


Ingredients

Scale

For the muffins

  • 1 ½ cups rhubarb, finely chopped (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 cups [280 g] all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup buttermilk*
  • 5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup neutral oil (grapeseed, canola, or vegetable oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the streusel topping

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Chop the rhubarb and set it aside. Place muffin wrappers in every other muffin cup of two 12-cup muffin tins.**
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, buttermilk, melted butter, neutral oil, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  5. Make the streusel: In a small bowl, mix the sugar, all-purpose flour, and cinnamon. Cut the butter into small pieces, then use your fingers to rub it into the dry ingredients until well distributed and crumbles form.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients from the batter (Step 4) into the well in the dry ingredients. Mix gently until just combined and there are no longer streaks of flour.
  7. Add the rhubarb and fold it in with a spatula, taking care not to overwork the batter. (If desired, you can store the batter up to 24 hours before baking.)
  8. Scoop the batter into the muffin papers using a dough scoop: it should fill to the top of the muffin papers. Sprinkle the tops with the streusel.
  9. Bake until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick in the center comes out with a few crumbs, about 20 to 26 minutes total (rotate the pans halfway through baking). Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a baking rack to fully cool (about 30 minutes to 1 hour). The muffins are best eaten the day they are made, but they store very well in an airtight container in the refrigerator and last up to 1 week.

Notes

*Buttermilk is the magic ingredient which makes the most consistent texture and rise! Don’t be tempted to leave it out or use a buttermilk substitute. It’s worth it (we promise).

**Baking in every other tin makes for a more consistent bake. If all you have is a 12-cup muffin tin, you can use that too.

  • Category: Muffin
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Dessert
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sabrina says:

    am definitely in on all of these, especially since I love rhubarb, but have only really ever used it in pies, so a rhubarb fizz sounds very inviting with that unique rhubarb flavor, thank you!