Raspberry Rhubarb Muffins with Oat Streusel

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Everybody knows rhubarb’s best friend is strawberry, but I think raspberry deserves a chance.

Enter these raspberry-rhubarb muffins. They’re tender, they’re sweet and tart, and they’re topped with a generous sprinkling of buttery oat streusel (the best part of any muffin, IMO). And they’re perfect for making quick use of rhubarb in its prime as we’re turning the corner into berry season. Rhubarb is infamously sour and it gets balanced out by the richness of the muffin and sweetness in the streusel. Raspberry adds a delightfully fruity element that can hold its own in this balancing act, with very little prep work required.

This recipe is super simple, doesn’t require a mixer, and you don’t need to take any of the ingredients out of the fridge ahead of time. You can easily go from “hey, I think I’d like a nice treat” to “yum, fresh baked muffins with my coffee” in under an hour. These muffins freeze well too, so you can stash the extras for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack.

These muffins work equally well with fresh or frozen fruit. I love to pair fruits that are in season at the same time (though rhubarb is actually a fruity vegetable!) but very few fruits are in season in the spring where I live. Frozen raspberries are much cheaper than fresh and often better quality when you’re buying out of season, and they’re pretty ideal when it comes to convenience. They don’t need to be thawed before adding to the muffins, and they’re already the perfect size. No need to cut or trim anything to make them muffin-appropriate sizes, which means no messy melting and chopping. That said, if you have a bunch of fresh raspberries at your disposal, these muffins will show off their fresh flavour and colour famously.

Notes:

If you use frozen berries, don’t thaw them before use. Just make sure that they aren’t stuck together before adding them to the batter. Make sure to only mix as much as you need to get the fruit evenly distributed. It’s good practice to avoid tough muffins (working wet flour creates gluten!), but also helps minimize colour bleeding from the frozen fruit. You may also need a couple of minutes of extra baking time as the frozen berries will cool the batter.

Raspberry Rhubarb Muffins with Oat Streusel

Makes 12 muffins

  • 225g (1 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g (1 large) egg
  • 175g (3/4 cup) milk
  • 67g (5 tbsp) butter, melted
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp) light brown sugar
  • 100g rhubarb, chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 120g raspberries (if frozen, pull apart any that are frozen together but keep frozen until use)

For the streusel:

  • 56g (1/4 cup) butter, melted
  • 35g (2 tbsp + 1 tsp) light brown sugar
  • 60g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 25g (1/4 cup) oats
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

To line muffin pan: softened butter or muffin liners

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan. If your pan is not nonstick, use muffin liners.

Make the streusel by whisking together everything except for the butter until evenly distributed, and then stir in the melted butter. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon until everything is evenly distributed. These are the dry ingredients.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg until homogenous. Add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine and then whisk in the sugar. These are the wet ingredients.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry flour mixture and whisk together. It’s easiest to start with a whisk and then switch to a flexible spatula to finish it off. When there are almost no dry flour bits remaining, add the rhubarb and raspberries, folding them in just until they’re evenly distributed, and no more.

Divide the muffin batter evenly between the muffin cups and sprinkle with the streusel. If the streusel seems too fine, you can squeeze it together in your hand to make bigger crumbs. I like to aim for clumps around 5mm-1cm, but they’ll vary considerably.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean save for a couple of crumbs, or the internal temperature should be about 200°F/93°C.

Remove to a wire rack for 10-15 minutes, then carefully remove the muffins from the pan to cool completely on the rack.

Once cooled, these muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days or frozen in a freezer bag for longer-term storage.

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