Rhubarb Muffins with Pecan Streusel are incredibly tender muffins, packed with rhubarb and pecans, and topped with a crispy pecan streusel. Perfect for a spring brunch!
Rhubarb season is here! I love seeing this pink and red celery look-alike show up in the grocery store each year. Rhubarb’s peak season is mid-April through June, which is long enough to make a few fun rhubarb treats, and short enough to make me miss it the rest of the year.
These Rhubarb Muffins with Pecan Streusel are modeled after a recipe that my grandma clipped from a newspaper many years ago. I found the recipe and tweaked a few things, like adding a crispy pecan streusel to the top. You definitely do not want to skip the streusel!
Here’s what rhubarb looks like when it’s all chopped up:
When whole, it closely resembles celery, though it’s a vibrant shade of pink/red instead of green. It is NOT a fruit that you’ll want to eat on its own—it’s really sour. You’ll most often find rhubarb in desserts such as cakes, pies, tarts, and muffins, with plenty of sugar to contrast the sour flavor.
The muffin recipe is pretty basic. Despite having only ¼ cup of oil, the muffins are really tender and soft, which is the perfect contrast for the crispy streusel on top.
Orange is classic pairing for rhubarb, and this recipe uses both orange juice and orange zest to amp up the flavor.
When scooping muffins or cookie dough, I use a ¼ cup ice cream scoop. It makes transferring the batter to the muffin tin so much neater. It also assists in getting a consistent amount in each well of the muffin tin.
After you remove them from the oven, you’ll want to let them cool for just a few minutes before removing them from the pan. Removing them promptly ensures that the streusel is warm enough that it won’t stick to the pan.
I’m usually all for slathering butter on a muffin, but truthfully these Rhubarb Muffins with Pecan Streusel don’t need a single thing. They’re best served slightly warm. If you make them ahead of time, just pop them back in a preheated oven for 3–4 minutes or until warm.
For gluten-free and/or dairy-free guests, these Zucchini Olive Oil Muffins are one of my favorites!
Rhubarb Muffins with Pecan Streusel
For the muffins:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons orange zest (from 1 large orange)
- ¾ cup orange juice
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1¼ cup chopped rhubarb
- ½ cup chopped pecans
For the streusel:
- ¼ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons cold butter
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
For the muffins:
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, vegetable oil, orange zest, orange juice, and ¾ cup sugar. Gently stir in the flour mixture. Fold in the rhubarb and chopped pecans.
For the streusel:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together ¼ cup sugar and 3 tablespoons flour. Slice the butter into small cubes and work it into the sugar/flour mixture with your fingertips until the butter is the size of peas. Fold in the chopped pecans.
- Spray a nonstick 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin wells, until they are ¾ full. Sprinkle the batter with the streusel topping.
- Bake for 20–25 minutes (I baked them for 23 minutes), or until lightly brown on top. Let sit in the pan for 5 minutes before removing the muffins from the pan.