Easy Apple Rhubarb Muffins with Crunchy Oat Topping

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These apple rhubarb muffins are so warm and cozy with warm cinnamon, lots of fresh fruit, and a crunchy oat topping. Perfect for serving with a hot cup of coffee or grabbing for a quick snack on the go!

wooden table with freshly baked apple rhubarb muffin recipe by a sliced apple and fresh rhubarb.

It’s rhubarb season here in Washington, and I’m excited to share some of my favorite ways to use the harvest! These rhubarb muffins are a real treat.

They’re made using my moist, tender muffin batter, but I’ve adapted it to add hearty oats for extra texture. Then, the mixture is LOADED with fresh apple and rhubarb pieces.

For a little extra fun, I’ve adapted the topping from my gravenstein apple crisp to get that crunchy, sweet texture on top. My husband and I both fell in love with this recipe from the first bite!

rhubarb apple oatmeal muffin with a bite out of it.

Why you’ll love these apple rhubarb muffins


  • So many textures – Instead of using regular all purpose flour, I’ve replaced some of it with oats for extra texture, flavor, and some fiber. I love the balance of the oats in the muffins with the fresh apple and rhubarb and the crumble topping!
  • Warm and cozy – Tart rhubarb tastes almost like a green apple in these muffins, and the warm cinnamon spice gives them a delicious fall vibe. 
  • Incredibly moist – Thanks to the sour cream, oil, and fresh fruits, these muffins are seriously tender and moist.
table with ingredients for apple rhubarb muffins.

Ingredients

For Apple Rhubarb Muffins

  • All purpose flour – Always scoop and level the flour into the measuring cup to make sure you add just the right amount. 
  • Rolled oats – I love the texture these add! Old-fashioned oats work better than instant oats in this situation.
  • Baking powder 
  • White sugar – I use regular white sugar, but you can substitute some of it with brown sugar for extra flavor. 
  • Sour cream – This is a key ingredient for the moist texture. Let it come to room temperature first. Greek yogurt is a great alternative.
  • Eggs 
  • Oil – Oil makes muffins incredibly moist. I often use melted coconut oil, but vegetable oil works great as well.
  • Vanilla extract – Homemade bourbon vanilla extract has the most delicious scent!
  • Apple – Use any firm apple you’d like. I used Cosmic Crisp, but Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and Granny Smith would be ideal substitutes.
  • Fresh Rhubarb – When baked with warm spices, the rhubarb tastes similar to a tart apple. Perfect way to use up the harvest!

For the Crisp topping

This is a modified, mini version of my go-to crisp topping. It makes just enough for a crunchy, nutty texture. You’ll need:

  • Rolled oats
  • White flour
  • Brown sugar
  • Butter

​To make this rhubarb muffin recipe, you’ll also need a cutting board and sharp knife, small, medium, and large mixing bowls, a muffin tin, and muffin liners. For scooping, it helps to have a cookie or ice cream scoop. Use a wire rack for cooling. 

fresh apple rhubarb muffin in front of a basket.

How to Make Apple Rhubarb Muffins

Preheat

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line the muffin pan with muffin liners.

Prepare The Topping

2. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients (1/4 cup oats, 1 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp brown sugar, and cold butter cut into small cubes).

3. Use a fork or your fingers to incorporate the cold butter into the dry mixture. It should be somewhat clumpy and crumbly without any large pieces of butter showing. Set to the side or refrigerate until needed.

Make The Muffins

4. In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, oats, cinnamon, and salt).

5. In a large bowl, mix the sour cream, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract. Add each egg one at a time and stir to incorporate.

6. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, stirring to combine.

7. Add the minced rhubarb and apple and fold to incorporate into the muffin batter.

8. Spoon batter into the muffin liners just below the top of the muffin pan and place in the refrigerator.

9. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the tops of the muffins before baking.

10. Place the muffin tray in the fridge for 30 minutes (or overnight) to allow the muffin batter to set. (NOTE: This is optional, but highly recommended for the best rise and texture).

11. Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the tray for 20-30 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Storing Suggestions

Since these muffins contain fresh produce, they should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Feel free to freeze any extra muffins for up to 3 months.

Tips & Variations

  • Use any type of apple you like. My personal preference is to use tart apples, but sweet apples would work great too. It’s best to choose a variety that stays firm when baked.
  • Finely mince the apple and rhubarb. Take your time and cut the apple and rhubarb into very small pieces. 
  • Don’t overmix. No need to use an electric mixer here. You can get amazing results from a regular spoon and a mixing bowl.
  • Measure evenly. For the most consistent muffins, it helps to use an ice cream scoop or measuring cup to fill the muffin liners. I used 2 scoops of a medium cookie scoop.
  • Skip the crumb topping. The crunchy oat topping is completely optional. If you don’t want to go through the effort but still want a little crunch, sprinkle some demerara sugar over each muffin right before baking. 

How to Serve

These rhubarb apple muffins are a great option for breakfast and would be a nice fit at a Mother’s Day brunch with Brioche French Toast and Strawberry Apple Crisp. Great with a little whipped cream or ice cream!

FAQs

Do you have to add oatmeal to the batter?

Nope. This recipe is an adaptation of my basic muffin recipe, and I know that you can replace the 3/4 cup of oats with 1/2 cup of flour for a total of 2 cups of flour.

Can you use frozen rhubarb?

This recipe would be a great way to use frozen rhubarb, as unlike other frozen fruits, it doesn’t weep very much. Make sure you cut the rhubarb pieces very small, though. There is no need to thaw before baking, although you may need a little extra time in the oven.

Do you have to use rhubarb?

Nope! The rhubarb can easily be replaced by another medium apple, and the same goes for the chopped apples. You can ditch the apples and make 100% rhubarb muffins instead, but be sure to add an additional cup of minced rhubarb to replace the apple. 

Related Recipes

three rhubarb and apple muffins stacked together.
fresh apple rhubarb muffin in front of a basket.

Apple Rhubarb Muffins with Crumble Topping

Moist, tender apple rhubarb muffins are speckled with little pops of fresh apple and rhubarb and topped with a brown sugar oat topping. It's like apple rhubarb crisp in muffin form! Perfect with a cup of coffee on a cool summer morning.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chilling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 18 muffins

Equipment

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 medium mixing bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife

Ingredients
  

Muffin Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, scoop and level
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, or vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium apple, finely minced
  • 2 cups rhubarb, finely minced

Crisp Topping

  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cold butter
  • cinnamon, just a dash

Instructions
 

Preheat

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line the muffin pan with muffin liners.

Prepare the topping

  • In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients (1/4 cup oats, 1 tbsp flour, 2 tbsp brown sugar, dash of cinnamon, and cold butter cut into small cubes).
  • Use a fork or your fingers to incorporate the cold butter into the dry mixture. It should be somewhat clumpy and crumbly without any large pieces of butter showing. Set to the side.

Make the muffins

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cinnamon, oats, and salt).
  • In another bowl, mix the sour cream, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract. Add each egg one at a time and stir to incorporate.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring to combine.
  • Add the minced rhubarb and apple and fold to incorporate into the muffin batter.
  • Fill the muffin liners just below the top of the muffin pan and place in the refrigerator.
  • Sprinkle the topping evenly over the muffins before baking.
  • Place the muffin tray in the fridge for 30 minutes (or overnight) to allow the muffin batter to set. (Optional, but highly recommended for the best rise and texture).
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the tray for 20-30 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to leave a star rating!

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Apple rhubarb is such a delicious combination. I love making pies but these muffins sound and look so delicious!

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