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Phantom Rhubarb Muffins

I haven’t made a batch of Phantom Rhubarb Muffins (from the Best of Bridge-so named because they’re so delicious they tend to disappear) for years, and keep meaning to. I love tart bits of rhubarb in my muffins, and this recipe doesn’t produce too big a batch – I know you can freeze them, but who ever needs 2 dozen muffins at a time? 8 is perfect. I made these one recent morning when we were packing up the car for a road trip, in order to avoid the mostly disappointing $2 highway muffins with our very necessary coffees. Note: because I was distracted (and am, in general, imperfect) I wasn’t thinking and used more butter and sugar in the simple crumble topping than necessary, which resulted only in more caramelly bits on top – nothing wrong with that. And though the recipe calls for pecans, I had almonds – use any nut you have in your baking cupboard, really.

I like using thin, spindly rhubarb for these, for smaller bits (going in raw-or frozen-they remain tart), and if you’re not a rhubarb fan (or have-gasp!-run out), these are delish with chopped peaches or apricots or other berries thrown in too. They’d work with anything, really, as any good muffin would.

Phantom Rhubarb Muffins
Phantom Rhubarb Muffins

Phantom Rhubarb Muffins

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August 15, 2019


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

1/4 cup canola oil

1 large egg

1/2-1 cup chopped rhubarb (or any fresh berries or other fruit)


1/4 cup chopped pecans

3 Tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp butter, melted

pinch cinnamon


1Preheat the oven to 375F.

2In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil and egg. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until almost combined; add the rhubarb and stir just until blended.

3Divide between 8-10 paper-lined muffin tins. In a small bowl, stir together the pecans, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon and sprinkle a bit over each muffin.

4Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Makes 8-10 muffins.


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12 comments on “Phantom Rhubarb Muffins

  1. Gwen
    August 15, 2019 at 8:22 am

    That recipe goes way back for me as well. My favourite rhubarb muffin recipe… ??

  2. Carol S-B
    August 19, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Mmm, this is different from my usual go-to formula– and I agree about the number of muffins needed!
    Thanks for what looks like a winner, Julie.

    • Julie
      August 27, 2019 at 10:58 pm

      Yay! thanks for always being here, Carol.

  3. Diane
    August 25, 2019 at 11:51 am

    We love all your muffin recipes but this is our favourite Julie. What a combination – rhubarb, pecans and brown sugar. Thank you!

    • Julie
      August 27, 2019 at 10:56 pm

      Amazing, so glad to hear it!

  4. Tracey
    August 25, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    I made these delicious muffins and added the recommended amount of chopped rhubarb. The mix was quite dense especially with the rhubarb. After baking, I couldn’t taste hardly any rhubarb! I couldn’t figure out what could have gone wrong. Does rhubarb tend to disappear in recipes?? NOTE: despite this, the muffins were extremely tasty, especially with the pecan topping!

    • Julie
      August 27, 2019 at 10:55 pm

      Interesting! perhaps you don’t have very tart rhubarb??

  5. oliver shin
    September 5, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    So delicious your recipe Julie.
    I like the most and try it in my kitchen…

  6. Joycelyn
    January 26, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    All I have on hand at the moment are bags of diced frozen rhubarb. Wondering since you state use fresh rhubarb or any other fresh berries, if by chance you’ve ever used frozen rhubarb during the winter months? If so, do you thaw it first or use it frozen?
    Thank you

    • Julie
      January 28, 2020 at 10:38 pm

      Oh yes, frozen is fine! Don’t thaw it, just add it frozen!

  7. Joycelyn
    January 29, 2020 at 3:18 am

    Thank you!

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