Rhubarb cornbread muffins

March 3, 2011 § 7 Comments

So this is actually the second experiment using rhubarb compote. In typical style, I will show the first experiment in the next post. But first, I am thrilled to be posting again, if only because all last week I wasn’t feeling up to cooking, but at least got a lot of cookbook reading done! Yesterday, though, I decided it was time to start baking again, and muffins seemed like an easy way to get my oven mitts back on.

The muffins mostly came about because I thought rhubarb muffins would be so pretty, thanks to the fuchsia color, and then since I have a huge bag of cornmeal and I love cornbread, it seemed like it was worth trying. Unfortunately, the lovely golden muffins laced with hot pink I was picturing didn’t quite happen, though the muffins themselves are really, really good so I couldn’t resist posting the recipe. However, I love the contrast between the tart rhubarb and the muted sweetness of cornbread, so I consider the resulting muffins a tasty success, if not an aesthetic one!

After thinking about it for a while, I think I’ve figured out why these rhubarb cornbread muffins aren’t so attractive. The rhubarb juice from the compote mixes with the batter and turns a very pretty gray, though I understand if others aren’t quite as enamored with gray as to want to eat it. Instead, I recommend making the compote as instructed below (cooking it for only five minutes or until the rhubarb is slightly softened) and then straining the rhubarb parts through a strainer to remove excess juice for one cup of rhubarb pieces.

Rhubarb cornbread muffins

Makes twelve muffins


For the rhubarb (to make about one cup of rhubarb)

  • One to one and a half pounds rhubarb stalks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt

For the cornbread muffin batter

  • One cup all-purpose flour
  • One cup cornmeal
  • One and a half teaspoons baking powder
  • Two teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Two eggs
  • Four tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Additional 1/4 cup granulated sugar for sprinkling over muffins

1. Prepare rhubarb: rinse rhubarb and cut into one-centimeter pieces. Add to a fairly deep saucepan along with sugar and salt.

2. Cook rhubarb, sugar, and salt over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes, or until just tender. Place rhubarb into a strainer over a bowl to catch excess liquid, and let strain while making cornbread batter.

3. Prepare cornbread batter: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

4. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, light brown sugar, and salt.

5. Mix in two eggs, milk, and vegetable oil just until batter forms. Stir in strained rhubarb pieces.

5. Assemble muffins: Working quickly, spoon batter into muffin tin. Sprinkle over 1/4 cup sugar. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until muffin tops are golden and a tester comes out clean.


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