In the colder reaches of the Northern United States, bright scarlet rhubarb stalks are proof that we've finally put winter behind us. But since it's still pretty chilly out, we like to kick off springtime rhubarb season with something warm and cozy. Like muffins.

Rhubarb Muffins
Photo by Vanessa Greaves

Rhubarb lands on the far end of the tartness scale, so it needs to be balanced with a fair amount of sugar to keep your mouth from puckering right off your face. I chose Aunt Norma's Rhubarb Muffins because at 1 ¼ cups of brown sugar, the recipe sounded just sweet enough without going overboard. Plus, I knew brown sugar would add extra moisture and richness to the dough. Don't judge me, but I strayed from the recipe just a bit, using melted butter instead of oil because I needed to use up some butter. Plus my rhubarb measured out at 2 cups instead of 1 ½. And I didn't add walnuts. Other than that, I followed Aunt Norma's directions, even down to the easy butter and cinnamon sugar streusel topping.

Baking with Fresh Rhubarb
Photo by Vanessa Greaves
| Credit: Vanessa Greaves

The result? Such. Good. Muffins. Crispy tops, moist crumb, and sweet-tart rhubarb shining through.

Aunt Norma's Rhubarb Muffins
Photo by Vanessa Greaves

Get the recipe for Aunt Norma's Rhubarb Muffins. And check out more ways to enjoy the season's first rhubarb crop.

If you're baking muffins, you'll appreciate these top tips for making bakery-style muffins from scratch.

Happy spring!

(All photos by Vanessa Greaves)