These gluten-free, vegan strawberry rhubarb crumble muffins are light, fluffy and unbelievably tender! Packed with jewel-toned summer fruit and finished with a cinnamon-spiced crumble, these muffins are a midsummer dream come true!
Midsummer muffins are a vibe! It might not be the summer of my dreams here in the UK, but if there’s one thing that grows well in this climate, it’s rhubarb!
Rhubarb has felt like a diamond in the rough of what has been an incredibly wet June and July. Its blush pink hue and tart, bright flavour is irresistible, and I’ve been cramming it into as many recipes as possible.
But rhubarb is not the only rosy summer fruit the Brits are famous for. Strawberries are also in abundance, and it’s no secret rhubarb and strawberries were made for each other. While a classic crumble or crisp is their usual haunt, I thought I’d mix it up and bake them in an easy muffin batter topped with a simple crumble.
The result was a dozen dreamy muffins that are perfect for picnics in the park or a late afternoon tea, and if it’s too warm for hot beverages, a pink gin will do just fine.
What do you need to know before you make this recipe?
Start by making the crumble topping, then combine the fruit with cornstarch and a tablespoon of sugar like you would with a crumble and last but not least, make the muffin batter.
This recipe is easy to customise – leave out the crumble if you want some good old fashioned muffins or replace the rhubarb and strawberries with your favourite fruit.
I’ve included all the additional notes for these gluten-free and vegan strawberry rhubarb crumble muffins at the bottom of the page with the hope of improving your experience here at blue border. If you found this useful, I’d love your support on Instagram, click here to follow.
For the crumble
- 40g / 1.4oz gluten-free flour, all-purpose
- 25g / 2 Tbsp. light muscovado sugar
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 25g / 2 Tbsp. non-dairy butter, roughly chopped
For the muffins
- 180g / 6.35oz fresh strawberries, tops removed and quartered
- 150g /5.3oz rhubarb, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp. caster sugar
- 300g / 10.58oz gluten-free flour, all-purpose
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- ¾ tsp. xanthan gum
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 75g / 2.65oz neutral vegetable oil
- 135g / 4.75oz caster sugar
- 50g /1.75oz light muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 300g / 10.58oz non-dairy milk
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line two muffin trays with muffin cases or small squares of parchment paper.
Make the crumble topping by combining the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the roughly chopped butter and rub the butter into the flour mixture until it has the texture of coarse breadcrumbs.
In a separate bowl, toss the strawberries and rhubarb with cornstarch and one tablespoon of caster sugar and set to one side.
Into a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon and salt. Add the sugar and mix briefly.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the oil, sugar, vanilla, milk and apple cider vinegar. Gently mix the wet ingredients through the flour until you achieve a smooth batter.
Divide the muffin batter between the muffin cases and top with a spoonful of the fruit and a generous sprinkle of crumble.
Bake the muffins for 25-30minutes or until a skewer sent through the middle comes out clean. Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container and eat within 2-3days.
NOTES: Gluten-free Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Muffins
What gluten-free flour do you use?
I use Dove’s Farm gluten-free all-purpose flour to make these strawberry rhubarb muffins and, I love how it performs!
It’s worth keeping in mind that all-purpose gluten-free flour is made from a combination of individual gluten-free flours (potato starch, corn starch, brown rice flour, white rice flour etc.), each of which will absorb moisture to a different extent.
If you use a different brand of flour, you may need to adjust the recipe slightly. The batter should be a little thicker than ordinary cake batter, if it seems too thick, add a splash of milk, and if it seems too thin, you may need an extra dash of flour.
What is xanthan gum and do I have to use it?
Xanthan gum is a binder made through the process of fermenting simple sugars. In this recipe, xanthan gum helps hold the muffins together in the absence of natural binders like eggs and gluten.
I have only tested the recipe with xanthan gum, and my instincts are that this recipe needs it, especially since it has a lot of fruit.
If you’re opposed to using xanthan gum and want to try the recipe without it, you could try using a flax egg instead. If you do make these muffins with a flax egg and it works, I would love to know! Leave me a comment below.
Can I use a different fruit?
Yes, these muffins are too delicious not to make year-round. You can replace the strawberries and rhubarb with 300g of any berry or stone fruit and in the colder months try making them with 300g of peeled and roughly chopped apple or pear.
Gluten-free Cake Baking Questions & Troubleshooting
Why do you use baking powder and baking soda?
Gluten-free bakes always need a little more help. Both raising agents together have a greater leavening ability and gives gluten-free cakes an extra boost. This is especially important in a recipe like this when using additions like chocolate and fruit.
Why is my gluten-free cake falling apart?
If you did decide to leave out the xanthan gum and your muffins are crumbling, that’s probably why. As mentioned, xanthan gum is an excellent stand-in for gluten and eggs, and without it, GF bakes tend to crumble and fall apart.
You didn’t let the muffins cool completely before handling them. Gluten-free cakes are more fragile than cakes made with wheat flour. Allowing your muffins to cool completely before eating allows the crumb structure to fully set. If you skip this step, you may find the muffins fall apart easily.
Why does my cake have a gritty texture?
Rice flour is to blame for a gritty texture in gluten-free bakes. Try using a different all-purpose gluten-free flour or make your own mix. I like this recipe for gluten-free flour by Minimalist Baker, and even better make it with superfine brown and white rice flour.
For more help with gluten-free, vegan baking check out –
A little note on non-toxic bakeware
I recently watched Dark Waters and honestly, it scared the s**t out of me. Dark Waters tells the story of the legal case made against DuPont and how the production of Teflon affected a town in West Virginia. Teflon is incredibly toxic and has had a severe impact on people and the planet since its inception in 1938.
For this reason, I’m making an active effort to cook without it. There is an immense amount of information out there on non-toxic vs non-stick bakeware, but that’s a whole post in itself.
So for the sake of keeping it simple, I just wanted to mention that I used a set of stainless steel muffin trays lined with If You Care baking paper. Not perfect but the closest I could get! For more info, you can read the New York Times Article that inspired Dark Waters here, or watch the movie on Prime.