As Spring really kicks in, and the days lengthen nicely, I really think it’s time to bring back Elevenses, beginning today with Rhubarb Crumble Muffins! Of course, as a person who identifies readily with hobbits Merry and Pippin in The Lord of the Rings, Elevenses never really left:

Aragorn: Gentlemen, we do not stop ’til nightfall.
Pippin: What about breakfast?
Aragorn: You’ve already had it.
Pippin: We’ve had one, yes. What about second breakfast?
[Aragorn turns and walks off in disgust]
Merry: I don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
Pippin: What about Elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn’t he?
Merry: I wouldn’t count on it.

Elevenses for me since Bonus Boy started school has been a cup of tea and a biscuit from the bottom of the tin sitting at  my desk. The tea goes cold more often than not and it is hardly a satisfying moment in my day, I am refuelling but not recharging.

So, this week, I reinstated proper Elevenses, an Elevenses which Merry and Pip would have been proud of. Bonus Boy and I sat at the table with our cups of tea and a rhubarb crumble muffin each and caught up with each other. Next week I am going to schedule Elevenses into my working day and I am going to move away from the desk for a full fifteen minutes. I have a feeling my productivity levels will rise and that I will feel a lot better for it.

Here is my recipe for Rhubarb Crumble Muffins, making the most the Spring rhubarb crop. They are tart and moist underneath, crunchy, sweet and crumbly on top. Oh my! Go on, treat yourself! Maybe even add some custard!

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Rhubarb crumble muffins in paper cups, sat on a wire cooling rack.

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rhubarb crumble muffins

Rhubarb Crumble Muffins

Moist, tart and delicious, these rhubarb muffins are topped with a sweet, crunchy crumble topping!
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Course: Baked Goods, Cake
Servings: 12
Author: Chris Mosler at Thinly Spread


For the Muffins

  • 375 g Self Raising Flour
  • 125 g Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 100 g butter melted and cooled
  • 250 ml milk
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 200 g rhubarb sliced lengthways and then chopped
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsps water

For the Crumble Topping

  • 50 g plain flour
  • 25 g porridge oats
  • 50 g cold butter diced
  • 50 g Demerara sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C
  • Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases
  • Sift the flour into a bowl
  • Add the soft brown sugar
  • Whisk the egg, milk and butter together
  • In a small bowl, mix the rhubarb, caster sugar and water together
  • Make the crumble topping by putting all the ingredients, except the Demerara sugar, into a bowl and rub the butter in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. Add the sugar.
  • Add the egg mixture and the rhubarb mixture to the flour and fold it all together. Don’t over mix, it is supposed to be lumpy
  • Divide the muffin mixture equally between the paper cases
  • Top each muffin with a generous amount of crumble topping and press it on very gently
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, leave the muffins in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
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Rows of rhubarb crumble muffins.

What would you choose to nibble with a cup of tea at Elevenses?

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Rhubarb Crumble Muffins, showing their crumbly topping.


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