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Spelt Rhubarb Muffins with a Hint of Rose

Twelve spelt rhubarb mini muffins sitting on a blue plate.

Small Cakes | 28th May 2019 | By

Rhubarb season is now in full swing. These fluffy rhubarb muffins contain wholemeal spelt flour and kefir. This means they’re particularly gentle on the digestive system. They’re also really easy to make and a sure fire winner. Bursts of tart rhubarb and just a hint of rose transform these workaday muffins into something just a little bit special.

Community Allotment

Last week, I was invited to a celebration at our local community allotment. Thanks to the team’s dedicated and persistent efforts, they finally managed to get a water supply put in. No more heaving buckets of water from miles around. What better way of celebrating this than with a grand tap turning ceremony, complete with village mayor. Sadly, I was unable to make it, but I thought I’d make some sort of mini rhubarb cakes for those that could. After all, they’ve given me permission to help myself to some of the allotment’s rhubarb.

As befits a community event, invites had gone out to people of all ages. As well as the workers and assembled dignitaries, a group of pre-school teenies, who help out on the allotment, were going to be there. I wasn’t too sure that rhubarb would quite be their thing. When I was knee high to a grasshopper, I wasn’t too keen on rhubarb. Then again, I’d never had my mini spelt rhubarb muffins.

Spelt Rhubarb Muffins with a Hint of Rose

As these spelt rhubarb muffins were destined for all ages, I thought I’d better leave out my usual ground almonds in case of allergies. Everything but the sugar was organic and the spelt flour and kefir are kind to tiny tums. I also put in less sugar than you’ll find in an average muffin. Quite frankly, I find that sweet bakes often have far more sugar than they need.

Finely chopped rhubarb.

The only thing that took me slightly longer to prepare than your average muffin was chopping the rhubarb finely. But don’t worry, it really won’t add too many minutes to your day. Once this slightly time consuming chore is done, they’re incredibly easy to make.

Spelt rhubarb muffin batter in mixing bowl.

Place your dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir in the rhubarb. Break in the eggs, add the melted butter and kefir and stir until everything is just about mixed. All you need to do then is spoon the mixture into muffin moulds and away you go. I reserved some of the chopped rhubarb to place on top of the muffins prior to baking, but this is optional. It looks pretty, but sometimes time is of the essence.

Spelt rhubarb muffin batter in mini muffin trays.

With this amount of mixture, I made 24 mini muffins and six normal sized ones. So this is very much a mix and match recipe. You could make 18 normal size muffins or 36 mini muffins or some other combination entirely. The muffins are in your court.

A halved rhubarb muffin on a blue plate with rose petals, rose syrup and spelt rhubarb muffins in the background

Once baked, the muffins are soft, fluffy and delicious. You wouldn’t really know they were made with wholemeal flour at all.

Do I Need Kefir?

If you’re unable to get hold of kefir, you can use buttermilk or sour milk instead. You can even water down some yoghurt, if that’s all you have. The sour element reacts with the bicarbonate of soda and helps your bake to rise. This is particularly important when using wholemeal flour.

Can I Use Standard Wholemeal Flour Instead of Spelt?

If you’ve only got regular wholemeal flour to hand, it’s fine to swap it for the wholemeal spelt. It won’t give quite the same result, but the rhubarb muffins will still be good. Just sieve the flour first and chuck any bran left in your sieve into the compost bin. Bran inhibits the cakes’ rise, which is why wholemeal flour bakes generally don’t rise as well as those made with plain flour.

Rose Syrup

The rose I use to make rose syrup has, astonishingly, produced a rose this year. We dug it up from its Cornish home last year and it’s survived, even though we’ve stuck it in a pot. We need to get the garden organised until we can plant it properly. Anyway, on discovering that I had a blooming rose, I felt the need to make a batch of rose syrup. And what better use for rose syrup than to brush it over the top of spelt rhubarb muffins as soon as they emerge from the oven?

Fragrant red rose used for making rose syrup.

CT reckoned he could just about taste the rose, but if nothing else it gives the tops a layer of sweetness and makes them shine too.

Other Tin and Thyme Rhubarb Bakes You Might Like

If you’re looking for further inspiration, I have masses of rhubarb recipes on the blog. I’m very fond of rhubarb.

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Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these spelt rhubarb muffins, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or via social media. Do share photos on your preferred social media site and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them. For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Spelt Rhubarb Mini Muffins. PIN IT.

24 mini spelt rhubarb muffins on two blue plates.

Spelt Rhubarb Muffins – the Recipe

Twelve spelt rhubarb mini muffins sitting on a blue plate.
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5 from 12 votes

Spelt Rhubarb Muffins with a Hint of Rose

Fluffy muffins made with wholemeal spelt flour and kefir, which means they're gentle on the digestive system. Bursts of tart rhubarb and just a hint of rose transform these workaday muffins into something just a little bit special.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Afternoon Tea, Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: British
Keyword: kefir, muffins, rhubarb, rose, wholemeal spelt flour
Servings: 36 mini muffins
Calories: 88kcal


  • 125 g unsalted butter – melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 g kefir or buttermilk
  • 250 g trimmed rhubarb – finely chopped
  • 350 g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 160 g golden caster sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp rose syrup


  • Melt the butter over a low heat and take off the stove as soon as it’s melted. Allow to cool a little.
  • Whilst the butter is melting, finely chop the rhubarb. Reserve a few pieces to decorate the tops.
  • Place the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to incorporate everything and get rid of any lumps. Stir in the rhubarb.
  • Make a large well in the centre. Break in the eggs. Add the butter and stir briefly. Add the kefir or buttermilk and stir everything gently together until everything is just about mixed in. Try not to over mix or you could end up with tough muffins.
  • Divide the mixture between 36 mini muffin cases or 18 regular size ones. Place with 2-3 pieces of the reserved rhubarb on top of each one.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for about 20 minutes for the mini muffins and 25-30 for the larger ones. The muffins should be well risen and golden with no wobble to be seen.
  • As soon as the muffins come out of the oven, brush liberally with the rose syrup. Leave to cool for ten minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Or just eat them whilst warm.


Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on serving size and exact ingredients used.


Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.8g | Protein: 1.9g | Fat: 3.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g


I’m sharing this batch of spelt rhubarb muffins with Apply to Face Blog for #BakingCrumbs. It also goes to Mummy Mishaps for #BakeOfTheWeek, JibberJabberUK for #LoveCake and Easy Peasy Foodie for #CookBlogShare.


  1. angiesrecipes

    28th May 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Wish I could reach in and grab a couple of them for my tea! They look GREAT!

    • Choclette

      1st June 2019 at 12:17 pm

      Thanks Angie. I’m a big fan of rhubarb, so I’ll be joining you 😀

  2. Hannah

    2nd June 2019 at 4:51 am

    These look delicious! I’ve never cooked with rose syrup before but I really have to try it now!

    • Choclette

      2nd June 2019 at 9:53 am

      Rose syrup is my go to summer flavour enhancer. I love it.

  3. Jenny Paulin

    5th June 2019 at 3:53 pm

    I am intrigued about rose flavouring with rhubarb but I can see how it must work in a bake. I love how colourful these look too Choclette. Thank you for sharing with #bakeoftheweek x

    • Choclette

      6th June 2019 at 7:52 am

      It’s not the most obvious pairing for sure, but rose and rhubarb are a perfect match.

  4. Jenny Walters

    7th June 2019 at 12:51 pm

    These look fantastic. I love the fact that you used them to celebrate your grand occasion. What fantastic provenance. I too have only grown to love rhubarb in my later years but I have more than made up for it. I absolutely adore it now and these muffins are right up high on my to bake list. Thank you for sharing them with #’BakingCrumbs

    • Choclette

      8th June 2019 at 8:09 pm

      Aw, thanks Jenny. Well it was someone else’s grand occasion, but rhubarb fit it perfectly. Everyone, young and old, enjoyed them – apparently!

  5. Janice

    7th June 2019 at 7:59 pm

    What a lovely flavour combination, I love rhubarb and I must try this.

    • Choclette

      8th June 2019 at 8:04 pm

      I know you love rhubarb Janice. Whenever I make anything rhubarby, I always think of you 😀

  6. Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder

    7th June 2019 at 9:10 pm

    I think you might have noticed already my absolute love for rhubarb! lol These muffins sound fantastic! Do you think I could use rose water instead of syrup? I have a small bottle in the cupboard which I bought a while ago now prompted by Nigella’s new book back then (couple of years ago I think) lol. No sure about the quantities though, it seems quite strong. Love the look of your beautiful rose by the way! Thank you for sharing these with #BakingCrumbs 🙂

    • Choclette

      8th June 2019 at 8:04 pm

      Aw thanks Jo. Yes, I know you are a fellow rhubarb lover. I reckon you, Janice and I need to get together. I only used the rose syrup to brush the tops, so you could make a simple syrup solution and then add some rose water bit by bit until you get a taste you think will work.

  7. Ceri Jones

    12th June 2019 at 11:09 am

    Rhubarb and Rose are such fantastic flavour partners. Love how you’ve combined them in the wholesome muffins – bitesized!

    • Choclette

      15th June 2019 at 7:55 am

      I’m a big fan of bitesized. They’re usually enough to satisfy, without filling you up.

  8. Angela Roberts

    17th June 2019 at 2:17 pm

    Rhubarb is such fun! I love these healthy muffins and can’t wait to have these for breakfast.

    • Choclette

      17th June 2019 at 2:31 pm

      Yes, it is fun, especially if you’re lucky enough to get some nice pink or red skinned sticks.

  9. Sisley White

    17th June 2019 at 9:47 pm

    These look so cute and I can imagine they taste incredible too. What a great flavour combo.

    • Choclette

      19th June 2019 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks Sisley. Love rhubarb in bakes at this time of year.

  10. Anna | Serving Dumplings

    18th June 2019 at 9:25 am

    Love these flavors, how cute are these!

    • Choclette

      19th June 2019 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks Anna. Rhubarb and rose is an underrated combination, but one that works very well.

  11. Julia Frey

    18th June 2019 at 10:53 am

    I absolutely adore that you combined rhubarb with spelt flour. Two of my favourites. What great looking, wholesome muffins!

    • Choclette

      19th June 2019 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks Julia. I have a lot of spelt and rhubarb bakes on Tin and Thyme. A favourite combination.

  12. nessjibberjabberuk

    25th June 2019 at 1:49 pm

    This is why I need roses in my garden! What a lovely addition to the top of the muffins and another way to use up the rhubarb glut!

    • Choclette

      27th June 2019 at 8:51 pm

      Everyone needs roses in their garden – most especially deep scented old-fashioned rose – mmm!

  13. Sisley

    3rd July 2019 at 1:29 pm

    I made them and they taste wonderful. A really lovely taste and perfect for picnics.

    • Choclette

      3rd July 2019 at 4:52 pm

      Oh did you Sisley? How lovely. I’m glad you liked them and thanks for letting me know. Any photos?

  14. Nico @ yumsome

    3rd July 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Rhubarb and rose – a match made in Heaven! I love your use of kefir too, I imagine it works so well. Unfortunately, I don’t like milk kefir (although I do have water kefir on the go all the time), so I’d have to use yoghurt, I think. I’m already salivating at the thought of it!

    • Choclette

      3rd July 2019 at 4:54 pm

      Water kefir is delicious. It might even be worth trying in these cakes. It will give them a slightly different texture, but the chemical process should be the same.

  15. Jill Colonna

    4th July 2019 at 10:45 am

    I adore rhubarb with rose, as you know. Love the addition of spelt, though, too. They sound fabulous!

    • Choclette

      4th July 2019 at 7:22 pm

      Oh yes, I was so pleased to discover another rhubarb & rose fan Jill.


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