A few days before I left the US I got the baking bug so I decided to experiment with a few new flavors. I’ve been seeing a lot of rhubarb cupcakes out there and my parent’s still had a ton of it available in the garden. The new raspberries were just starting to come on, but there weren’t enough to do much more with then eating fresh so I turned to some frozen ones from last summer.
Rhubarb and strawberry is such a popular combo, so I thought I probably couldn’t go wrong with raspberry as strawberry substitute. I was right. Rhubarb and raspberry is every bit as good as the old standard.
My experiment started with finding a Rhubarb Cupcake recipe from Coconut & Lime. I wanted mine to be a bit different though. I don’t like chunks of rhubarb so I cooked mine down with just a teaspoon of water and a teaspoon of sugar. The transformation is shown below. Then we had some buttermilk to use as well so I substituted that.
The frosting is a traditional butter cream with some raspberry sauce stirred in. The raspberry sauce came from extra I had left over when making a fresh batch of the Raspberry Oat Bars I posted about a few months ago. I put some of this directly in the frosting and ended up with a vibrant pink cupcake topping that was sweet with an underlying tartness.
Due to the extra moisture from my cooked rhubarb this cupcake has more of a sponge cake consistency. This can be changed by adding more flour if you desire.
I was thrilled with the results and I will make these again. Next time I plan to turn it into a sheet cake. The tartness balances nicely with the sweet flavors and it is a perfect combination of ingredients that represent this time of year well.
Adapted from a recipe at Coconut & Lime
½ cup rhubarb, chopped
1 tsp water
1 tsp sugar
½ cup sugar
3 tbsp butter, room temperature
½ tsp vanilla
½ to ¾ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup buttermilk
Place the rhubarb, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Cook at medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the rhubarb cooks down into a jam-like consistency. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a cupcake tin with six liners.
Cream the sugar and butter then mix in the egg and vanilla. Add in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix just until combined. Finally mix in buttermilk and then fold in the rhubarb.
Distribute batter evenly into the six muffin liners and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until cupcakes are lightly browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.
¼ cup butter (1/2 stick), room temperature
2 ½ – 3 cups powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
¼ cup raspberry fruit filling (from Raspberry Oat Bars)
Beat the butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and raspberry sauce. Beat until all ingredients are combined and frosting is smooth. If making the frosting on a hot day, you may want to refrigerate it until your cupcakes are ready to decorate.
This recipe will serve as my submission to the Let’s Celebrate Event at Ria’s Collection!