Raspberry and Rhubarb

June 8, 2009
Well, I’m back at my laptop in Brazil. A bit groggy and jet-lagged, but settling in okay. Thanks for all the well-wishes regarding my trip!

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.

Raspberry Rhubarb Cupcakes


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
1 egg
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.

Raspberry Frosting

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!

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  • Maria June 8, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I am obsessed with rhubarb this year! I can’t wait to make these. I still have a ton to use up!

  • janetha June 8, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    great recipe! thanks for posting. and tomorrow happens to be national strawberry rhubarb pie day, so i think this could be a substitute!

  • Sagan June 8, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Delicious! So pretty with the little raspberry.

  • Daily Spud June 8, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    There is something tremendously satisfying about taking something home grown (the rhubarb and raspberry in this case) and transforming it into something as appealing as your cupcakes. A winner on many levels 🙂

  • Emily June 8, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Wow, Rhubarb cupcakes!! I’ve never heard of such a thing!

  • Erica June 8, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    ah! I still have not tried rhubarb. I think Josh’s sister and I are going to buy some this weekend! The cupcakes look perfect and I love the pink frosting 🙂

  • Alison June 8, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Sounds wonderful! I bet it’d be good with blueberries too.

  • Chow and Chatter June 8, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    welcome home, they look awesome and such a lovely color

  • Darius T. Williams June 8, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    I’m loving these cupcakes – looks great.

  • Heather June 8, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    what a delightful combination! i totally love it!! so summery and fresh!

  • gastroanthropologist June 9, 2009 at 12:14 am

    I love new ways to use Rhubarb and I was getting a bit bored with the traditional Rhubarb + Strawberry combo. Love the color of the pink frosting!

  • kat June 9, 2009 at 6:47 am

    I love when rhubarb is in season its just so good in so many thing!

  • Leslie Elizabeth June 9, 2009 at 7:43 am

    that looks awesome!

    check out my Libre Tea giveaway if you are interested –


  • Lori June 9, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Maria – I was a bit the same way this year. I’ve never been a huge fan, but have managed to find some new ways to use it which I like.

    janetha – Very cool. I had no idea there was a day devoted to it. Ha!

    Sagan – Thanks!

    Daily Spud – I know what you mean. Foods fresh from the garden are like a blank page for creation. Love it!

    Emily – They were new to me this year too!

    Erica – Give it a try. It is tart and depending on how prepared takes some getting used to, but I’m growing fond of it.

    Alison – That would be interesting to try.

    Chow and Chatter – Thanks! The pink color was my favorite part. 🙂

    Darius – Thanks!

    Heather – It did have a summery appeal. 🙂

    gastroanthro – I was so excited about the color of the frosting. So bright it alone puts one in a good mood. 🙂

    kat – This year I’m really learning how flexible it is.

    Leslie – Thanks for stopping by. The tea looks interesting.

  • 5 Star Foodie June 9, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Rhubarb and raspberry sounds like a terrific combination and the cupcakes look scrumptious! I was shocked to discover another combination of rhubarb and onion this weekend – never would have thought those two would go together but it was amazing.

  • Reeni♥ June 9, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    What a nice combination! Their so pretty and I bet they were just scrumptious!

  • Tangled Noodle June 9, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Almost too pretty to eat! Almost – I’m not THAT sentimental. 😎 The raspberry sauced added to the frosting is fantastic. The cupcake looks absolutely delicious but I can imagine this as a cake, too.
    Rhubarb and raspberry made into this is a promise of sweet tartness – just the right kind of bright flavor for the summer!

  • Lori June 10, 2009 at 3:44 am

    5 Star – Rhubarb and onion? Hmm..sounds interesting.

    Reeni – Yes, they were very good. 🙂

    Tangled Noodle – Yeah, I was the same way. Ha! I got over their looks pretty quickly. 🙂

  • Anna June 10, 2009 at 7:32 am

    I never used rhubarb in Brazil, so its totally new for me. But this cupcake looks delicious. I will definitely going to try.

  • Lori June 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    You know, so far I’ve never seen it here. I got to have it when I was in the States b/c my dad grows it in his garden.