Rhubarb is in season and I couldn’t be happier. I love baking with rhubarb, it’s bright, tart flavour perfectly balances a sweeter dessert such as a tart or cupcakes. I have certainly neglected this wonderful fruit and so I was desperate to try and find a recipe that incorporated rhubarb with sponge cake.
I came across this wonderful cupcake recipe by Call Me Cupcake and I fell in love. The sponge has small pieces of rhubarb marbled through, with delicately spiced ginger cream cheese icing, topped with a tart poached rhubarb and cardamom sauce…. heaven!
I’ve found that I prefer to use cream cheese icing than american buttercream with cupcakes, as the sweetness is not overbearing. I took these little beauties into work and they were welcomed with open arms!
Before baking my Easter Sunday cake, I had never used cardamom in my recipes and was a little sceptical. After baking a second time with this aromatic spice, I have to say i’m convinced! The combination of tart rhubarb and the sweet aroma of cardamom is a match made in heaven. Make sure you don’t miss this out when you bake these cupcakes.
I’m also a huge fan of ginger and so I added double the amount into my cream cheese, as I couldn’t really taste it over the powerful flavour of the poached rhubarb and cardamom.
I always make my cupcakes in muffin cases (go big or go home right?!) and this recipe made 12 cupcakes, you would probably get about 16-18 normal sized cupcakes.
- 195 g plain flour
- 180 g caster sugar
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 100 g softened butter
- 2 medium eggs
- 125 ml sour cream
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 100 g rhubarb, trimmed and finely chopped
Poached rhubarb with cardamom
- 100 g rhubarb, trimmed and finely
- 100ml water
- 3 tbsp granulated or caster sugar
- ¼ – ½ tsp freshly ground cardamom
Ginger cream cheese frosting
- 150 g softened butter
- 120g powdered sugar
- 200g cream cheese
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- pink food coloring, if desired
Preheat oven to 175°C and prepare a muffin tray with 12 cupcake liners.
In a stand mixer combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Add butter and beat until combined. Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Stir in chopped rhubarb by hand with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Divide batter amongst the cupcake liners and bake for 20-23 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Whilst your cupcakes are cooling, make your poached rhubarb.
Let the mixture simmer very gently for about 5 minutes or until rhubarb is soft, but not mushy.
Put a strainer on top of a bowl and pour the mixture into the strainer. Scoop the rhubarb pieces from the strainer into another bowl to cool.
Pour the liquid back into the saucepan and let simmer until it’s slightly thickened and looks syrupy which should take between 5-10 minutes.
Pour into a bowl to let cool. Mix together rhubarb and liquid.
Finally, to make the cream cheese icing, beat butter until pale. Add the icing sugar and beat until smooth and pale, about 1 minute. Make sure you have all the lumps out as the trick to cream cheese icing is not to overwhip it once the cream cheese has been added.
Add the cream cheese, ground ginger and food colouring if you’re using it and beat until smooth.
To assemble the cupcakes, I used a piping bag and a circle nozzle to pipe a mound of icing on top. Use a teaspoon to create a well in the middle of the icing, and spoon 1/2-1tsp of the poached rhubarb on top.