February 04, 2008

Baby Loves Rhubarb Cupcakes

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup diced rhubarb
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, at room temperature

fluffy rhubarb frosting
nonpareils for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350. Line or grease and flour 6 wells in a cupcake pan. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, mix thoroughly. Add flour, baking powder and salt to the butter mixture. Add the milk to the rest of the batter and beat until well combined. Fold in the rhubarb. Fill each well 2/3 of the way full. Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted the center of a cupcake comes out clean or with just one or two dry crumbs. Cool briefly in the pan, then remove cupcakes to wire racks to cool completely before icing with rhubarb frosting. Ice, then sprinkle.

My thoughts:
I love rhubarb. I was so excited to find some truly beautiful, bright red rhubarb at the store this week. It's a little early for rhubarb, but it had the best flavor. I've been wanting to make rhubarb cupcakes since I missed the last weekend for rhubarb at the farmer's market last year and it was great to finally make them. I love the chunks of the rhubarb in the sweet, vanilla dough but it is the icing really sets it apart. The icing is fluffy, almost marshmallow like, has a wonderful, sublte rhubarb flavor. The combination of the two results in a cupcake that is full of rhubarb flavor but not too tart.