Late June is always hectic birthday-wise We had my sister’s birthday on the 18th and today is my mom’s birthday. In two days it will be my baby cousin’s birthday, then in a couple of weeks it will be my birthday. Lots of birthdays means lots of time in the kitchen. Since there is already an abundance of cake, and more to come, my mom always opts out of a birthday cake. Still, I wanted to make her something for her birthday and these jumbo cherry rhubarb cupcakes with white chocolate frosting do the trick just fine. I wanted to say something about my mother’s birthday here, but she made me promise to not say anything that might indicate her age. Let’s just say she is not aging as gracefully as I thought she would.
Speaking of rhubarb, I have something I want to confess. After a couple of years, I’ve finally come to accept the fact that my rhubarb… is green. It’s not that vibrant reddish pink rhubarb you usually find in the stores and farmer’s markets. The fact that it is that there are several types of rhubarb ranging from green to red. I was in denial for a while because I was sure I bought a red variety and was convinced my rhubarb was green only because I was doing something wrong. I went through all the stages of grief and am now finally accepting the fact that I have green rhubarb and it is just as delicious as any other rhubarb.
We recently went to our local farm to pick cherries and had a blast. We really go overboard with the fruit because it’s so fun picking them off the trees. I decided to pair them with the rhubarb to create a delicious sweet-tart compote to fill the jumbo cupcakes. It’s the epitome of summer goodness. To balance out the tartness, I went for a white chocolate frosting which I was excited to make since I haven’t done one yet for the blog. This is one of my favorite white chocolate frostings and its creaminess really pairs well with the cherry rhubarb compote.
If you don’t want to make jumbo cupcakes, you can easily make these into regular cupcakes – I actually used my favorite cupcake recipe that is often featured here on the blog. Just reduce the baking time to 15 – 18 minutes. You may end up with leftover compote. I swirled mine with a bit of the leftover frosting and used it as a fruit dip.
- 2 stalks rhubarb
- 1 cup pitted and quartered cherries
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil *
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 oz white chocolate melted and cooled **
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Make the compote first. Mix all the ingredients together in a small saucepan and heat on medium. As the fruit softens and begins to break down, mash it until it fully breaks down. Continue to cook until it thickens to an almost jam-like consistency. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a large muffin tin (my tin has six cups in the tin) or line with paper liners.
- In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and whisk. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract and beat. Beat in each egg one at a time, mixing to fully incorporate each egg before adding the next.
- Mix the buttermilk and oil together.
- Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture into the mixer, beginning and ending with the flour.
- Evenly distribute the batter among the cups in the large muffin tin. You should be able to fill six cups.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then bring down the heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 5 -10 minutes, or until the cupcakes are a golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
- Remove the cupcakes and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack.
- Remove the centers of the tips of the cupcakes. I did this by cutting a circle in the middle of the cupcake, angling the knife inward. That way the piece you remove from the top looks like a small cone. Just be sure not to cut too deep into the center of the cupcake.
- Beat the butter for the frosting until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar, beating in one cup of the powdered sugar at a time. Beat in the heavy cream and vanilla. Slowly drizzle in the white chocolate and beat well. Mix in the salt. If for any reason the buttercream feels too thin or soft, chill in the refrigerator for about 15 – 20 minutes before piping.
- Fill the cupcakes with the compote. Pip the cupcakes with the frosting and serve. Cupcakes will keep in an airtight container for about 3 – 5 days.
**Use a white chocolate bar – not white chocolate chips