Rhubarb and custard cupcakes

Rhubarb and custard cupcakes

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This classic combination sets the sweet tartness of rhubarb against creamy custard with delicious results. Could these cupcakes become your signature bake?!

Preparation time: 35 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 12


For the cupcakes:

175g butter, softened
150g self-raising flour
50g custard powder
175g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 large RSPCA Assured eggs
1 tsp ground ginger
1 stem ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp stem ginger syrup

For the compote:

400g rhubarb, cut into 2cm chunks
1 stem ginger in syrup, drained and finely chopped
50g caster sugar

For the icing:

125g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar
50g custard powder
50ml RSPCA Assured milk
1 x 125g pot ready-made custard
red food colouring


Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. For the compote, place the rhubarb on a roasting tray and sprinkle with chopped ginger, sugar and 3 tbsp water.

Wrap the roasting tray tightly in foil and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. While it bakes, make your cupcake batter.

Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases. 

For the cupcakes, beat together all the cake ingredients either using a free standing electric mixer or a hand held electric mixer. Beat for 3 minutes.  

Using an ice cream scoop, divide the mixture between the cupcake cases.

Bake for 20 minutes at 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4 or until the cakes are golden and springy to the  touch. 

When the rhubarb is ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit so you can handle the tray.

Pour all the contents of the roasting tray into a fine sieve set over a small saucepan and let the liquid drain.

Allow the rhubarb in the sieve to cool completely and set to one side.

Heat the contents of the saucepan over a  

medium heat. Simmer until reduced by half.

 Pour the syrup into a heatproof jug and leave to cool. 

When the cakes come out of the oven, drizzle with cooled rhubarb syrup.

Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out to finish cooling on a wire rack.

While the cakes cool, make the icing.

To do this, beat the butter with a whisk until soft fluffy, then add the vanilla, custard powder, half the icing sugar and half of the milk.

Beat continuously until thoroughly mixed. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat until the icing is white, smooth and fluffy.

If the mixture looks a little stiff, add a splash of RSPCA Assured milk.

Using an apple corer, remove the centre of 

each cupcake and fill halfway with the strained rhubarb and top with custard.

To decorate, dip a fine brush into the red food colouring and paint three stripes inside your piping bag.

Spoon the buttercream into the bag fitted with an open star nozzle, then pipe tall swirls of the icing on top of each cupcake, twisting as you pipe for a swirl effect.

To finish, drizzle with rhubarb syrup.

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