Credit goes to Annalise at Completely Delicious for the basic recipe and the idea for this piece of heaven. I am mostly posting this in order for me to remember how I did it.

WineCupcakes-w-RhubarbFillingMy husband is a home wine maker. He usually buys kits that include a hermetically sealed bag of juice that he dilutes by adding water. His latest kit was called Strawberry White Merlot. It’s a low-alcohol-content “wine cooler.” What’s different about this particular wine is that he reconstituted his bag of juice with birch water that he tapped from our birch trees. Then oh, la, the wine was ready at the same time the rhubarb was ripe. A match made in heaven.

Rhubarb Filling Recipe:

You’ll have to wing this part, it’s what I did. I made my filling the night before I baked and finished the cupcakes. I wanted to give the filling a chance to really thicken. In a large saucepan, add 3 or 4 cups chopped rhubarb, 1 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp. water. Bring it to a boil and then let it simmer until it’s thick. How thick? Filling thick. It was sort of like jam. Let cool and then chill, if possible. I was disappointed the next day to see liquid around the edges of my filling, like it had seeped. But in the end it was really fine. No problem at all.

The cupcake recipe:

Prepare for 15 cupcakes. I used paper liners, but you could spray or grease 15 regular “muffin cups”. However you usually do it. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup blush-colored wine

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1-1/2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

Cream together the butter and the sugar in a mixer until it’s light and fluffy. In a separate bowl beat eggs and egg yolk, mix in the wine and almond extract. In another bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Into the butter mixture stir in about 1/3 of the flour mixture, then stir in 1/3 of the egg mixture, repeating by thirds until it’s all stirred in the mixer together. Beat briefly until it’s incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly into the cupcake liners or greased cups. Each cup will be about 2/3 full. I found this recipe to be true to quantity. Nice!

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Test by pressing lightly in the center of one of the cupcakes. If it bounces right back, it’s done. Mine took 18 minutes exactly. Like I said, this was a really true recipe.

Remove from the oven. I always let mine cool in the tins. That’s probably wrong, but I never have any raw centers. Let the cupcakes cool to room temperature.

Caveat: I can’t take pictures for anything.

Cupcake-Corer

 

Remove the centers from the cooled cupcakes. I have this REALLY handy device that cores the cupcakes. I kid you not. It’s a cupcake corer. Makes the task really simple. Before I got it, I used a piping tip (upside down) to cut out the center and then scooped out the rest with a small spoon. It’s not hard. The challenge is keeping people from popping those centers into their mouths. But why should you care, you’ll only throw them away once they dry out, right? So, go for it. Eat away. I envision someday making a trifle out of cupcake centers, custard, and fruit. Okay, now I’m thinking this through, it would be great with rhubarb!

 

Why rhubarb? What you see laid out on the lawn is a very small percentage of what’s growing at my house. That’s why!

WineCupcakes-w-Rhubarb_Makings

So, once you’ve got the cupcakes made and cored, the filling ready to go, fill them. I used a teaspoon to scoop filling out of the bowl and then dribble it into the holes in the cupcakes.

Rhubarb-Filling

Frosting recipe:

1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar

¼ to 1/3 cup rhubarb filling

1-2 Tbsp rhubarb syrup (optional)

Pink food coloring (optional)

Once again, you’ll have to wing it. I put the butter into my mixer and softened it, adding 4 cups powdered sugar and then adding rhubarb filling a tablespoon at a time. I had earlier made a rhubarb syrup and I slowly added a couple tablespoons of it. [I had meant to make a simple syrup, but lost track of time and ended up with a very thick rhubarb reduction, not jelly but definitely not simple syrup. It is more like a rhubarb sauce without pulp. That’s it.] I also added a few drops of pink gel food coloring. Once you have frosting at the appropriate consistency for spreading, frost your cupcakes. I piped mine because I knew trying to use a knife over that loose rhubarb filling in the centers would be a mess, no thanks. So, as much as I hate piping because I’m so bad at it, I piped.

RhubarbCupcakes

I took half a batch to my daughter’s workplace and they loved them! They are really good.

**Note: the next day, because I had leftover filling and frosting, I made another batch of cupcakes, but this time I used Namaste Perfect Flour Blend instead of all-purpose flour. I have a relative with a wheat allergy. They browned across the top, but it did not affect the flavor or the moisture. The cupcake corer didn’t get enough friction to remove the cores easily, so the cake’s crumb is much lighter than regular wheat flour, I guess. Everything else about it was good and they were enjoyed! See picture below . . .

Wheat-Free_Cupcakes

As you can probably see, I didn’t have enough filling, or frosting, to do a second batch properly, but they were delicious none the less.

 

 

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