White Nectarine and Rhubarb Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Monday, April 2, 2007

It's about time we got to making fresh produce the star again! The winter has been long and harsh, but finally spring has taken its place here in Nor Cal. Rhubarb is starting show its ruby red stalks and a few stone fruit are beginning to show a bit early.

Rhubarb is one of my favorite things about the warm weather. I enjoy its color, its strong physique, its acerbic wit and sweet demeanor. It's truly a powerful piece of produce. No wonder then that I love to utilize it for coffee cakes, tarts, pies, and of course cupcakes.

This was originally going to be a rhubarb and peach cupcake, but we ran into a hiccup when I could find no peaches (really Nugget, you always have everything but the one ingredient I need), so I decided to substitute in some white nectarines instead which turned out to be wonderful.

The cake is very sweet, and with the fruit quite moist and dense. It almost reminds me of poundcake, but richer and almost fudgy in texture. The nectarines are sweet and create their own juices and syrups when pieced with a bite. The rhubarb adds nice color and a bit of sweet acid, while the cream cheese frosting has that delightful tang I so love with fruit.

It really was a fabulous cupcake, perfect for a lazy afternoon in the sun. I can't wait to use up the rest of that rhubarb!

White Nectarine And Rhubarb Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

What You'll Need...
1/2 cup of chopped rhubarb (2-3 stalks)
3 white nectarines
1 stick of butter, room temperature
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup of milk
1 1/3 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
good pinch of salt

What You'll Do...
1) Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Cut the nectarines in half and remove the stone. Place cut side down into a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, setting the oven to Roast for the last 5 minutes (this will loosen the flesh from the skin). The fruit should have a dark brown color to it. Let cool then scoop the flesh out of the skin, and discard the skins. Mash with a back of a fork.
2) Beat the butter for about 2 minutes until well creamed. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
3) Add the egg and egg yolk and beat for 45 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
4) Combine flour, salt, and baking powder and sift together. Add some of the flour mixture, then some of the milk, alternating between dry-wet-dry and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix together until just combined.
5) Chop up the rhubarb and mix with 1 tablespoon of flour and coat well.
6) Fold the mashed cooked nectarines and the rhubarb into the batter. Scoop into cupcake papers.
7) Bake for about 15-18 minutes. Cupcakes will be dense, heavy, and moist. A toothpick should still come out clean (unless it hits nectarine). Let cool on a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting
What You'll Need...
1/4 cup of butter (1/2 a stick), room temperature
4 oz of Philly cream cheese (1/2 package), room temperature
2 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (taste as you go)

What You'll Do...
1) Cream the butter and cream cheese together, about 3 minutes. Scraped down the sides and bottom.
2) Slowly add the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla to taste. Spread on cooled cupcakes.


  1. OK--that is one of the most beautiful swirls of frosting that I've ever seen. Amazing! You have become a master at this.

  2. Speaking of psychic, I am baking a white nectarine cupcake with blueberry curd and white nectarine cream cheese frsoting on Thursday. SNAP! Get out of my head.

  3. Again, another great combination of unique flavors. The cupcake looks so moist, and you can never go wrong with cream cheese frosting.

  4. These sound great! Could you clarify what you mean for us to do in instruction 1, by "setting it to roast for the last 5". Does this mean turning the nectarines cut side up, increasing the oven temperature, or something else? Thanks!

  5. Sher - Haha, I've been practicing with the piping bag.

    Minko - Snap indeed girl. You also beat me to the blueberry curd. We have a link. Quick, what number am I thinking of!?

    Cheryl - You are so right.

    Annony - All cleared up. Just set the oven from bake to roast for the last bit of cooking on the fruit.

  6. These are cupcakes are beautiful as always...very inventive (rhubarb and strawberry is SO last year)...ha! and thanks for the shout out. Should we throw you a food blogger/cupcake housewarming?

  7. Oooooooooooh a cupcake blogging housewarming! Except that you hosted the cupcake round up not too long ago

  8. Wow! These cupcakes look amazing! I'll be giving this recipe a whirl when the rhubarb starts showing up around here. (We have at least a month to wait yet.)


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