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Rhubarb and pistachio cupcakes recipe

Rhubarb and pistachio cupcakes recipe

15 ratings

These beautifully bright cupcakes make the most of stunning seasonal rhubarb. Adding a homemade rhubarb compote to the cake batter adds a delicious tartness that works wonderfully with the creamy icing – top with more fresh rhubarb purée and slivers of crunchy pistachios for a cupcake that's almost too pretty to eat. See method

  • Serves 12 (makes 12 cupcakes)
  • 35 mins to prepare and 15 mins to cook, 30 mins to cool
  • 363 calories / serving
  • Vegetarian


  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
  • 50g (2oz) ground almonds
  • 70g (3oz) self-raising flour, sieved
  • 1 small orange, zested

For the compote

  • 300g (10oz) rhubarb, cut in to 2cm (1in) pieces
  • 90g (3 1/2oz) caster sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, split lengthways

For the icing

  • 60g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 250g icing sugar, sieved
  • 125g (4oz) full fat soft cheese
  • 40g (1 1/2oz) pistachio kernels, roughly chopped
No self-raising flour? Add 2 tsp baking powder for every 150g plain flour

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    19g 28%
  • Saturates

    9g 47%
  • Sugars

    39g 43%
  • Salt

    0.2g 3%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 45.4g Protein 4.5g Fibre 1.3g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
  2. Begin by making the rhubarb compote. Place the rhubarb, sugar and vanilla in to a medium saucepan. Add 1 tbsp cold water and cook gently over a low heat. Increase the heat slightly and cook for 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rhubarb has reduced slightly and has become syrupy. Take off the heat and allow to cool down completely. Remove the vanilla pod before serving.
  3. Next, make the cupcake mixture. Using an electric mixer beat together the sugar and butter until lighter in colour and fuller in volume. Beat in the eggs a little at a time until well combined. Stir through the ground almonds, flour and orange zest.
  4. Fold 2 tbsp of the cooled rhubarb purée into the mixture. Don’t mix it in completely, so you are still able to see definite pockets of rhubarb. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, filling no more than 3/4 of the way up. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean and the tops are lightly browned. Allow to cool completely before icing.
  5. Next, make the icing. Rub the butter through the icing sugar with your fingers. Add the cheese and, using an electric whisk, mix for 3 minutes. Chill for a minimum of 10 minutes before using. Pipe or spread the icing on each cooled cupcake and then swirl over a teaspoon of the rhubarb compote. Sprinkle over the crushed pistachios and serve.

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