Rhubarb and ginger cupcakes with cream cheese frosting recipe

(34 ratings)

For a cupcake with a difference why not make these delicious rhubarb and ginger cakes topped with beautiful lilac cream cheese frosting?

Rhubarb and ginger cupcakes
(Image credit: Getty)
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Cost RangeCheap

For a cupcake with a difference why not make these delicious rhubarb and ginger cupcakes? Top with a beautiful lilac cream cheese frosting before serving. The sticky rhubarb and punchy ginger flavour pair perfectly together.


For the cakes

  • 150g butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 10g cornflour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 2tbsp milk
  • Few drops vanilla extract
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • ¼tsp ground cloves
  • ½tsp ground cinnamon

For the rhubarb filling

  • 400g rhubarb, chopped into 2cm chunks
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 36 pieces of crystallised ginger

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 120g cream cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 480g icing sugar
  • Purple food colouring (Victoria used Sugarflair’s Aubergine)
  • Roses and sprinkles to decorate

Equipment you will need

  • Disposable piping bag
  • Large drop-flower tip piping nozzle (Victoria used a Wilton 1B)




    1. Preheat your oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 and line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake cases.
    2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric beater until pale and fluffy, then add the vanilla and beat again.
    3. Sieve the flour and the spices together.
    4. Add the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar one at a time along with 1/3 of the sieved flours and spices. Mix until just combined. Repeat until all the eggs and flour are combined.
    5. Fill the cases to 2/3 full using an ice cream scoop to get an even amount of cake batter in each case, and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cakes are springy to the touch.
    6. To make the frosting, add all the ingredients including the food colour into a bowl and beat for 4 minutes until smooth and shiny. Cover and leave to one side.
    7. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
    8. Place the rhubarb and the sugar in a pan over a gentle heat, give it a stir then leave to simmer for 15 minutes or until the nice pink colour and the rhubarb has softened and broken up.
    9. Place the rhubarb in a sieve to drain the juice away (otherwise the juice will make the cakes soggy).
    10. Cut a well in the centre of each cake with a sharp knife and add 2tsp of the rhubarb mix along with 3 pieces of crystallised ginger to each cake. Then place the tops back on the cakes.
    Decorating the cakes
    1. Attach the nozzle to the piping bag. Place the piping bag into a large glass (pint glasses or tall picnic glasses are great) and pull the bag down around the glass. Fill the bag 2/3 full by pushing the cream cheese frosting down into the bag as you fill, then lift the bag up from around the glass.
    2. From where the cream cheese frosting stops, push all the air up out of the bag and twist the bag right at the top of the cream cheese frosting, and hold the twist between your thumb and forefinger.
    3. Pipe a swirl by applying pressure to the top of the bag, and squeezing to pipe a star in the centre of the cakes. Then applying pressure again, pipe around the star using the edge of the cupcake case as a guide and gradually work your way up into a swirl.
    4. When you are finished, release the pressure, push down slightly and pull up quickly. After you have piped a cupcake, twist the bag again so the twist is always at the top of the cream cheese frosting. Pipe a swirl by applying pressure to the top of the bag.
    5. Decorate with white roses and sprinkles.

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Victoria Threader
Recipes Writer

Victoria Threader is 'the queen of cupcakes' and a contributing Recipe Writer at GoodTo. Not only can she bake delicious cupcakes, she can decorate them too - with each of Victoria’s cupcakes topped with handmade edible toppers. Some of her most popular cupcakes include: rainbow cupcakes, hidden shape cupcakes and even giant cupcakes.