rhubarb and custard cupcakes

I’ve caught the baking bug once again, side effects include: watching american wedding cake making programmes, midnight meringue making, obsessing over great british bake off and buying lots of bakeware from lakeland. Rhubarb and custard sweets have always been my favourites so once a bottle of rhubarb food flavouring came with my rather large order from lakeland I came up with the idea of cupcakes inspired by the boiled sweet version. I didn’t go by a recipe and just invented it up as I went along, somehow I managed to strike gold as they came out absolutely perfect. The buttercream frosting has custard powder and vanilla extract and the cake sponge itself has pink food dye along with rhubarb flavouring, sod regular boring cupcakes when there are so many flavours you can invent and try out.


For the sponge: 

4oz self raising flour

4oz sugar

4oz unsalted butter

2 large free range eggs

1tsp (20 drops) rhubarb flavouring

Light pink food colouring

For the icing:

5oz unsalted butter

10oz icing sugar

2tbsp custard powder

1tsp vanilla extract 

1-2tbsp milk


  • Start by getting your butter out of the fridge and leaving it to warm up to room temperature so that it will be super easy to mix, then whack your oven up to 180°c and line a cake tin with pretty cupcake cases.
  • For the sponge, mix the butter until it becomes light in colour and soft, then add the sugar and mix until creamy and smooth. Whisk together your eggs until combined, then slowly add to the cake mixture bit by bit whilst still mixing. At this point add in your pink food colouring until you are left with a rich pink colour, I highly recommend using wilton gel food colours as they give the best results. Once you’ve reached a lovely shade of pink, sift in the flour and gently fold it into the mixture, be nice and gentle.
  • Drop a tablespoon of the mixture into cupcake cases then bake for around 15-20 minutes until the top of the cakes just begins to turn golden brown. Catching them at just the right point is key, you want them to be springy and moist enough so the colour is left vibrant without being over or under baked. 
  • Once your cakes are out of the oven and cooling on a wire rack, get on with the buttercream frosting. Mix the butter until it’s soft and light in colour then add in half the icing sugar and get mixing once again, once that’s incorporated then just add in the other lot along with the custard powder, vanilla extract and milk. At this point the icing should be an off white colour and be easy to mix, if you find it’s not soft enough then just add in a little more milk until you’ve got it where you want it. Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle and pipe away, if you don’t have a piping bag set then just spoon the icing onto the cakes, the taste will win over the presentation on this one.

I’m currently in the process of setting up my own baking company, so if any of you fancied being super kind and liking the facebook page I’d love you forever, plus you will get to see lots of yummy cupcakes and sweet treats pop up on your news feed too.