Riesling Cupcakes with Pear Mascarpone Frosting

Most people that know me know that I love wine. I mean wine cake. I was first introduced to wine cake in college when my lovely domestic diva of a friend made us dinner, and thankfully dessert too. That wine cake uses sherry wine and can be categorized as a spice cake. A couple of weeks ago I came across a recipe for riesling cupcakes. Now in my mind I was thinking, “I can make cupcakes and actually drink the leftover wine!” But honestly I think the frosting is what sold me on this recipe- pear mascarpone frosting. Pear? I have used a lot of fruits in my cupcakes and have even made pear bread, but it’s not too often you use pear in cupcakes…let alone the frosting. I was intrigued. Which means I had to try it. The recipe came from The Cupcake Project and was originally a gluten-free cupcake, but I opted to use flour so mine were not. I was also not about to buy xantham gum for 1/4 teaspoon…no thanks. I also made a few changes based on the ingredients I had, as per usual. You can follow their recipe if you need it to be gluten-free!

Riesling Cupcakes
Riesling Cupcakes

Riesling Cupcakes (~8 cupcakes or ~20 mini cupcakes)

  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 c. grape seed oil
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 c. Riesling wine (I chose a wine with a strong pear flavor. Which I only know from reading the label. I like wine, but I don’t know wine.)
  • 1/4 c. milk
Preheat oven to 350*. In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, grape seed oil, and sour cream. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until just combined. Mix the wine and milk in gradually until just combined. (Wine and milk? Together? Sounds like a bad idea to me. But it works here). Divide batter between cups and bake for about 20 minutes.
Pear Mascarpone Frosting
  • 1 ripe pear
  • 4 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 4-6 c. powdered sugar
  • finely chopped walnuts (optional)

Throw the pear into a food processor. (I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this but I probably should- make sure it’s peeled and cored before you do that). Or use a magic bullet like I did. Puree that pear. Cream the mascarpone and pear puree together. Gradually add powdered sugar until you get the consistency that you want. I added some vanilla just for kicks. Pipe onto the cupcakes, and garnish with the walnuts!

I was expecting these to be sweet, I guess because riesling is a sweet wine. But the cupcakes surprisingly weren’t that sweet, and definitely balanced out the frosting very well!

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