Wednesday 24 November 2010

Lemon & olive oil cupcakes with raspberry cream cheese frosting v2.0

I reckon if you could taste sunshine it would taste like tangy citrusy lemon and the grassy fruity and pepperiness you get in really good olive oil.

So a wee while ago when I saw a recipe for lemon & olive oil cake I remember thinking: that sounds like sunshine in a cake.  But when I went to find the recipe again, I couldn't for the life of me find THE one I was looking for.

I was positive it was an Ottolenghi recipe but I think I got mixed up with their lemon polenta cake.  Then I was convinced that I'd seen a recipe on smitten kitchen's blog, or maybe orangette's blog.  But alas, no luck.  I vaguely remember the post being about the blogger's sister giving her a recipe for the cake but I'm not 100% sure if that is a total confabulation.  Maybe I'm just getting old...memory like a sieve!

Without a proper recipe, I thought why the heck not adapt my go to cupcake recipe and see if that doesn't work.  I know I've been doing that a lot lately which is not very fun for you all.  I do pinky promise to try out new recipes soon but so often these days I find that I am baking in a manic rush and under such a tight time frame that there isn't much leeway for experiments, you know what I mean?  But I do have a stack of recipes that I'm dying to try out in the Christmas hols so please bear with me!

These cupcakes were for my lovely friend Pav's Alice in Wonderland bridal shower in the weekend.  They were tender and fruity, pretty and girly, and perfect for a mad hatter tea party!

I'd made a raspberry cream cheese frosting before but that time the frosting was a bit too oozy even though it tasted phenomenal.  So this time, I added less puree and didn't beat the cream cheese as much (I read that over-beating cream cheese can make the frosting runny) and this time the texture was waaaay better and piped beautifully BUT the raspberry flavour wasn't as intense.

So for version 3.0, I am thinking I might try to make more raspberry puree but then reduce it right down on the stove to intensify the flavour. 

Did the olive oil come through?  I swear could really smell the grassy fruitiness as the cupcakes were baking and I reckon I could taste it in the cupcakes but I'm not sure if that was just me knowing that there was olive oil in the cake!  I am definitely going to try out a proper recipe for lemon olive oil cake though, I love the idea of getting that taste of grassy sunshine into a cupcake.  Everyone loved them on the day though, so fruitiness or not they were a huge hit!

The cupcakes also freeze really well.  I made them a week in advance, froze them, defrosted overnight and frosted them on day of the bridal shower.

Lemon & Olive Oil Cupcakes with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting v2.0

Lemon & Olive Oil Cupcakes

3 cups flour
2 cups caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening

2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp butter flavouring (optional)

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 large eggs

1. Preheat your oven to 180oC and line two 12 cup muffin trays (or three if you are making 30 cupcakes).

2. In a large bowl, whisk flour, caster sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. Rub shortening into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre.

4. Break the eggs into the well and add the rest of the wet ingredients: vanilla, butter flavouring, sour cream, olive oil and lemon juice.

5. Beat for 1 minute till well combined.  Scoop into your pre-lined muffin tray.

6.  Bake for 20 minutes at 180oC or until a skewer comes out clean and the tops bounce back when poked with your finger (mine are done by 20mins so if your oven tends to run hot - check them for doneness at 18 mins or so I reckon).

7. Remove from the muffin tray immediately and cool on a wire rack.  Make sure they are completely cool before frosting.  You could also freeze them once they are cool in an airtight container (I stacked them with baking paper in between).  Defrost cupcakes in the fridge for a couple of hours before frosting.

8. Cupcakes will keep for around 3 days in an airtight container.  If frosted, keep them in the fridge in the airtight container.

Raspberry cream cheese frosting v2.0

250 g cream cheese
150 g unsalted butter, softened
2-3 Tbsp raspberry puree
~ 3 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
a few drops red food colouring (optional)

Raspberry Puree

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

Frosts 24 - 30 cupcakes

1. Raspberry puree: put the frozen raspberries in a microwave safe bowl, cover and microwave on high for 30-40 seconds.  Mush the raspberries up with a fork and pass through a sieve to get rid of the seeds.  Set the puree aside to cool.

2. Cream butter in a large bowl until fluffy (~ 1 minute). Add cream cheese and beat until just mixed.  With cream cheese you have to be careful not to over beat or else your frosting will be too runny!

3. Add icing sugar 1/3 of a cup at a time, beating only till just mixed in each time.  When you have added about 1 cup, add 2 - 3 tablespoons of the raspberry puree and vanilla (and food colouring if you want to get a pinker pink).

4. Keep adding icing sugar until you get the right consistency (around 3 cups for me).

5. Pipe onto cupcakes with a piping bag, or just snip the corner off a snaplock bag.


  1. Heh, I spend my LIFE telling people I have a memory like a sieve...I've probably told half of them already too ;P These are so cute, I just love the little signs - lovely.

  2. Interesting combination, it sounds tasty though. I like how they say eat me. I wonder if I'll become gigantic if I eat one.

  3. Oh olive oil! So few people use it for baking, it's good to see a recipe.

    Those cupcakes sure do look nice.

  4. Sasa: hehe it's such a good description huh? Or sometimes I say "I am such a Dory" (you know off finding Nemo??LOVE that movie). The signs took suprisingly little time to make...oh the wonders of printed labels!

    Melissa: I ate like five and I definitely got gigantic :) hehe

    Gali: Thanks for dropping in Gali! I find that cake recipes with oil in them tend to be so moist so why not use it for flavour as well huh?



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