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Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Cheese Frosting


For the cupcakes

2 cups/255 g all-purpose/plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup/200 g granulated sugar
Zest of 2 lemons
⅔ cup/165 ml best-quality fruity extra-virgin olive oil
3 eggs
cup/120 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the frosting

1 cup/240 ml heavy/double cream
8 oz/225 g mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
cup/60 g powdered/icing sugar, sifted
Zest of 1 lemon
12 candied violet petals (optional)


Makes: 12


To prepare the cupcakes: preheat the oven to 350°F/ 180°C/gas 4. Place paper liners in twelve cups of a muffin pan/tin. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar and lemon zest. Add the olive oil and mix well. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the lemon juice in two additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix the batter until combined. Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters of the way full with the batter. Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

To prepare the frosting: in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, powdered/icing sugar, and lemon zest until smooth. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Using a spatula, frost the cooled cupcakes and decorate with candied violet petals, if desired. The cupcakes can be served the same day or kept unfrosted in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

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