Baking in winter is a funny thing. Sometimes all you want to do is bake something warm and comforting, packed with flavours synonymous with cold winter nights – like chocolate, warm apples and cinnamon.
Then there are times when you just need something fresh and summery – something to boost your spirits and remind you that summer is in fact just a few months away. For me, this often means baking something packed with passionfruit.
Passionfruit is one of my absolute favourite summer flavours – there something about it that screams sunshine, long days and warmth – making it the perfect thing to bake with on a gloomy, wet winter afternoon.
Armed with a packet of freeze dried passionfruit powder, I decided to make a cupcake infused with all the flavour of passionfruit without actually having any gooey filling of zest-filled icing. Luckily the passionfruit powder is amazing – you wouldn’t know there’s no fresh passionfruit in these fluffy passionfruit cakes! Finished with a swirl of vanilla bean buttercream to complement the passionfruit flavour and you’re all set.
I based these cupcakes off my favourite vanilla cupcakes – they’re moist, fluffy and absolutely delicious. By adding just a teaspoon of freeze dried passionfruit powder to the finished mix the flavour of these cakes absolutely transformed, giving off this beautifully rich passionfruit scent while baking away in the oven.
Despite it being the middle of winter (literally – this weekend is the middle weekend of winter!) our house smelt just like summer. If you’ve got the winter blues or just love the taste of passionfruit then you definitely have to try this recipe – either way you’ll love them. Enjoy!
Makes approx. 24 cupcakes
- 225g butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups self-rising flour
- 1 ¼ cups plain flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp freeze dried passionfruit powder (Tip: add an extra 1/2 tsp for extra punch – 1 tsp will lightly flavour the cupcake)
Vanilla Bean buttercream
- 200g butter, softened
- 2 ½ – 3 cups icing sugar
- 2 – 3 Tbsp milk
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- Cream butter until smooth. Gradually add sugar and cream until light and fluffy (approx. 3 minutes)
- Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a small bowl, whisk together plain and self-rising flour. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in three additions, alternating with milk. Add passionfruit powder and mix until well combined.
- Spoon batter into cupcake liners to ¾ full. Bake for 20 -25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Cool cupcakes in pan for 15 minutes before placing on rack to cool.
- Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until pale and fluffy.
- Add 2 ½ cups icing sugar and 1 Tbsp of milk. Mix until well combined.
- Continue to add remaining icing sugar and milk until icing reaches a pipeable consistency.
- Add vanilla bean and beat until well combined.
- Scoop icing into a piping bag fitted with a 1M tip and pipe a swirl of icing onto each cupcake. Finish with sprinkles.