Tropical Passion Fruit Cupcakes

There are more or less 500 species of passiflora, yet only one variety bears the name of passionfruit: The Passiflora edulis Sims. Some are purple skinned, more common, this passionfruit is known to have quite a sweet flavour, juice in abundance and small black seeds. The yellow passionfruit has thicker skin, also quite a lot of juice yet possesses a much more sour taste and brown seeds. The harvest is at it’s most abundant from the beginning of October to December which is perfect for cheering up dreary autumn days and adding colour and zest to the long winter months ahead…

yellow passionfruit cupcakes
Yellow passionfruit cupcakes

Back from a recent trip to Africa, my mother in law brought me some tropical, yellow passionfruit; because this fruit has such a cheerfully sweet and sour nature, I decided to brighten up the week by making passionfruit cupcakes. You will find the recipe below.


Cost: ++
Difficulty: +


  • 100g flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of baking soda (to be sprinkled on the passionfruit pulp)
  • 2-3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g butter (softened but not melted)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 yellow passionfruit
  • 3 tablespoons of passionfruit sirup (to add flavour)

For the Icing

  • 200g mascarpone
  • 2 teaspoons of passionfruit sirup
  • 1 yellow passionfruit
  • 150g icing sugar
  • yellow food colouring

Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F or thermostat 6-7), then lower to 180°C (350°F or thermostat 5-6) once you’ve put your cupcakes in. Grease your cupcake moulds.

Mix the butter and sugar together and beat until white and frothy. Add the eggs one by one and mix well. Add the passionfruit sirup and the passionfruit pulp.

In another bowl mix the “dry” ingredients together. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate together. Once this is done, poor it slowly into the passionfruit mixture and mix well. Fill your cupcake moulds 3/4 so they won’t overflow and put them into the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the point of the knife comes out clean. be careful not to overcook them.

Yellow passionfruit cupcakes
Yellow passionfruit cupcakes, out of the oven

To Ice the cupcakes

Mix the mascarpone with the passionfruit pulp and sirup. Then add the icing sugar. If the icing is too liquide, add as much icing sugar as needed.

TIP: To make beautiful two tone icing, divide the mascarpone into two bowls. Add the same ingredients to both, but include some yellow food colouring in the second. When you put the icing into the piping bag, start by putting the lightest icing mixture and finish with the darker colour on top. When you pipe your icing onto your cupcake the darker colour will then be less visible but ill add depth to the swirls.

Two tone yellow passionfruit icing
Two tone yellow passionfruit icing

Don’t forget to scatter a few passionfruit seeds onto each iced cupcake: this increases the sourness which contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the cupcake, and gives it an extra little crunch.

Serve with half a yellow passionfruit, to be eaten without measure!






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