Passion Fruit Cupcakes Recipe

August 14, 2013

Are you a fan of cupcakes? How about Passion Fruit Cupcakes? Hi everyone! It’s Jillian here with this month’s Delicious Bites recipe. Last week we held a cake stall at work and as I didn’t have much time to bake, I made cupcakes. As it’s passion fruit season in Sydney I decided to make passion fruit cupcakes with passion fruit cream cheese icing (or frosting for my North American friends).

Passion Fruit Cupcakes Recipe

I grew up in Queensland where everyone seemed to have a passion fruit vine growing over the back fence. It’s one of my favourite fruits and if I had the choice, I’d put it on everything. Passion fruit flowers are the prettiest things I’ve ever seen even if the fruit itself is a bit less attractive. As with many things in life, it’s what’s on the inside that counts as the intense passion fruit flavour is contained in the brightly coloured pulp. I realise not all of you can get passion fruit easily but the pulp freezes beautifully so whenever they’re on special I buy up big and store the pulp in a container in my freezer. If you can’t track down passion fruit, I’d use grated lemon rind and lemon juice as an alternative. There really isn’t a successful substitute for passion fruit so I’d choose lemon over the canned pulp as it really doesn’t taste much like the fresh product.

Passion Fruit Cupcakes Recipe

Now as well as my passion fruit addiction I have to confess to a cream cheese icing addiction. I swear I make twice as much as I need because I eat half the batch every time! The passion fruit icing is what elevates the cupcakes to something a little bit special. I hope you agree.

Passion Fruit Cupcakes Recipe

Here’s the recipe for you.

125 gm (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups self raising flour
¼ cup strained passion fruit juice (4-5 passion fruit)
1/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F (regular oven). Place 12 cupcake liners into a 12 hole muffin tin. Sift the flour into a small bowl and set to one side.

In a medium size bowl, cream together the softened butter and the caster sugar until the mixture becomes light and creamy. Gradually beat in the egg mixture. If the mixture starts to look a bit curdled, add a tablespoon or so of the flour mixture. Gradually add the flour to the mix, alternating with the passion fruit juice and the buttermilk. The mixture should be quite soft, so you may need to add a bit more buttermilk.
Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners.

Bake the cupcakes on the middle rack in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until the tops of the cakes are golden. Remove the muffin tray from the oven and cool the cupcakes on a wire rack. Allow the cakes to cool, then top with the passion fruit icing.

30 gm (1 oz) unsalted butter, softened
60 gm (2 oz) cream cheese
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1¼ cups sifted icing sugar
The pulp of 1 passion fruit

In a small bowl cream the butter, cream cheese and the grated lemon rind until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Mix in the icing sugar and sufficient passion fruit pulp to make a soft icing. Ice the cakes generously with the icing and serve.

Passion Fruit Cupcakes Recipe

Passion Fruit Cupcakes Recipe

By the way, my work is thinking of holding bake sales on a semi regular basis since the last one we had was a success. I need a few ideas so if you’ve got any sure fire bake sale hits I’d love to hear from you so please comment below. See you all again next month with another Delicious Bites column. – Jillian

(images/text: jillian leiboff.)


  • Reply gosia August 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    looks absolutely yummy but since i’m from the country of apples, cherries and berries i’ll have to introduce some changes here. anyway , i hope to try a passion fruit dish/ dessert one day

    • Reply decor8 August 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      @Gosia – What will you try? Maybe cherry berry?

  • Reply Dragana August 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    yam yam

    that looks delicious the images are class, I love it



  • Reply Emily August 14, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    The frosting looks delicious! Mixing in the pulp of some fruit is such a great idea. Have you ever tried it with grapefruit?

  • Reply Sabahnur August 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    looks amazing! never tasted passion fruit before :/

    • Reply decor8 August 14, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      @Sabahnur – I’ve had it once in juice and thought it was so exotic and yummy. Definitely not a common taste but very, very good.

  • Reply Jenna August 14, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    mmm. Those sound so great.

    • Reply decor8 August 14, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      @Jenna – Your site is so cute!

  • Reply Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo August 14, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    I’ve never had passion fruit before. These cakes look like rays of sunshine!

  • Reply Marjory August 14, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    I grew up in Peru eating passion fruit. Such a sweet and refreshing fruit. These cupcakes look divine!

  • Reply Julie Gallagher August 14, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    In South Africa, we call Passion Fruit: Grandilla and you can get it in most things: juice, jelly, sweets – will have to make these! Yum!

  • Reply Michelle Sohl August 14, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    These look amazing and I was wondering if you have used whole wheat flour in any of your recipes and if it made a difference? I’m looking for ways to make cakes and cookies a little healthier, thanks!

  • Reply Jessica Newell August 15, 2013 at 1:15 am

    My mouth is watering just looking at these – yum yum!

  • Reply jillian leiboff August 15, 2013 at 2:54 am

    @Emily: Hi Emily, I think anything citrus would work really well as passionfruit has a citrus kind of tang. I’ve been working on something lime for my column and I can tell you that lime flavoured cream cheese is very tasty . It’s blood orange season here in Australia so orange flavoured cupcakes would also work well.


  • Reply gosia August 15, 2013 at 10:44 am

    yeah, probably that would be the best choice!

  • Reply Sue August 15, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Wow very apetizing. :) Do you think this recipe will also work for mangoes? Thanks in advance! :)

    • Reply decor8 August 15, 2013 at 11:56 am

      @Sue – I bet that would be GREAT with mangos! Try it and let us know what you think. Wow, that sounds great.

  • Reply Jillian Leiboff August 15, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    @Michelle Sohl: Hi Michelle,
    I don’t bake much with whole wheat flour even though I have 2 bags of it in my pantry. When I’ve used it, it’s been for sturdy things like muffins or carrot and nut cake.

    I think whole wheat flour would work fine as long as you sift it well. Different flour types absorb moisture differently so you might have to add a bit more buttermilk to the recipe.

    If you do try a whole wheat version of the cupcakes , you’ll have to let me know how it goes.


  • Reply jillian leiboff August 16, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    @Sue: Hi Sue, I adore mangoes but think they’re at their best left uncooked. Think mango fool, mango ice cream and best of all – just plain mango! Mangoes and lime go well together so maybe a citrus or banana cupcake with a mango flavoured icing? I think that combination would be amazing,

    All the best with that,


  • Reply jillian leiboff August 16, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    @Julie Gallagher: Hi Julie, I’d heard the term granadilla before but didn’t realise that was another name for passion fruit.

    I have a bag of them in my fridge so I’m planning to make a passion fruit bundt cake with passion fruit glace icing which means more passion fruit icing for the cook!


  • Reply Die Landfrau August 19, 2013 at 8:03 am

    I love this. Thank you Holly!

  • Reply Andrew Krucko August 23, 2013 at 3:50 am

    Love the pics!

  • Reply jillian leiboff August 25, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    @Andrew Krucko: Wow,
    thanks Andrew,


  • Reply Anna Kirsen September 7, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Why can’t the internet be ‘scratch n sniff’ enabled or, even better, ‘type n taste’
    Seriously mouthwatering!
    In England you can grow passion flowers and the flowers are beautiful, but the fruits are stunted like feeble grapes – unfair!

  • Reply Miriam February 3, 2014 at 2:53 am

    I lived in New Zealand for half a year when my father went on sabbatical and fell in love with passion fruits. Now that I’m back in Canada you can find them but they’re so expensive! I’ll make the splurge for these though, they look super delicious.

  • Reply Cynthia Davis May 29, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Oh, I LOVE passion fruit. It doesn’t grow naturally here in California, so I may have some trouble finding them, but I just have to try this recipe.

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