elderflower and raspberry cupcakes

After the veg-tastic success of the rose water cupcakes from Harry Eastwood’s Red Velvet Chocolate Heartache, I wanted to have a go at a new courgette-based bake. 

Elderflower is my favourite. Especially when it’s mixed with gin. I didn’t put gin in these cakes, but I’m not against the idea. Although I was drinking gin when I made them. Mmm.

I digress. These elderflower and raspberry cupcakes went down a storm, and were generally the favourite over the rose flavoured cakes. The occupants of my office are eating a lot of cake these days, and are evolving into marvellous taste testers.

The texture of the cakes was pleasantly grainy – not bitty to the point that it got stuck in your teeth, but a little tickle on the tongue when you take a bite.

img_7162The raspberries gave a delicious tart pang to the sweet elderflower sponge, and floated beautifully in the cakes when dusted with some rice flower.

And using the courgette. I do think it gives the cakes a moistness, and I wouldn’t say I actively missed our absent dairy friend. But the rice flour and ground almonds did create an malty taste, which replaced butter’s indulgent melty sweetness.

I had no complaints about it though. I’m a big fan of malt and not a huge fan of sweetness. I did find the odd green strand of courgette in the cakes which could be off-putting if a person doesn’t know that’s what’s in them.

As with the rose water cupcakes previously, you need an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer to get the volume you need from the eggs for the recipe to work.

And don’t be worried if the mix ends up very liquidy with stringy courgette floating around. That’s fine, it’s going to bake beautifully.

I topped the cakes with some buttercream (had to get the butter in somewhere, sorry Harry) of my own invention, and swirled in some pink to keep things pretty.

ready for transportation in the new toy my boyfriend bought me

So all in all, this recipe is one for those with less of a sweet tooth, but a definite crowd pleaser.



  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 200g peeled and finely grated courgette
  • 5 tbsp elderflower cordial – I used Sainsbury’s own brand and it was lovely
  • 80g white rice flower
  • 120g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 120g fresh raspberries, plus extras for decorating
  • 200g butter at room temperature
  • 400g icing sugar
  • Pink food colouring
  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/ 180ºc
  2. Whisk the eggs and sugar until they’ve quadrupled in volume. This took me about four minutes with my stand mixer on high
  3. Add in 3 tbsps elderflower cordial and the grated courgette and whisk a bit more
  4. Pop in the baking powder, salt, ground almonds and rice flower and give it a last whizz until everything is combined
  5. Chop the raspberries and toss them in a spoonful of rice flour to stop them sinking
  6. Fold the raspberries into the mixture
  7. Spoon equally into 12 cupcake cases, placed in a 12-hole cupcake tray
  8. Bake for 25 minutes. In her recipe, Harry Eastwood says don’t be alarmed if the cakes are flat instead of dome shaped on top, this is fine and how they should look


  9. To make the icing, beat together the butter and icing sugar and add 2 tbsps elderflower cordial
  10. If you want the swirly icing, split the buttercream into two bowls. Add a teeny  bit of pink food colouring to one of them, line a piping bag with the two colours, and you’re away
  11. Stick a raspberry and whatever else you like onto the cakes. Voila. A fruit and vegetable masterpiece.





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