Vegan Indian Cupcakes: Saffron Cupcakes with Cardamom-Rose Frosting

I think this is the first time in the history of Hinduism that Ganesh was fed a cupcake.. or anything vegan for that matter!

I actually hate color pink, but I must say these look quite impressive 🙂

For the past 5 days we, as in my family, have been celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi- the celebration of the most widely known Hindu deity- Ganesh.

During this 5-10 day religious festival, one is not supposed to consume meat or eggs. That means none of our food can be prepared with eggs in any manner. We make a fresh meal and a new dessert everyday for Ganesh and the other deities.

I’m not a huge fan of Indian sweets- they tend to be REALLY sweet and there is absolutely no chocolate involved LAME. I decided to get super creative and come up with a very Indian vegan cupcake- vegan because there’s no eggs or dairy!

Saffron, cardamom and rose are traditional flavors in many Indian sweets, so I decided to combine the 3 flavors and came up with a Saffron Cupcake topped with a Creamy Cardamom-Rose Frosting: it came out AMAZINGLY (is this a word?) delicious!

Saffron Cake:

  • 1 cup soy milk- I used Silk Brand
  • 1 tsp (about) saffron threads
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch- I used organic
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp rose water
  • PAM Baking Flavor
Cardamom-Rose Frosting:
  • ¼ cup vegan margarine- I used Earthbalance
  • ¼ cup vegan cream cheese- I used Tofutti
  • 2 cups confectioner sugar
  • 2 tsp rose water
  • 1 tbsp crushed cardamom
  • red food coloring
  • saffron threads for garnishing (optional)

1. In a small pot/saucepan pour the soy milk and saffron threads. Bring to a boil, then turn off and let the saffron steep for about 10-15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven 350 degrees, and spray and line 1 cupcake pan. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Once the saffron has steeped in the soymilk (milk will turn a beautiful golden-yellow color) add the sugar, oil and rose water. Whisk until well combined. Using the same whisk, slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry whisking until the batter is smooth. DO NOT over mix. Using a ladle, ladle in the batter into the cupcake liners going up about 3/4 of the way.

3. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

4. In a medium-sized bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the vegan butter and cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Sift in 1 cup of the powdered sugar, and beat. Sift in the 2nd cup of powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Add in the rose water, 1 drop of red food coloring and cardamom. Beat until well combined. Cover in plastic and store in the fridge until ready to pipe.

5. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, pipe on the frosting and sprinkle with a crushed cardamom and saffron threads.

If you’re not tempted by now, then you’re a weirdo and I’m definitely judging you.

Makes 12 cupcakes

Like Vegan Sweets?

   Vegan Mojito Cupcakes

   Chocolate-Peanut Butter Truffles



14 thoughts on “Vegan Indian Cupcakes: Saffron Cupcakes with Cardamom-Rose Frosting

  1. Gosh! I can hardly wait to try to make these for my daughter-in-law! I can almost taste those wonderful flavors and the tiny saffron threads on top make them so beautifully finished. Thanks for an awesome vegan cupcake recipe!

  2. How interesting! I don’t think I’ve ever had saffron in a pastry, but I love all the spices involved and think this would make for a really different kind of treat 🙂 Lovely!

  3. Lovely pictures. Im sure Ganpati Bappa enjoyed those cupcakes, seem delicious. Dont know if I can get all the vegan butter and cream, but would love to try these cupcakes!

  4. Hi, I need to make 60 cupcakes later this month and was wondering how much the recipe would change if I would like to add eggs? Is that something you could help with? These look amazingly deliciously perfect!!

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