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Vegan Lemon Elderflower Cupcakes
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5 from 2 votes

Vegan Lemon Elderflower Cupcakes

Vegan Lemon Elderflower Cupcakes combine classic early summer flavours in cupcake form. Light and delicate elderflower sponge cakes are adorned with homemade vegan lemon curd and a tangy, fresh & sweet lemon curd frosting. Make the curd well before the cakes as it does take time to cool and set.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12 Cakes


For the Vegan Lemon Curd (see notes)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 75 ml/ 5 tbsp Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 tbsp Finely grated lemon zest (fresh)
  • 45 ml/ 3 tbsp Cold water
  • 1 Pinch Turmeric
  • 30 g/ 1oz Vegan butter substitute

For the Cupcakes

  • 220 g/ 1 3/4 cups Plain (all purpose) flour
  • 150 g/ 3/4 cup Golden caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Baking soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Finely grated lemon zest (fresh)
  • 240 ml/ 1 cup Almond milk
  • 80 ml/ 1/4 cup Groundnut oil (or other flavourless oil)
  • 30 ml/ 2 tbsp Elderflower cordial
  • 10 ml/ 2 tsp White wine vinegar

For the Vegan Buttercream

  • 225 g / 1 cup Vegan butter substitute
  • 375 g/ 3 cups Icing (confectioner's) sugar
  • Vegan lemon curd
  • 1 Pinch Salt


Make the Vegan Lemon Curd

  • Put the cornflour into a small saucepan with the lemon juice. Stir with a wooden spoon (or mini balloon whisk) until combined
  • Add the zest, water and turmeric
  • Cook on a medium heat, stirring constantly until the mix begins to thicken. Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. By this time the flour should have cooked through (take a tiny spoonful (blow to cool it) to ensure it does not taste floury - if it does continue to cook for a minute or two longer and test again)
  • When cooked, the sauce will very thick - drag your wooden spoon through the centre of the pan and it will take at least 3 seconds for the curd to spread back over the base of the pan
  • Take off the heat and beat in the vegan butter with a mini balloon whisk
  • Set aside to cool completely, then refrigerate until ready to use

Make the cupcakes

  • Preheat oven 175C/ 350F/ GM 3 1/2 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cupcake cases
  • Sieve the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a medium sized mixing bowl
  • Add the sugar & salt and mix using a balloon whisk
  • Sprinkle the lemon zest over the dry ingredients
  • Measure the wet ingredients (almond milk, oil, elderflower cordial & vinegar) into a jug and stir to combine
  • Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix with the balloon whisk until just combined - take care not to over-mix as this will result in a heavy, dense cake
  • Divide the batter between the cupcake cases - each one should be filled approx 2/3 full 
  • Bake for around 20 minutes until golden and a cocktail stick/ toothpick inserted into the centre of the cupcakes emerges clean
  • Let cool completely

Make the Vegan Buttercream

  • Put the vegan butter substitute and the salt into a medium mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth
  • Sift 1/3 of the icing sugar into the bowl and beat well. Add another 1/3 of icing sugar and beat again. Repeat with the remaining icing icing 
  • Reserve 15 tsp of the lemon curd and add the rest to the buttercream. Beat well. The icing should be soft but spreadable. If it is too thick add a little almond milk to loosen it up. If it is too loose add a little more icing sugar

Decorate the Cupcakes

  • Cut a small hole in the centre of each cupcake - large enough to take approx 1tsp lemon curd
  • Divide the reserved lemon curd between the cakes
  • Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream and garnish with edible flowers or other suitable decorations
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days


I've made the lemon curd deliberately thick to fill the cakes and hold up in the buttercream.  If you are wanting to make lemon curd on it's own, adding 1-2 tablespoons of almond milk will give a looser curd. Personally, this thick texture is how I like my curd for toast anyway, but I appreciate a looser curd might be more your style.