Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes with Pomegranate Cream Cheese Icing

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, certainly not for mass-produced sweets, chocolates or cakes. They’re way too sweet and it really masks the interesting base flavours like chocolate or fruit. So when I do eat something sweet it tends to be natural, either fruit or dried fruit, or a little square of very dark chocolate so the natural flavour of the chocolate is apparent.

Sometimes though you need a nice little cake, and so I took my first steps with cupcakes for a girly evening. Often I don’t like cupcakes because the icing is teeth-shatteringly sweet and the cake is dry and bland. Seriously, why do we pay $3 for something that is beautiful but lacking anything other than half a ton of sugar? I guess it’s the same reason people buy Vogue.

Inspired by Middle Eastern flavours, these cakes were not overly sweet and the icing was at least as tangy as it was sweet. The cake was moist because of the ricotta and tasty with zesty lemon, to top it off was a tangy pomegranate molasses cream cheese icing and pistachio sprinkles. No boring, expensive cupcakes for me.

A Middle Eastern cupcake?



Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes with Pomegranate Molasses Cream Cheese Icing and Pistachio Sprinkles
Makes 12

Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes
3 eggs
1 1/3 cup of low fat ricotta (400g)
2/3 cup oil (I like rice bran oil)
1 cup caster sugar (225g)
2 well packed cups of plain flour (350g)
3tsp baking powder
1tsp salt
The rind and juice of 1 large lemon

Pomegranate Molasses Cream Cheese Icing
250g of cream cheese (that’s about 8 or 9 ounces – find a packed that size)
80g of butter
2tbs pomegranate molasses (closer to 3 tablespoons if using a 15ml size)
400g icing (confectioner’s) sugar
A few drops of pink or red food colouring

50g pistachios chopped finely

Oil, ricotta, sugar and eggs


Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F). Mix the eggs, oil sugar, ricotta until smooth.

Sift in the dry ingredients and mix through until smooth and well combined.

A super close-up for the batter – see the flecks of lemon zest?


Add the lemon zest and juice, again, make sure this is all well mixed in.

Wrappers about 2/3 full turned into perfectly plump cakes when cooked


Divide the batter between 12 cupcake wrappers and bake at 180 degrees Celsius (350 F) for 25 to 30 minutes (until a skewer comes out clean).

Allow the cupcakes to cool for a couple of hours before icing.

Beating the icing until smooth


Beat the cream cheese and butter until really smooth and fluffy.

Finished icing, but without colouring. The pomegranate molasses didn’t add enough pizzaz this time.


Add the sugar in about 4 lots beating it in well each time. Finally add the pomegranate molasses to taste. If you have real pomegranate molasses (which you can find in Middle Eastern food stores), it isn’t likely to be bright pink, and for my girly evening I wanted it to be pink. So add a few drops of colouring.

I could be taken to the sweet side with this lot!


Ice the cupcakes and sprinkle some pistachios on top.

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4 Responses to Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes with Pomegranate Cream Cheese Icing

  1. Christina says:

    Wow these look amazing. Where do you get pomegranate molasses from though?

  2. Christina says:

    Sorry! Found the answer in the text oops.

    • It’s worth finding, it has an amazing flavour, one of my new favourites so you’ll probably see it in upcoming recipes!

      Make sure to get the real stuff not coloured sugar water, often it doesn’t have any pomegranate in it if it’s from Western stores.

  3. percibeale says:

    mmmmm!!!

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