Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

Have you ever tasted an olive oil cupcakes before?  At first, some people might think it to be a bit strange.  I assure you that it is not. Around the Mediterranean, olive oil is used in a great variety of cookies, cakes, custards and even ice creams. This Extra Virgin olive oil cupcake with a lemon mascarpone frosting is simply out of this world! It is one of my all-time favorite ways to showcase the use of an olive oil in a dessert. The cupcakes bake up beautifully and are vibrantly delicious, full of that fruity Extra Virgin Olive Oil flavor.

The lemon mascarpone icing is absolutely fabulous and it truly turns these already extraordinary cupcakes into a very special gourmet treat.  Once you make this recipe you will never look at olive oil the same way again.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cupcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting


Cupcakes: (makes 12)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 teaspoons lemon zest
  • ‘1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs


  • Preheat your oven to 350ºF.  Grease the muffin pans well or use decorative cupcake liners.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and then whisk to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the milk, olive oil, lemon zest and vanilla.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - cupcake batter

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – cupcake batter

Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl by hand or in an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well to incorporate it before adding another.

Continue to beat the mixture until it turns a pale yellow color.  Now turn the speed down to low and add the flour and milk mixture, alternating both. Continue to beat until well combined. 
Tip: This will make a loose batter. DO NOT add more flour to thicken it.

To Bake:

Fill the muffin cups two-thirds of the way full with batter.  Bake until golden brown and cooked through. This should take 17-20 minutes. After 17 minutes check the cupcakes with a tooth pick.  There should not be any wet batter on the toothpick. If they are not done yet, cook another 3 minutes. You definitely don’t want to over bake them. The goal here is a golden brown and moist cupcake. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the muffin pan before removing.

Frosting: (see recipe below)

Lemon Mascarpone Frosting and Candied Violets

Lemon Mascarpone Frosting and Candied Violets

Once the cupcakes are totally cool you can frost them. This is where you can get creative.  I used a star tip pastry bag to frost mine.  You can also simply spread the frosting on top with a butter knife or spatula.  A little drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the icing is a nice touch just before serving.

I garnished with candied violets as well. Candied violets can be quite expensive, so this is optional.  You can alternatively use, colorful sprinkles, or simply leave them plain.
Either way they are absolutely sunny and delicious! 

Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

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Lemon Mascarpone Frosting


  • 12 ounces chilled mascarpone cheese
  • 1 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons lemon zest 
  • a few drops of freshly squeezes lemon juice (optional)


In a bowl, beat the mascarpone and lemon zest with the sugar. If doing in an electric stand mixer be sure to use the paddle attachment at medium speed until just incorporated. 

Mix for a 2-3 minutes scraping down sides of bowl if necessary.  Continue mixing until frosting is light and deliciously fluffy. 


Tip: Place frosting in an airtight container. It will last up to 1 week in the refrigerator.