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Cardamom and vanilla cupcakes with date and tahini frosting

When I think of the flavours of Ramadan and Eid, cardamom coffee and date-filled ma’amoul automatically come to mind

May 22, 2020 at 11:00 am

When I think of the flavours of Ramadan and Eid, cardamom coffee and date-filled ma’amoul automatically come to mind. I am instantly transported back to the Jordan, where we would go from one house to another to greet family on Eid and drink cup after cup of steaming hot dark-roast cardamom coffee and consume a crazy amount of ma’amoul stuffed with dates, pistachios, or walnuts. Later, when I moved to Saudi Arabia, I acquired a new tradition, which was dates and a blonde-roast cardamom coffee served at any house you go to on any day, not just Eid! These are the traditions I probably miss the most now that I live in London.

To pay homage to these flavours and traditions, I decided to create something not so traditional and something that I can make with my kids that is less fiddly and fragile than ma’amoul. Believe me, trying to make ma’amoul with three toddlers is no walk in the park!

The cupcakes are super easy to make, and their texture is out of this world. It is honestly like biting into a cardamom scented cloud. I like to add five teaspoons of cardamom to mine because I like the flavour to be kind of intense, but feel free to add three or four teaspoons if you are unsure or don’t want the cardamom to be really prominent. Alternating the flour and sour cream ensures that the batter doesn’t get too dry with all of the dry ingredients added in at once nor does it get too watery. You just want to mix this until it comes together and then you can use a spatula to continue to fold in any rogue patches of flour that weren’t mixed in properly.

When making the frosting, make sure to taste halfway into mixing and adjust the flavours to your personal taste. You may like it sweeter, so add some more date molasses, which is available in most Middle Eastern shops, or if you want it nuttier, add a bit more tahini paste. Topping these with sesame snaps is optional, but I highly recommend it for an added crunch!

These are a perfect addition to you Eid spread and a great way to get your kids involved in the kitchen and to create beautiful memories you will all cherish.



165g plain flour

1 ¼ tsp baking powder

4-5 tsp ground cardamom

½ teaspoon salt

115g unsalted butter, room temperature

200g sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

120g sour cream


300ml double cream

5 tbsp date molasses

1½ tbsp tahini paste

Sesame snaps, crushed to serve

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Set aside. Use a stand mixer or handheld mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and creamy. The mixture should be a pale yellow, almost white. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.
  2. Add in a third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the sour cream, then a third of the flour, the rest of the sour cream, and finally the rest of the flour. Mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
  3. Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them ¾ full. This will make about 15 cupcakes, depending on the size of your liners.
  4. Bake at 175 C (165 C fan-assisted) for about 20 minutes, or until cupcakes are fully baked.
  5. Leave to cool on a cooling rack.
  6. To make the frosting, place the tahini, double cream and date molasses in a bowl and whisk. Taste halfway through and adjust to your liking. Whip until stiff peaks form. Place in a pastry bag and place in the fridge until ready to use.
  7. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, frost each cupcake and drizzle with date molasses. Top with crushed sesame snaps and enjoy!