Chocolate and Marmalade Cupcakes with Cardamom Buttercream

Now, if you read my puff pastry posts you will know that there was one tart that I made which didn’t quite work. However, I vowed to use the same flavours again in another way as they worked so well together. I didn’t lie, here it is! Chocolate and marmalade cupcakes with a chocolatey cardamom buttercream on top. Yum!

These are nice if you are looking for a twist on bog standard chocolate cupcakes or you’re baking for someone who likes the spicier things in life! This year I made my own marmalade for the first time so I used that in my cupcakes but you can use shop bought. You probably want the Seville variety though as its a slightly more bitter and stronger flavour which will work better here.


For the cakes:
175ml milk
100g Dark Chocolate
110g Caster Sugar
60g Unsalted Butter
1 Large Egg, Beaten
150g Self-Raising Flour
4 tbsp Marmalade

For the buttercream:
100g Unsalted Butter
225g Icing Sugar
50g Dark Chocolate
2tbsp Milk
3 Cardamom Pods

The recipe for the cupcakes has been adapted from a recipe for Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes from the Great British Bake Off book which I have recently reviewed (follow this link to have a look: It’s a great recipe by itself so if you have the book I recommend trying that too!

You will need the oven to be preheated to 180C so its up to temperature by the time you go to use it. Chop your chocolate into small pieces and then put it into a saucepan along with the milk and about 33g of the sugar. Heat this up VERY gently, stirring until its all melted together. You may need to give it a quick whisk at the end for it all to combine properly. Take it off of the heat and leave to one side.

Beat you butter until its really soft and creamy and then beat in the rest of the sugar. You want to keep going until it is very pale and fluffy in texture.

Take your beaten egg and add your marmalade to it, passing it through a sieve first so you don’t add the peel. Whisk these up with a fork so they are well combined.

Pour this slowly into the butter mix, beating well after each addition, until you have mixed it all together well.

Next you need to add a third of the flour and gently fold it in, followed by a third of the chocolate mixture. You will need to do this twice more to use up all the flour and all the chocolate mixture.

When its all combined you should have a lovely silky mixture which you can then simply spoon it into cupcake cases. I used little baking cups here which I love because they look really sweet and you don’t really need a muffin tray, although I still used one to stop them sliding about.


Bake the cakes for about 18 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when you lightly press them with your finger. Pop them on a wire rack to cool.

While the cakes are baking you can make the butter cream. Melt the chocolate however you prefer and leave it to cool a little bit whilst you beat you butter into submission. Make sure it’s really light and fluffy.

Beat in about a third of the icing sugar until its well combined with the butter. Then add your chocolate and beat it in well. Add the rest of your icing sugar and beat again until its all smooth. If it is a bit stiff at this point then add some or all of the milk until it is soft enough for your liking.

You then need to grind up the seeds inside your cardamom pods. The most useful thing for doing this would be a pestle and mortar. Unfortunately, I don’t own this useful piece of kitchen equipment so I improvised with a rolling pin! However you grind them, you want to end up in as fine a powder as you can manage. You can then add this into your buttercream  – beat it really well here so it’s all evenly distributed.

Once your cakes are cool you can pop the buttercream on top. I used a piping bag with a star nozzle to pipe swirls but you can just slap it on any way you fancy. I also used the peel left over from the marmalade to decorate them. I simply rinsed the peel under the tap and dried it off, then chopped it into little pieces to sprinkle on top.

I hope you try these delightful little cakes and, if you aren’t a fan of cardamom (my boyfriend thinks it tastes like perfume) then you can just leave that out from the buttercream and still have a tasty little treat. I loved these, they are really different and a nice change to the usual flavours. Let me know if you give them a go.

Happy Baking

Kate 🙂