Saffron(Kesar) Cupcakes and Butter Cream Frosting {Egg-less}

Sorry for another cupcake recipe in a row. When I saw my fellow bloggers post some wonderful dessert recipes for Diwali, which is the biggest festival of India, I was inspired to share this post first. I made these cupcakes for Diwali brunch for kids at my daughter’s preschool. Kids love cupcakes and I thought to give some festive Indian flavors to keep up with the theme. Another reason being, to share a simple recipe for egg-less cupcakes and traditional butter cream frosting which are keepers. Just change the flavoring ingredients to have your desired flavor(like vanilla to have vanilla cupcakes.)

I made these cupcakes with flavors of saffron, green cardamom and nutmeg. I used equal quantities of refined flour and whole wheat flour and also added some cornstarch to keep them moist and fluffy. Cornstarch absorbs the liquid and keeps the cakes moist in egg free cakes and also it gives nice altitude too. Though, I did not try using all whole wheat flour for this recipe, I am sure it will work. I will update you on it as soon as possible.

Kids love frosting more than the cake. So. I chose to make traditional butter cream frosting which will keep good for few days outside refrigerator . Add some chopped pistachios in batter and on the top of frosting, to have classic Indian Kesar Pista Cupcakes. As it was for school kids, I had to make it without any nuts. Try these indulgent festive treats with great Indian flavors for your next festival or gatherings and let me know if you like it. Here I am sharing recipe for 24 cupcakes and frosting.

Saffron Cupcakes

Saffron/Kesar Cupcakes

Servings: 24 Large or 12 small cupcakes


Dry Ingredients:

All Purpose Flour: 1 1/4 cups

Whole Wheat Flour: 1 1/4 cups

Cornstarch: 3/4 cup

Baking Powder: 2 tsp

Baking Soda: 1 tsp

Salt: a pinch

Wet Ingredients:

Milk: 2 cups (You can use vegan milk too)

Vinegar: 2 tbsp

Granulated White Sugar: 2 cups (Or brown sugar)

Vegetable Oil: 1 cup

Flavoring Ingredients:

Warm Milk: 4 tbsp

Saffron Strands: 1/3 tsp

Green Cardamoms: 10-12(Use only seeds)

Nutmeg Powder: 1/4 tsp, grated freshly


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line the muffin tray with cupcake liners
  2. Mix together milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle for 10 mins
  3. With a help of a mortar and pestle, pound saffron strands, cardamom seeds and nutmeg with help of 1 tbsp warm milk. Add remain 3 tbsp milk and set aside. You can do it in spice grinder too
  4. Sift together dry ingredients like flours, cornstarch, baking powder, soda and salt
  5. In separate bowl, mix sour milk, oil and sugar for few minutes until sugar dissolves.
  6. Add the saffron milk mixture and combine well
  7. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three batches and fold in gently until it forms smooth mixture. The consistency should be easily pouring like condensed milk
  8. Fill the liners with mixture until 2/3rd covered
  9. Bake for 20-25 mins until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  10. Let the cupcakes come to room temperature before frosting or serving

Saffron Butter Cream Frosting

Servings: 12 Large Cupcakes or 24 Small Cupcakes


Butter: 1 cup, soft at room temp.

Confectioners’ sugar: 2 cups (Or powdered sugar)

Milk: 3-5 tbsp

Saffron Strands: 1/3 tsp

Green Cardamoms: 6, only seeds


  1. With a help of mortar and pestle, pound cardamom and saffron with 1 tbsp warm milk until you get nice color and set aside. Pass it through sieve if you like smooth frosting without any bits of saffron and cardamom
  2. Take soft butter in a bowl and blend with hand blender or electric mixture until light for one minute
  3. Add sugar through a sieve (for lump free) and blend for two minutes until light and fluffy
  4. Add saffron milk plus 2 tbsp more milk and blend again for a minute until smooth and creamy
  5. If the frosting is thick add more milk until desired consistency. Add more sugar if thin
  6. Transfer to zip-lock bag or piping bag and frost the cupcakes when they cool down to room temperature

saffroncc-1 saffroncc-2 saffroncc-3 saffroncc-4 saffroncc-5saffroncc-6


  1. You can use all Refined Flour for this recipe instead of mixture of refined and whole wheat.
  2. Frosting will stay at room temperature for 1 week and in refrigerator for 1 month
  3. Cupcakes will stay at room temperature covered for 24 hours
  4. Keep the cupcakes in airtight container and refrigerate up to 1 week

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