Vegan “Rudolph” Cupcakes


With Christmas fast approaching I feel I have burrowed myself deep in a rabbit hole of baking! Not that I mind that, let’s be clear here, baking is my happy place. And my actual domestic bunny Hazel loves to steal the fruits of my labour! There goes that metaphor!

If you are planning some seasonal baking as well, but need to cater for egg or lactose intolerants, or down right vegan friends, then this super quick and easy recipe will come in your aid. It’s a basic “whisk and bake” kind of batter, and you can replace the almond milk for any nut milk, or even rice or soy milk. You can flavour it with whichever ingredients rock your boat and go into full festive mode with hints of cinnamon and spice. I have kept it simple here, with accents of lemon and vanilla, but really let your imagination run wild, if you like. A glacé cherry on top of that pearly lacquer of glaze will turn a simple cupcake into a Rudolph inspired one. This is a goodie to leave out for Santa as well, he may not be vegan, but I know from experience he can’t resist a “cherry on top” sweet offering!

Ho, ho, ho!


2 cups of self raising flour, sifted

3 tablespoons of ground almond

1/2 cup of caster sugar

1/4 cup of light olive oil or grape seed oil

1-1/2 cup almond milk

finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon

seeds of 1 vanilla bean of 1 teaspoon son vanilla paste or extract

For the vegan glaze

3/2 cup of icing (confectioner or powdered) sugar sifted

1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice

12 glacé (candied) cherries


  1.  Preheat your oven to 170 C (335 F), conventional.
  2. Mix flour, ground almonds and sugar together in a large bowl. Add almond milk (start with one cup and then see if you need the rest) and oil and whisk until smooth, keeping in mind that a few lumps in the batter are just fine. Add lemon zest and juice, vanilla and mix well.
  3. Pour the batter in a greased and floured 12-hole muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes or until pale golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  4. While the cakes are cooling, make the vegan glaze
  5. Mix icing (confectioner) sugar with a few drops of lemon juice. Start with 2-3 drops and mix. If too thick add another few drops until it’s slightly runnier )not too runny tough!). Top with a glacé cherry (Rudolph’s nose!)




SILVIA’S CUCINA is available in stores and online!

MADE IN ITALY is available herehere   and here

LA DOLCE VITA is available online  on Amazon  and here

Silvia’s Cucina is on Facebook Twitter and Instagram

My new book LOVE, LAUGH, BAKE is out now!!!!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Maria says:

    Hi Silvia,
    thank you for another great recipe. Many of my family’s favourite baked goodies are made using your recipes. My personal favourites are your Lemon and Olive Oil Ciambella, Home-made Sourdough Bread and Apricot and Olive Oil Cake. I keep looking at our apricot tree looking for signs that the apricots are starting to ripen. It has become an annual tradition to make the Apricot and Olive Oil Cake with our home grown apricots. It is so simple to make and so beautiful to look at and eat. I like using your recipes because so many of them use olive oil instead of butter and also less sugar. You also use my two favourite flavours- lemon and vanilla in many of your sweet recipes. This afternoon I am making your Lemon and Yoghurt Dunking Biscuits.
    I am hoping Santa brings me your new cookbook, “Love, Laugh, Bake!” I have dropped many hints after borrowing a copy from the library. It is just the type of baking book I love as it features many bread recipes. Bread making is a real passion of mine, sourdough being a bit of an addiction. When I started using your Home-made Sourdough Bread recipe my previous attempts paled in comparison.
    Sorry for the long comment Silvia. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you sharing your recipes. I have all your books but one, I subscribe to your posts and watch your YouTube videos. I am really enjoying the Wok x Pot videos. You and Marion look like you have a lot of fun in the kitchen. As much as I like Marion’s recipes, I have to remain loyal to my Italian heritage and say I prefer yours.
    Ciao e grazie, Maria from Adelaide.

    1. Cara Maria, your comment makes my day! Really, I appreciate it so much! I hope Santa is listening… xxx

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