Jalebi Cupcakes

I really like getting South Asian desserts and adding them to cupcakes, it’s so fun to me. So I decided to make jalebi cupcakes.

For these cupcakes, I took the flavours of jalebi and added them to my cupcakes, then I topped these with whipped cream, pistachios and mini jalebi that I made.

THEY WERE SO GOOD. I have nothing else to say. These cupcakes were just soooo good.

1 of the jalebi cupcakes, with the rest in the background.

Video Tutorial

What is jalebi?

If you have no idea what jalebi is, let me give a quick explanation.

I mean, I’m guessing you already know what it is, because then why else would you have clicked onto this blog post.

But if you don’t know, let me explain.

Jalebi is a popular sweet in South Asia. It’s essentially a batter that has been dyed either orange or yellow.

This batter is then swirled into hot ghee or oil. 

It is fried until crispy then soaked in a sugar syrup that has been flavoured with things like cardamom, saffron and rose water.

You end up with a dessert that is warm, crispy and also so juicy!

The decorated jalebi cupcakes in a cupcake tin.

The jalebi

The first thing we are going to make for these cupcakes is the jalebi.

I wanted to say, you do not have to make the jalebi. The only reason why I made them is because I thought the cupcakes would look better with mini jalebi on top.

I have never seen anyone ever sell mini jalebi, so I just made them.

But if you wanted to make things easier and save time, you could just buy regular ones and cut it in pieces.

Anyway, if you are making it, jalebi has 2 parts to it. The sugar syrup and the batter.

For the syrup, all you need is sugar, water, cardamom pods, saffron and rose water.

You just boil all this together for about a minute or two, then leave this aside.

The jalebi batter

Here are the ingredients you are going to need to make the batter:

  • Plain flour – also known as all purpose flour.
  • Corn flour – also known as corn starch. This is going to help the jalebi get crispy.
  • Baking soda 
  • Plain yoghurt – make sure to use full fat yoghurt. This is also sometimes called natural yoghurt.
  • Water
  • Food colouring – I used orange food colouring, but yellow can be used too. If you didn’t want to use food colouring, a little bit of turmeric powder could be used.

All you need to do is whisk all this together, then the batter is ready to be fried.

The top of 12 of the decorated jalebi cupcakes.

Frying the jalebi

Making jalebi is pretty easy, the only hard part is frying them. 

It does take some practice to get perfect shapes. I’ve made jalebi a few times now and I’m still not able to get them all to be perfect. Especially with these ones, since they’re smaller, it was a little more difficult.

BUT with that being said, even if the shapes are not perfect, they will still taste exactly the same. So don’t worry about it too much.

Anyway to fry them, you want to add the batter into either a squeeze bottle, or a piping bag. I find it way easier to use a squeeze bottle.

You can either fry them in ghee or any flavourless oil. I used vegetable oil.

Just let your ghee or oil heat up, you want it to be around 180c. 

Then swirl some of the batter into the oil. Remember we want mini ones for these cupcakes, so do small swirls.  

These don’t need to by fried for long, you only want to fry them for about 30-60 seconds on each side. You want them to get crispy, but you don’t want them to start turning brown.

Whiles they’re hot, soak them in your WARM syrup for about 30 seconds, then leave them on a wire rack. Repeat until you’ve fried and soaked all of your batter!

The mini jalebi on a wire rack, after being fried and soaked.

The cupcakes

Now that the jalebi has been made, we can make the cupcakes. 

I would say one of the main flavours of jalebi is cardamon. So for these cupcakes, I just made a vanilla cupcakes batter but I added cardamon powder to it.

And I also added some brown sugar, just for a little caramely flavour. This is not very jalebi like but I thought it would be a nice addition.

Here are the ingredients you will need to make the cupcake batter:

  • Unsalted butter – you want this butter to be softened.
  • Vegetable oil – this is going to add a lot of moisture to your cupcakes. Any flavourless oil does work, but I like to use vegetable oil.
  • Sugar – I used a mixture of both white sugar and light brown sugar. Like I mentioned, the brown sugar is just going to add some extra flavour, as well as moisture.
  • Cardamom powder – I added 1 tablespoon of this, you could add more or less depending on how strong you want the cardamom flavour to be.
  • Vanilla
  • Eggs
  • Self-raising flour – I’ll talk about how to replace this with plain/all purpose flour in the next section.
  • Milk – whole milk is best to use. 
The ingredients needed to make the cupcake batter.

How to replace the self-raising flour?

When I’m making cupcakes, I like to use self raising flour, just because it’s easier, I don’t need to add raising agents to it.

But if you live in a place where self-raising flour is hard to find, or if you just don’t have it, you can use plain/all purpose flour instead.

Just use the same amount, but mix 2.5 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into it. Then it is ready to use!

The cupcakes before being baked.
The cupcakes after being baked.

The whipped cream

The last thing to make is a whipped cream.

I decided to top these cupcakes with whipped cream just because jalebi is already very sweet. I felt like if I used buttercream, the cupcakes would be overly sweet.

So I used whipped cream.

To make this all you need is:

  • Double cream – also known as heavy cream. Whipping cream could also be used instead.
  • Icing sugar – also known as powdered sugar. In the recipe card below, I’ve said to use 200g of icing sugar. But you can adjust this amount depending on how sweet you want the whipped cream to be.
  • Vanilla extract – for flavour.
  • Rose water – this is optional but it adds flavour and makes it smell nice, so I recommend using it.

How to fix over whipped cream

Every time I use whipped cream in a recipe I always talk about how to fix it, if you have over whipped it. Just because it’s pretty easy to accidentally over whip cream.

I’m sorry if you have already seen me say this 10 times before.

Anyway, when whipping the cream, you only want to whip it just until you get firm peaks.

At this point it is thick, smooth and pipe-able.

If you whip it too much, the cream is going to end up way too thick, which will make it too hard to pipe, and you will notice that the cream doesn’t look as smooth anymore.

If this happens, there is no need to worry. Just add some un-whipped cream into it and whisk this in. Keep repeating this until it goes back to being smooth and pipe-able again.

The only time where this won’t work is if you have whipped the cream to the point where it has turned into butter. So try not to get to this point.

1 of the cupcakes with whipped cream piped on top.

Decorating the cupcakes

Now that the jalebi has been made, the cupcakes have baked and cooled completely AND the whipped cream has been made, you can finally decorate them.

Decorate these however you want. I just added my whipped cream into a piping bag that was fitted with a large star tip, then I piped swirls on top of the cupcakes, then added some chopped pistachios and a jalebi on top of each one.

The pistachios are completely optional.

When I think of South Asian desserts, I think of nuts. I feel like a lot of them have nuts added to them. These are usually pistachios, almonds or cashews.

Out of the 3, pistachios are my favourite so I added them to my cupcakes!

Here are a few other recipes I think you might like:

Jalebi Cupcakes

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Makes: 12-15 Cupcakes

  • For the sugar syrup:
  • 200g granulated sugar

  • 120ml water

  • 5 cardamom pods

  • A few strands of saffron

  • 1/2 tablespoon rose water

  • For the jalebi batter:
  • 60g plain flour

  • 15g corn flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 50g plain yoghurt

  • 80ml water

  • Plus some orange or yellow food colouring

  • For the cupcakes:
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened

  • 125ml vegetable oil

  • 125g granulated sugar

  • 125g light brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cardamom powder

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 4 eggs

  • 250g self-raising flour

  • 60ml whole milk

  • For the whipped cream:
  • 600ml double cream

  • 200g icing sugar (add more or less depending on how sweet you want this)

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons rose water

  • Extras:
  • Some pistachios to decorate (optional)


  • Making the sugar syrup:
  • In a pot, add the sugar and the water. Get your cardamom pods and break them open slightly, so that the seeds are exposed. Add these into the pot, along with the saffron.
  • Give this all a stir, then place onto medium heat. Let this come to a boil, then leave it to boil for 1-2 minutes. You just want it to thicken slightly.
  • Take this off the heat and mix in the rose water. Cover and leave aside.
  • Making the jalebi batter:
  • In a bowl, add all the ingredients for the batter. Mix until you get a smooth batter.
  • Pour this into a squeeze bottle or a piping bag.
  • Frying the jalebi:
  • You want to fry your jalebi in oil or ghee that is around 180c/350f.
  • To fry, squeeze the batter into the oil in circular motions. I find it easier to just fry 2 or 3 at a time. We want mini jalebi for these cupcakes, so do small swirls.
  • Fry them until crispy, they don't need long, you don't want them to turn brown. They only need around 30-60 seconds on each side.
  • As soon as they come out of the oil, put them into your warm syrup. Your syrup should be warm, not hot. If it has cooled down too much, heat it up slightly.
  • Let them soak in the syrup for 30 seconds, then take them out. Repeat this until you have fried and soaked all of your jalebi.
  • Making the cupcakes:
  • Start by pre-heating your oven to 180c/350f. Also add your cupcake cases into your cupcake tin.
  • In a large bowl, add the softened butter, oil, both sugars, cardamom powder and vanilla extract. Beat these together on high speed for 5 minutes. If you are doing this by hand just aggressively whisk for as long as you can.
  • Add 2 of the eggs, whisk these in, then whisk in the remaining 2 eggs.
  • Now add the flour and milk, whisk just until you get a smooth batter.
  • Fill your cupcake cases with this batter, you want them to be around 3/4 of the way full.
  • Bake at 180c/350f for around 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of them comes out clean. Once baked leave to cool completely.
  • Making the whipped cream:
  • In a large bowl, add all the ingredients for the whipped cream. Whip this until you get firm peaks.
  • Leave this in your fridge until you are ready to use it.
  • Decorating the cupcakes:
  • Once your cupcakes have cooled completely, you can decorate them.
  • You can decorate them however you want, I just added the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, then piped swirls on top of the cupcakes. Then I sprinkled some chopped pistachios on top and added a jalebi on top of each one.
  • Once decorated, you can enjoy!