Maharani Cupcakes Recipe -
Maharani Cupcakes Recipe
  • READY IN 4+ hrs

Maharani Cupcakes

Recipe by  

"Named for a queen in India, these coconut cupcakes with curry lemon curd and a sweet basil cream topping will wow your friends and family. They have sweet but exotic flavors and a stunning presentation. The cupcakes take time to create, but the final product is worth it! The lemon curd and basil cream need time to chill, so they can be made the night before."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 2 dozen cupcakes Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    20 mins

    4 hrs 30 mins


  1. To make the sweet basil cream, heat the whipping cream in a saucepan until hot; do not boil. Turn off the heat and add the basil, stems and all, to the cream and allow it to steep for 1 hour. Refrigerate the cream for 3 hours or overnight. Strain and discard the basil.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sweet curry lemon curd. Use a large microwave-safe bowl: the curd will expand to twice its volume as it cooks. Whisk together the white sugar, two eggs, and curry powder until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter. Cook in the microwave, stirring at one-minute intervals, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Pour the cooked curd through a sieve and refrigerate for at least three hours or until set. The mixture will have the consistency of soft pudding.
  3. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
  4. Combine the white cake mix and coconut flakes in a mixing bowl. Stir in the water, three eggs, vegetable oil, and coconut extract. (For an extra-light texture, separate the egg whites from the yolks and beat the whites until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold the beaten egg whites into the cake batter.)
  5. Scoop the cake batter into the prepared pans, filling the cups 2/3 full. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool completely.
  6. In a chilled bowl, whip the cold basil-infused cream and 3 cups of confectioners' sugar until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate. Beat the cream cheese and remaining 3 cups of confectioners' sugar until smooth and soft. Fold in the whipped cream and mix gently until fully combined.
  7. To decorate the cupcakes, spread a tablespoon of the lemon curd on top of each cupcake, followed by a dollop of the basil cream. Sprinkle with dragees.
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  • Editor's Note
  • If available, gold dragees or brightly colored chocolate-covered sunflower seeds make beautiful decorations for these cupcakes.
  • Stovetop Directions
  • To make the lemon curd on a stovetop, combine the ingredients in a saucepan. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, strain, and chill as directed.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 28, 2014

Copiously unique! I'm the only reviewer of this recipe so far and I was excited to take my first bite. The combination of flavors were unbelieveably harmonious, especially if you like exotic flavors of the East and the Tropics. You will be delightfully surprised by this cupcake! Definitely NOT for the faint of palette! I used Duncan Heinz butter recipe yellow cake mix. For the frosting: 1 Tbsp of mild curry, 1 tsp of coconut extract and 4 cups of powder sugar in total and it was plenty. Next time, I will dice the flaked coconuts to reduce the stringy texture. Used only 1 stem of the basil and it perfumed the frosting perfectly. It is a process, but I believe it will be a recipe you'll want to use when you want something that can only be experienced!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jun 09, 2010

Well, I really appreciate the creative combination of flavors. 2 tablespoons of mild curry, however, was waaaay too much. Next time I'll try 1 teaspoon max. The curd did not set much. Next time I'll heat it on the stove top where it's far easier to watch it thicken. The basil cream topping I made was lovely and subtle. But I only used 2 leafy 'stems' of basil- about 20 total basil leaves. I suspect a full bunch would be far too overpowering. I'll try it again


24 Ratings

May 19, 2010

Each individual part of these cupcakes is very good: the coconut cupcakes, the curry lemon curd and the basil cream. Together though, the taste was a little bizarre. I enjoyed eating it, though I didn't want to have another one. I guess I don't like my desserts to taste like dinner. However, the coconut cupcakes are the best I've ever had. I made them again and made a frosting of 1 part cream to 2 parts powdered sugar- whip until desired consistency and add orange blossom water or jasmine flavoring to taste. They were to die for this way and I served them at a party...people were begging me for the recipe!

Jul 14, 2011

I also made these for an Indian-themed dinner, and they were quite a hit. I must admit that I toned down some of the more intense tastes...only 1 T curry powder, and just a few basil leaves in the whipping cream. The cupcakes looked beautiful - I scooped out a plug from the top of each cupcake and filled with lemon curd, then topped with the slice of cupcake that I removed. Then I spread some more lemon curd over the top, with the whipped cream over that, but not quite covering it all of the way. Over that, I sprinkled toasted coconut, and topped with a sprig of very small basil leaves. Great presentation, unique flavor.

Mar 19, 2010

I liked the curry curd and thought it went very well with the basil cream. However, as good as the basil cream was, the frosting was too sweet. I would cut the sugar back by at least 1 cup. I also had a ton of the frosting leftover. I beat my egg whites and folded them into the cake batter. The cakes were lighter but they still have the distinct taste of a mix. Overall a good cupcake to serve to friends with a more adventuresome palate. Thank you for sharing mkecupcakequeen.

May 04, 2010

These are so exotic and excellent. My mom came by as I was preparing the basil cream topping and she tasted a bit. She was horrified that I was making such a thing, but I told her to be patient and wait for the final result. You need to experience all the flavors at once, not individually. Well, once she tasted the finished cupcake she was sold. These will surely impress friends. I would say that the amount of basil called for might be too much...I used one bunch and it is VERY strongly flavored. I would say just one or two leaf/stems would work just fine. You want the flavors to subtly mingle and the basil is a tad overpowering at this point. For the Lemon curd I used only half a teaspoon of curry and it is PERFECT. Very delicious and fun to make.

Jun 15, 2010

The best cupcakes I have ever had. Takes time but well worth the time. Do the lemon curd and basil cream the day before.

Jun 28, 2010

So unusual and delicious. Very interesting flavor combinations.


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  • Calories
  • 393 kcal
  • 20%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 60 g
  • 19%
  • Cholesterol
  • 65 mg
  • 22%
  • Fat
  • 16.3 g
  • 25%
  • Fiber
  • 0.8 g
  • 3%
  • Protein
  • 3.1 g
  • 6%
  • Sodium
  • 193 mg
  • 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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