Cardamom Sweater Cupcakes by Jim Eaton

2 eggs – room temperature
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
14 ounces 2% Greek yogurt – room temperature
1 ½ sticks salted butter – room temperature
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground mace
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
¾ cup golden raisins
Lime-Saffron Buttercream – recipe below


Combine vanilla and eggs into a bowl and reserve for later.
Measure all the spices into a bowl and whisk to combine.
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spice mixture together into a large mixing bowl and reserve for later.
Combine the sugar and brown sugar in a small bowl.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

(I know it’s a lot of prep, but I assure you getting everything mixed and organized will make the cupcakes better.)

Soften the butter with an electric mixer, add 1/3 of the sugar mixture and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and continue mixing in another 1/3 of the sugar mix. When combined, scrape again and add the rest of the sugar mix. Mix for 2 minutes or until sandy and well mixed.

Add the egg/vanilla mixture into the sugar with the mixer running, 1 egg at a time. When both eggs are well combined, add ¼ of the yogurt. Pause the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom the mixing bowl with a spatula. Continue gradually adding yogurt, then pausing and scraping after each addition. Continue mixing for 1 minute to ensure the ingredients are well-combined.

Reserve 2 tablespoons of the flour/spice mixture in a small bowl with the raisins.

Add flour/spice mixture to the batter in thirds. After each addition, scrape the bowl with a spatula. Do not over mix or mix at very high speed. When all of the flour is combined, add the raisin-flour mixture and slowly combine. Refrigerate for 20 minutes while you prep the pans. There will be enough batter for 2 batches of roughly 30 regular-sized cupcakes.

To prep the baking pans, butter the tops of two cupcake pans and add foil wrappers. (Really any wrappers will work here, I just prefer the foil.)

After the batter is chilled, use a ¼ cup scooper to fill each foil wrapper. When all wrappers are filled, return the remaining batter to the refrigerator. Bake the cupcakes for 10 minutes, then turn each pan and bake for another 10 minutes.

Remove each cupcake immediately from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Add more wrappers to the pan, you do no need to rebutter the pan. Fill each wrapper again using a ¼ cup scooper and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the pans and bake another 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans immediately after baking and cool.

When the cupcakes are completely cool, frost them using the Lime-Saffron Buttercream. To frost the cupcakes: cut ¼ inch off a one gallon Ziploc freezer bag and then cut the bag again on a diagonal to remove the zipper creating a pyramid shaped pastry bag. If you have a pastry tip, use it, otherwise, the small hole in the bag will work just fine. Fill the bag with 1 cup of frosting and working quickly to prevent the buttercream from melting, frost each cupcake with either spirals or make petal shapes on the top of the cakes. When the cupcakes are frosted, add an almond to the center of each.

Lime-saffron buttercream


2 ½ sticks of butter, very soft
4 medium-large limes
2 lbs of powdered sugar – you probably won’t use all 2 lbs but you’ll
need most of it.
¼ teaspoon saffron


Zest all 4 limes and reserve
Juice the limes, add saffron to juice and bring the mixture to a boil
in a small saucepan. As soon as it bubbles, remove from the heat and
let the saffron steep until the liquid is completely cool.

Soften the butter in a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer.
Slowly add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and the lime/saffron juice.
When combined, mix in the powdered sugar ½ cups at a time until the
mixture is soft, fluffy and looks like frosting. Approximately 7/8 of
the bag of powdered sugar will be used.

Refrigerate until needed. Before you frost the cupcakes, mix the
frosting with the hand mixer until soft and fluffy.