Lucy's Friendly Foods

Ribena Cupcakes… cordially yours.


I haven’t made cupcakes for absolutely ages, I seem to have been on a cookie/biscuit roll for quite some time. However, with the termly cake sale at school coming up, I kind of reckoned that cookies wouldn’t be quite right – a tray of pretty cupcakes is that bit more inviting, especially to children. Since I’m determined that my girls (and others with restricted diets) don’t miss out, I had to make some super-pretty cakes to hopefully stand out from the crowd and tempt everyone regardless of the foods they eat.

Ribena. It’s the best known British brand of blackcurrant squash or cordial. Pretty much the only one. We have a little family joke about one of the girl’s grandmothers who always calls Ribena ‘blackcurrant’ – whilst essentially correct, this seems to send the girls into fits of laughter – I guess that’s what happens when you grow up in a branded world. Anyway, our blackcurrant joke gave me inspiration for the flavour of these cupcakes – I kept the sponge plain vanilla, but topped them with a pretty purple Ribena flavour icing. I was worried the concentrated flavour of the Ribena would overpower but surprisingly it’s quite subtle, if anything the flavour grows on the palate and you don’t so much notice at the start. Let’s see if the children at school like them too?

Ribena Cupcakes (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan [except the Fruit Pastille sweet on top isn’t veggie!])

IMG_7244makes 12

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 150ml oat milk
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas mark 5

– Place liners in a cupcake tray

– Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Stir in the sugar.

– In a separate bowl, mix together the oat milk, bicarb, lemon, rosewater and oil.

– Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix, until well combines.

– 2/3rds fill the liners and bake for 18-20 minutes, until lightly golden and a knife comes out clean.

– Cool on a wire rack.

Ribena Icing:

enough to top 12 cupcakes

  • 2 tbsps cup vegetable fat (such as Trex)
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free spread (such as Pure)
  • 2-3 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup Ribena or blackcurrant cordial

– Whisk together the spread and vegetable fat.

– Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time with a splash of the Ribena, until fully combined and nice and fluffy.

– Pipe or spread onto the cupcakes. Topping with a blackcurrant sweet, if possible.


8 Responses

  1. What an amazing idea! Ribena is one of the things I miss most about the UK. I can sometimes find it at specialty stores (the syrup anyway) so I hoard it when I find it. We all forget about Robinson’s, the other maker of black current beverages, and I ran into them at the Fancy Food Show and said something about being nostalgic for Ribena. I worried I’d offended them! I should try this egg-free cupcake recipe. Looks absolutely gorgeous. I bet you sold out first.

  2. How funny. I just saw a bottle of Ribena the other day, so it’s funny you should post this. What a great idea! I loved having hot apple juice and Ribena in the UK. Such a nice rainy weather drink.
    P.S. send over those truckloads of rain and I promise to return them full of 20°C sunny weather! 😉

  3. I just found your blog and I must say how great it looks! I LOVE cupcakes and am on a dairy/egg free baking kick. Looking forward to both trying these and reading more from you!

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