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Cupcakes with Candied Fennel

Funfetti Fennel Cupcakes

  • Author: Shri Repp
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x


Funfetti fennel cupcakes with whipped honey orange buttercream! This recipe  uses saunf mitai or candied fennel seeds for a flavor packed twist to the traditional funfetti cake.



Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 cup - Unsalted Butter - room temperature
  • 2 cups - Powdered Sugar (250g)
  • 1/4 cup - Honey
  • 1/2 tsp - Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp - Orange Zest
  • 1/4 cup - Full-Fat Sour Cream

Cupcakes Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup - Sugar-Coated Fennel Seeds - plus more to sprinkle on top
  • 1/2 cup - Unsalted Butter - room temperature
  • 3/4 cup - Granulated Sugar (150g)
  • 1 1/2 cups - All-Purpose Flour (200g)
  • 1 tsp - Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp - Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp - Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup - Whole Milk (134g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp - Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup - Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice (56g)
  • 1 whole egg plus 2 egg whites beaten (125g)


Make Frosting

  1. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar together. First start the mixer on slow until the sugar is incorporated with butter and then increase speed to high for 3 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the remaining frosting ingredients and mix until combined.

Make Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Line the cupcake pan with liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In another bowl, mix the milk, orange juice, and vanilla extract.
  3. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment fastened, add room temperature butter and sugar and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy. You may need to stop to scrape down the bowl frequently to keep the butter close in contact with the mixer. 
  4. Reduce the stand mixer speed to low, slowly add the egg mixture, and beat for another 2-3 minutes until the egg and butter mixture are emulsified (mixed together as one). Scrape down the bowl once more.
  5. While the stand mixer is still running on low, add half the dry ingredients followed by the wet ingredients, and then the remaining dry ingredients. Mix just until the batter comes together and there are no more remaining dry pockets.
  6. Scrape down the bowl once more and fold in the sugar coated fennel seeds using a spatula.
  7. Fill each cupcake tin ¾ of the way to the top with batter. This should be roughly ¼ cup (75g) of batter per cupcake. 
  8. Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
  10. Spread frosting on cake as desired and sprinkle with additional sugar coated fennel seeds.


  • Beating the butter and sugar is a method called creaming. Many bakers tend to not cream the butter enough but it really helps result in an ultra fluffy cake. It is very very important that your butter is at room temperature before creaming otherwise it will be very difficult to whip.
  • Make sure to fold the fennel seeds into the batter rather than using the stand mixer so you gently distribute the seeds.
  • You use a ¼ of measuring cup or a cookie scooper to evenly distribute batter to your cupcake tins! Make sure to either grease your cupcake tins or use cupcake liners.
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: funfetti fennel cupcakes, adult funfetti cupcakes, saunf mitai