Violet has been one of my favourite flavours since I was a young child visiting my grandparents in France. They would always buy me a little tin of violet candies and I would savour them until the end of my trip. I recently discovered some violet-infused sugar from a company called La Petite Ingredients in Australia, and immediately ordered some online to try. It works beautifully in this recipe.



200g (1 3⁄4 sticks) butter, softened

200g (7.1oz) caster sugar

4 free range eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g (3.5oz) plain or spelt flour

150g (5.3oz) ground almonds

Pinch sea salt

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

150g (5.3oz) / 24 frozen blackberries


1 cup mascarpone

Zest of half a lemon

3 tbsp violet sugar


Fresh or freeze-dried blackberries

2 tsp violet sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C / 340°F on fan bake. Grease 24 holes of a mini cupcake tray very well.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with the vanilla.
  4. Gradually fold in the flour, ground almonds and salt, then the lemon zest and juice, taking care not to overmix.
  5. Spoon the batter into the mini cupcake holes. Dot a blackberry into each one and press down lightly.
  6. Bake for approximately 25 minutes. The cakes are ready when golden in colour, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cakes to cool for around 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
  8. Meanwhile, make the icing. Simply combine the mascarpone with the lemon zest and violet sugar.
  9. Using a piping bag or resealable plastic bag with a corner cut off, swirl some mascarpone onto each babycake.
  10. Decorate with fresh or freeze-dried blackberries and an extra sprinkling of violet sugar.
  11. Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to three days.