Thandai Cupcakes

Thandai is a delicious and refreshing drink prepared by mixing milk with ground nuts & aromatic spices; traditionally consumed on Holi & Shivratari.

Thandai cupcakes are prepared by embedding refreshing thandai flavour into delectable cupcakes and finishing them with a sumptuous  rose & pistachio buttercream icing.


Serves: Makes 10 cupcakes

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  1. Ingredients for Cupcakes:
  2. 1 cup self-raising flour
  3. 1 tablespoon thandai powder
  4. 3/4 cup sugar
  5. 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  6. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1/3 cup oil
  9. 1/2 cup milk
  10. 1/2 teaspoon rose essence
  11. 2 tablespoons chopped almonds and pistachios
  12. Ingredients for Thandai Powder:
  13. 1 tablespoon almonds
  14. 1 tablespoon pistachios
  15. 4-5 cardamom pods
  16. 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
  17. 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  18. 1 teaspoon melon seeds
  19. 8-10 strands saffron
  20. 1 teaspoon dry rose petals
  21. Ingredients for Buttercream Icing :
  22. 5 tablespoons or 70g unsalted butter
  23. 3/4 cup icing sugar
  24. 2 tablespoons double cream
  25. 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  26. 3-4 drops of green food colour
  27. 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  28. 1 tablespoon dried rose petals


  1. Combine all the ingredients for thandai powder in a grinder and grind to make a smooth powder. Use 1 tablespoon of this powder in your cupcakes and store the remaining thandai powder in an airtight container. You can use it to make thandai; it can also enhance the taste of any Indian dessert.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C for fan ovens). Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
  3. Combine self raising flour, sugar, thandai powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix well and keep aside.
  4. In separate bowl, beat an egg. Add milk, oil and rose essence. Mix until just combined; avoid over mixing.
  5. Combine the egg mixture with the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Spoon the cake mixture into cupcake liners until each case is half filled. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  7. In the meanwhile, prepare the buttercream icing. Combined the softened butter and icing sugar in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Add double cream, vanilla essence and food colour. Beat the mixture until creamy and fluffy. Let it rest for about an hour.
  8. Use a piping bag and metal nozzle of your choice to swirl the buttercream frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle chopped pistachios and dried rose petals on top of the buttercream frosting.

Recipe Tips:

  • You can also buy ready Thandai Powder from Indian grocery stores.
  • Self-raising flour (commonly used in UK for baking) is regular flour mixed with baking powder. If you do not have self-raising flour, you can just use plain flour with an additional amount of baking powder. So, if you are using plain flour, use 11/2 teaspoon of baking powder per cup of plain flour.

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