Parma Violet Cupcakes

Soft, fluffy cupcakes flavoured with lilac syrup and parma violets, topped with a creamy violet buttercream, decorated with violet sprinkles and a parma violet


As promised, I have made some parma violet cupcakes with my lilac syrup!

Parma violets were definitely one of my favourite sweets when I was little, and whenever I come across them in sweet shops now, I’m always very tempted to buy a pack! When I tasted my lilac syrup, it reminded me so much of parma violets that it inspired me to make some parma violet cupcakes!

I was delighted that I managed to get hold of some parma violets in a little sweet shop where I live, so I bought a few packets for these cupcakes.


I brought these into work and people were really excited by the flavour, and seemed to enjoy them. So if you are looking for a fun and exciting cupcake that is a bit of a blast from the past, then I fully recommend this recipe!

I will be bringing these along to Fiesta Friday #71!


Variations: If you don’t want to make lilac syrup, you can just use parma violets and increase the sugar content of the cupcakes.


Ingredients: Makes 18 cupcakes

The Sponge:

  • 150g butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 100ml lilac syrup
  • 1 pack of parma violets
  • 2 eggs
  • 200g self raising flour

The Buttercream:

  • 100g butter
  • 100ml lilac syrup
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 1 pack of parma violets
  • violet gel food colouring


  • 1 pack of parma violets
  • violet sprinkles


To Make:

The Sponge:

Preheat the oven to 180C, line a cupcake tray with cupcake cases and crush the parma violets to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then fold in the eggs, syrup and parma violets. Finally fold in the flour.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases until 2/3 full.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.

Leave to cool on a wire rack before icing.

The Buttercream:

Crush the parma violets to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar.

Whisk together the butter and icing sugar, and then mix in the syrup, parma violets and food colouring.

The mixture should be smooth, glossy and able to hold its shape (add more icing sugar if necessary)


Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe a swirl of icing onto each cupcake.

Scatter over the violet sprinkles and then top each cupcake with a parma violet.

Serve and enjoy!


Lilac Syrup

Sweet sugar syrup flavoured with fragrant lilac flowers.


Lilacs were one of the edible flowers that I really wanted for my edible balcony garden, but unfortunately they come on a large bush so they definitely wouldn’t fit! So I was delighted when I came across a big bush in the countryside, while on a walk last weekend! I was originally looking for elderflowers, but I don’t think they are quite out yet, so I took a few heads of lilac home with me instead.

I had a quick look online for recipe ideas, and it seemed as though a syrup was the best option for me, because I want to be able to use the syrup in cakes and desserts, but you can also make a lilac cordial or jelly!

The syrup has turned out delicious, the lovely perfume of the lilac flours has flavoured the syrup really well, and to me it tastes like parma violets. Hopefully I will be able to use it to make some parma violet cupcakes this week (post coming soon!). I think this would also be really tasty poured over some vanilla ice cream, or mixed into a cocktail for a sweet, floral finish.

Lilac syrup would make a really good gift if you know anyone with birthdays coming up soon!


Ingredients: Makes around 800ml

  • 3 lilac heads
  • 500g sugar
  • 500ml water
  • 1tsp pink or purple food colouring (optional)


To Make:

Sterilise a large 750ml bottle.

Pick the flowers off the lilac heads and set aside.

Meanwhile combine the water and sugar in a pan, and heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the lilac flowers and food colouring.

Leave to infuse for 5 minutes, before straining the syrup to remove the flowers.

Pour the syrup into the sterilised bottle and seal.

The syrup should keep in the fridge for a few months.