Sweet Pea and Ricotta Cupcakes – Give Peas a Chance

Sweet Pea and Ricotta Cupcakes – Give Peas a Chance

cupcakes, peas
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Sure, we call them sweet peas, but most people don’t think of peas as a sweet.  Prior to making my sweet pea and ricotta cupcakes, I’d never had peas in a dessert.  Although these pea cupcakes feel like they belong at the farmers’ market in a stand next to the lady in faded jeans selling bib lettuce, these pea cupcakes are definitely a dessert.  They are light and sweet (not treading into muffin territory) with a hint of basil and topped with honey panna cotta (yes, I frosted my cupcakes with panna cotta – more on that later).  Despite your reservations, I encourage you to give peas a chance!

Sweet Pea Cupcake Recipe

Sweet Pea and Ricotta Cupcakes – Give Peas a Chance

Yield: 12 Cupcakes

Sweet Pea and Ricotta Cupcakes – Give Peas a Chance


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup food processed (until as smooth as possible) sweet peas (I used frozen and defrosted peas, but fresh peas would be even better.)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, basil, and salt.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the peas, eggs, and ricotta cheese to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until fully combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little bit at a time, mixing until just combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly between 12 cupcake liners.
  6. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.

 Honey Panna Cotta Frosting

Although the frosting looks like a glaze, it is actually honey panna cotta.  The texture is jello-like and if you wanted to, you could actually peel it off.  While I liked the frosting and it was a fun experiment, it wasn’t the biggest hit with my tasters.  If you don’t want to make the panna cotta, the cupcakes would be just as good unfrosted or frosted with a honey cream cheese frosting.

If you’d like to try the panna cotta frosting, make a small batch of my honey panna cotta (divide the honey panna cotta recipe by four).  Allow the panna cotta to cool just a little bit in the pot and then dunk the cupcakes into it.

Let the panna cotta harden on the cupcakes and then dunk again.  Repeat until the “frosting” is a thickness that you are happy with.


This cupcake was inspired by a dish called “Jar of Peas” created by Cary McDowell of Winslow’s Home for Slow Food’s Feast in the Field.  Although it doesn’t look like much, the Jar of Peas was my favorite course of the seven course meal at the Feast.  If given the opportunity, I could eat a jar a day.  Thanks, Cary, for the cupcake inspiration!

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19 comments on “Sweet Pea and Ricotta Cupcakes – Give Peas a Chance”

  1. Peas in the cupcake. So unique it just might work. My tasters are sometimes skeptical as well. I threw a cupcake loaded with bacon in it and they winced. But then they ate it. Delicious!
    I agree with the idea of substituting a honey cream cheese icing.
    A wonderful recipe though. Would be a great seller in the vicinity of any farmer’s market.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This sound very interesting. But if carrots, zucchini, cabbages, and tomatoes, can be use in dessert recipes, why not peas? Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Cindy B.

  3. I actually love peas, so these savory(ish) cupcakes sound delicious to me! I’d love to give them a try…although I do think I’m stay with a honey cream cheese icing. I’m a frosting purist! :)

  4. Mikelle says:

    Love it! i am a big fan of combining ingredients that make you think. out of the ordinary recipes and this most definitely fits the bill! so excited to have found your blog, love the story behind it and can’t wait to try out some recipes in my ever growing obsession with cupcakes (it seems to be going around)haha!

  5. I’m still dreaming about Peas in a Jar!

  6. Katie says:

    I’m a new follower and an unadventurous baker, but I’m making these as soon as I get the ingredients!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Are sweet peas just regular green peas? Or are sweet peas the type you find in scented lotions, hand sanitizers and etc.?

  8. Stef says:

    Anon – Just regular peas.

  9. I have to say – I’m amazed :) I just spent an hour of scrolling and reading your blog :) I love it!!! :) I’ll keep foloving you and try out some of your recipes :)

  10. sugarswings says:

    wow pea cupcakes, love it….on my to do list are some cupcakes made with purple yams, beets, and avocado…think this gets added for the list!

  11. Joy says:

    The panna cotta frosting is so cool

  12. Linn says:

    This is so amazing! I love the idea, and I love the look, the color, the everything!

  13. Brilliant! you are a genius in the baking world you really are, this is such a lovely and kooky idea! Dying to try it out :)

  14. I’ve never seen peas in cupcakes before but I think I’m willing to try just about anything. They sound like they taste good and they look so pretty too :)

  15. Julia says:

    What’s funny is I have a TON of frozen sweet pea puree. Made it for baby food, and she HATES it. I refuse to waste it, SOOOOO, sweet pea cupcakes it is. Her loss ;) My gain! Love this recipe!

  16. We’ve had some interesting cupcake concoctions passed down via family recipes, but none that involved peas. This is surely unique, and for that reason alone we’re going to have to give it a try. We’ll let you know how it turns out!

  17. Sara says:

    Hi. I just made these, and they were tasty, but I’d recommend adding more peas and a touch more basil (make it a tablespoon, not a teaspoon).

    Also – somewhat annoyingly – this recipe makes far more than 12 cupcakes. In the end I had 16 and could have had 20. The only reason I didn’t was that once the batter was “evenly divided” amongst the 12 cupcake holders, there was still a substantial amount left over. And the cupcakes that went in – filled to nigh on the brim of the cup, because the recipe said “divide the batter evenly” amongst the 12 cups – then went on to grow way out of the cupcake holders, resulting in the ugly muffin-looking cupcakes.

    You might want to re-assess the quantities of the recipe.

    But – all told, they are lovely and suited a sunny day very well. I wouldn’t have thought to use peas in a cupcake before reading this! They’ll definitely become a staple… just in a reduced quantity.

  18. Amy says:

    These look great. If I wanted to add some shredded carrots to the cupcake, say a cup, by how much should I increase the flour to adjust for the moisture?

  19. maria s says:

    love the recipe and i’ve featured it on my blogpost on vegetables in desserts!


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