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Jammin’ Jaffa Cupcakes

Jaffa Cupcakes

If you are not from the United Kingdom, you may not have encountered Jaffa Cakes.  Jaffa cakes are more like a cookie than what Americans would consider a cake.

McVities Jaffa Cakes

They feature a vanilla cookie base topped with a layer of orange jelly, which is then covered in chocolate.

View on Amazon.com

Pepperidge Farm Orange Milano Cookies, 7-Ounce (Pack of 4)

Jaffa cakes are very similar in taste to Orange Milano cookies.  Both take advantage of the irresistible combination of chocolate and orange.

View on Amazon.com

I decided to start a new tradition on Cupcake Project of periodically baking recipes inspired by the blogs of Cupcake Project commenters.  So, if you leave a thoughtful comment on any of my posts and have a blog, I might surprise you one day by reading your entire blog and baking something based on one of your recipes.

I first discovered Jaffa cakes when reading through Mummy Made.It.  Lisa (the author of Mommy Made.It) made a Jaffa cake by baking up an orange cake with chocolate frosting.  Her version looks simple, wonderful, and FAR healthier than mine (her chocolate frosting contains avocado)!

I became fascinated with Jaffa Cakes when I discovered their… ummm… unique marketing campaign.  I’m pasting an image of their Twitter page here in case it has changed by the time you read this post.

Jaffa Cake Twitter

The creature you see there is a tarsier monkey – an incredibly adorable monkey that, when portrayed peeking down from the corner of a page with arms extended, comes off as very creepy.  I don’t even know what to make of their TV spot –  nor do I want to admit how many times Jonathan and I have watched it.

In my version of Jaffa cakes, Jaffa cupcakes, I start with mini vanilla cupcakes (slightly more dense than my Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes), top them with an orange jam frosting, dip the whole thing in semi-sweet chocolate, and dust with a little orange zest.  There’s nothing crazy about the flavor combination.  It’s simple and it works!

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Jaffa Cupcakes
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5 from 1 vote

Jaffa Cupcakes

In my version of Jaffa cakes, Jaffa cupcakes, I start with mini vanilla cupcakes, top them with an orange jam frosting, dip the whole thing in semi-sweet chocolate, and dust with a little orange zest.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword jaffa cakes, jaffa cupcakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 24 mini cupcakes
Calories 292kcal


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure not imitation vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup whole milk

Orange Jam Buttercream Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons orange jam

Chocolate Topping Ingredients

  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • very fine zest of one orange


Cupcake Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg, sour cream, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  • Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined.
  • Fill mini cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 12 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it. If they are not done, test again in two minutes. If they are still not done, test again in another two minutes.
  • When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack (or just on your counter if you don't own a cooling rack) to cool.

Orange Jam Buttercream Frosting Instructions

  • Beat butter on high speed in a medium-sized mixing bowl for three minutes.
  • Add powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
  • Add jam.
  • Pipe a swirl onto cooled cupcakes using a large round tip. I used Wilton tip number 1A, but if you don’t have a tip, you can just cut the end off of a sandwich bag.
  • Place the cupcakes in the freezer for 20 minutes or until the frosting is frozen solid.

Chocolate Topping Instructions

  • Place chocolate chips and oil into a tall microwave-safe cup (I used a two cup Pyrex measuring cup).
  • Microwave for twenty seconds at a time (stirring in between) until all of the chocolate is melted.
  • Take the frosted cupcakes out of the freezer. One by one, grab the cupcakes by their wrappers, turn them upside-down, and dunk them into the cup of melted chocolate - making sure that all of the frosting gets covered. (If you listen carefully, you may be able to hear them squealing, “Wheeee!”) Let the cupcakes hover over the cup of chocolate until all of the excess chocolate drips off.
  • Sprinkle with orange zest while the chocolate is still wet.
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat.


Nutrition Facts
Jaffa Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 292 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 11g55%
Cholesterol 33mg11%
Sodium 44mg2%
Potassium 113mg3%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 26g29%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 325IU7%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 1.2mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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5 comments on “Jammin’ Jaffa Cupcakes”

  1. Jesssays:

    Do you think this recipe could be made with a GF baking mix like this one? http://www.artofglutenfreebaking.com/2009/11/the-story-behind-my-gluten-free-flour-mix/

    I’m going to try it but I’m curious if you’ve had any luck doing 1:1 substitutions.


  2. Jensays:

    If you are in the US there is a brand called LU that sells their own version of Jaffa Cakes (the cookie), the box is black with a red cap and you can find them in most grocery stores. I’m originally from the UK but have come to prefer the LU over the years. I dare anyone to open a box of Jaffa Cakes of any brand and not eat all 12 in one go!

  3. Rosesays:

    Hi can anyone help… Doing 60 cupcakes, simple with butter cream icing… Need them for the 1st of August and I’m not available on 31st July!! Can I make them on the 30th? Where should I store them? They will be coloured butter cream and glitter etc… Thanks! X

  4. Sarahsays:

    I made these for my own wedding last year! They were amazing.

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