Sweet Pea and Ricotta Cupcakes – Give Peas a Chance

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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 Bibb lettuce, these pea cupcakes are definitely a dessert.

They are light and sweet (not treading into muffin territory) and I top them with a sweet pea cream cheese frosting and candied peas.

Pea Cupcakes

My tasters adored these most unexpected cupcakes and were surprised by how much they ended up liking the pea flavor in a dessert.

Sweet Pea Cupcake Recipe

To make these cupcakes pea-flavored, I used these freeze dried peas. (View on Amazon) [paid link]

Note: Recipe updated 6/13/17 – adapted from the Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes.

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5 from 1 vote

Sweet Pea and Ricotta Cupcakes

Prior to making my sweet pea and ricotta cupcakes, I'd never had peas in a dessert.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes
Servings 16 cupcakes
Calories 335kcal
Author Stefani


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 cup cake flour not self-rising
  • 3/4 cup finely ground freeze dried peas a food processor works best for this
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup whole milk

Frosting Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely ground freeze dried peas
  • candied peas to taste - optional


Cupcake Instructions

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, ground peas, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the sugar and mix until well combined.
  • Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. Because there is so little butter, you'll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, ricotta cheese, and oil 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. The batter will be liquid. (Don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong. It's supposed to be that way.)
  • Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
  • Bake for 16 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it.
  • 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.

Frosting Instructions

  • Beat cream cheese and butter on high speed until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in powdered sugar a little bit at a time.
  • Mix in ground peas.
  • Pipe or spread on cooled cupcakes.
  • Optionally, top with candied peas.


Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 113mg | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Vitamin C: 3.6mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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Honey Panna Cotta Frosting

The first time that I made these sweet pea cupcakes (before updating this post) I frosted them with 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 (hence the update!).

If you’d would 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 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!