Baking| Paint-it-purple Vanilla Bean Cupcakes … {and homemade marzipan}

“When you look at a cupcake, you’ve got to smile.”
Anne Byrn

Paint-it-Purple Vanilla Bean CupcakesIt’s been  AGES since I decorated cupcakes or made iced sugar cookies. A few days ago when the daughter was frosting cupcakes for Mr PABs birthday, I thought back of the number of times I had done this for the kids when they were young. Now my food colour bottles need the cobwebs dusted off as the kids have grown up. IMHO {which was proved wrong} they are a tad old for colourful cakes and cookies etc.Paint-it-Purple Vanilla Bean Cupcakes These Vanilla Bean Cupcakes topped with a silky butter cream and garnished with homemade marzipan made me think again! The kids LOVED them, the lad gently told his teen sis, “Mamas’ cupcakes are better than the ones you made for Papas’ birthday!How brave of him, knowing that she can kill with her looks in these tumultuous teenage years! The cupcakes were certainly delicious and full of deep vanilla flavour. The frosting was silky smooth too, and didn’t set hard as a rock when refrigerated {must have been the low fat cream in there!}.Paint-it-Purple Vanilla Bean CupcakesI made them one morning when the kids were at school, and you should have lseen their amazement, ooohs and aaaahs echoing in the living room, when I brought them out. “Oooooh PURTY“, screamed the terrible teen, and then, ‘Yum marzipan!” she exclaimed. Hmmm … food connect? Marzipan always makes her recall the cakes I made for her 9th and 12th birthday many years ago, my first trysts with marzipan {pictures from long ago}!Birthday CakesMarzipan from scratchI love working with marzipan; it’s like going back to the kindergarten days and play-dough! The last I made marzipan was for these two delicious cakes – a Cinnamon Buttercream Autumn Cake {for a Daring Bakes competition}, and Ottolenghis Carrot Walnut Cake! The recipe this time was different from my previous one; easier and with just minimal ingredients. Marzipan from scratchI found it online @ Only Recipes, by Alessandra Zecchini. I added neon purple food colour to it {which might explain why these aren’t ‘deep purple’!}. Why specifically PURPLE you might wonder?Paint-it-Purple Vanilla Bean CupcakesA mail in my inbox the other day made me bake cupcakes. It was an invite from the Pixel Project to contribute my favourite cupcake recipe for a Paint It Purple” Cupcake Online Recipe Gallery. The project aims at painting the internet purple and selling cupcakes for the cause to end violence against women. I salute the initiative, and it led to Pinktober being painted a little PURPLE too. Paint-it-Purple Vanilla Bean CupcakesThe Pixel Project are a global volunteer-led non-profit working to raise awareness, funds and volunteer power for the cause to end violence against women worldwide using social media and new technologies. The “Paint It Purple” is a campaign to raise awareness and funds for the cause to end violence against women (VAW) in communities worldwide. This campaign runs from 8 Oct to 24 Nov 2011 and covers Domestic Violence Awareness Month as well as being a warm-up for International Day of Elimination of VAW (25 Nov 2011).

The annual “Paint It Purple” campaign raises awareness about Violence Against Women (VAW) by getting a global audience to “paint” the internet purple during the campaign using social media. The campaign also raises funds for The Pixel Project, our partners and participating VAW nonprofits worldwide through cupcake bake sales and “Paint It Purple” parties.

“Paint It Purple” is open to all VAW nonprofits, grassroots groups, bakeries and individuals supporting the cause to end violence against women.

India has her own initiative in this direction, The Bel Bajao campaign, translated to mean “Ring The Bell.  “Around 35 percent of Indian women suffer from physical violence at the hands of their partners while nearly 40 percent men and women think that it is sometimes or always ‘justifiable’ for a man to beat his wife (UN Women report on Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice, 2011-2012).Domestic violence is an issue that cuts across class, race, gender, ethnic communities, education, sexual orientation, religion and any other form of diversity in the society. Women of all races are about equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner.

I think the more we get involved in our individual capacities, the better the chances are that violence against women will find an end. Any action, however small, is good news. Let’s join hands and make a difference. Each voice counts, and in turn gives support to those at the receiving end, paving the way for a brighter and safer tomorrow. Learn more and/or get involved.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with buttercream and marzipan

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Bake Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 8 cupcakes

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with buttercream and marzipan

Deep, delicious vanilla bean cupcakes, smothered lovingly in a silky smooth buttercream, and topped with homemade marzipan cut outs


Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

100gm unsalted butter, soft

100gm powdered sugar

1/2 vanilla bean scraped

2 eggs, lightly beaten

125gm plain flour

1tsp baking powder

1/8tsp salt

2 tbsp buttermilk


Buttercream Frosting

50gm unsalted butter

2tbsp low fat cream

1/2 cup powdered sugar {I eyeballed the sugar}

1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder

Few drops purple food colouring


Homemade Marzipan

{Recipe adapted minimally from}

{Makes 300gm of marzipan. You need about 75gms for these cupcakes}

200gms almonds,blanched and peeled

100gm powdered sugar


  1. Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a 12 mold cupcake tray with 8 liners, and fill the empty spaces with about a 1/4 cup water each. {This will aid equal distribution of heat}
  3. Beat the butter, vanilla bean and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the eggs.
  5. On low speed, beat in the flour, baking powder and salt, followed by the buttermilk, until well mixed.
  6. Divide into 8 cupcakes and bake for 20 minutes/ until done.
  7. Remove to rack and cool completely.
  8. Frost as desired {recipe follows}
  9. Butter cream Frosting
  10. Beat all the ingredients until desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is runny, add a little more sugar and continue to beat.
  11. Homemade Marzipan
  12. {Makes 300gm of marzipan. You need about 75gms for these cupcakes}
  13. Run the peeled almonds in the bowl of your food processor until ground. They will be soft and begin to release oil. Add the sugar and process on low speed until mixed. The marzipan should hold together when pinched with the fingers.
  14. Remove to a bowl and knead briefly until pliable. Keep wrapped in cling wrap so that it doesn't dry out.
  15. Tint with food colour, a drop at a time, keeping the remaining marzipan in cling wrap all the time.

Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


  • 5 years ago

    Beautiful cupcakes for a great cause! I grew up seeing little marzipan fruits and animals in my town bakeries, somehow they went out of style.

  • 5 years ago

    So cute! I really love the pretty marzipan flower decorations.



  • 5 years ago

    Such a great cause Deeba- I wish I had known earlier (I could have painted something purple too!) because over time I have become passionate about this issue. The marzipan flowers look amazing!

  • Your decoration is so so cute!
    And I love marzipan!
    I have to try this cupcakes…
    KInd regards,

  • 5 years ago

    I am a big fan of marzipan – these cupcakes are beautiful, thank you!!

    What’s made of almond paste and swings from cake to cake – TARZIPAN!!!

    How many jokes have you ever heard about marzipan!!

    Cheers, Patricia

  • 5 years ago

    Gorgeous cupcakes for a good cause. you need to keep the dust off those bottles of food coloring.

  • 5 years ago

    These are so pretty! I’m in love with these cupcakes…gorgeous! 🙂

  • 5 years ago

    Absolutely lovely…. and as far as I’m concerned, marzipan is one of the most delicious things on earth.


  • 5 years ago

    Beautiful and for such a good cause Deeba!!!

  • 5 years ago

    Absolutely pretty!!

  • 5 years ago

    Those look super cute and how lovely that they’re for a meaningful cause.

  • Faith
    5 years ago

    These do look tasty-sometimes just a vanilla treat like this hits the spot. Love the eye catching colors you used. Great post.

  • 5 years ago

    Wow, Debba, such beauty! You are an artiste, in every sense of the word. I love the cause they are for. I recall one of our own, a food blogger back in ’08 or ’09, I think, being beaten by a BF and killed. I wish I could remember who it was, but it has to stop, and this is a great way to help.

  • 5 years ago

    Thank You for spreading the word against domestic violence! BellBajao along with many other organizations, and blogs which are either fully dedicated (such as ours) or mention the cause (such as yours) help in educating the women about their rights and provide support when required.

  • 5 years ago

    They are adorable, Deeba! And fantastic addition of the marzipan flowers, I love the shades of purple, specially for the cause 🙂

  • Oh boy… marzipan scares me so much… one day i’ll get up the nerve to work with it. For now, I’ll just admire your work.

  • 5 years ago

    There is a oldie here ( me ofcourse ) looking to the cupcake and saying what you teenage daughter said 🙂
    Beautiful , i love the color of the forsting and the marzipan flowers.

  • 5 years ago

    Thats a great cause…The cupcakes look adorable, the marzipan flowers look soo cute!!

  • 5 years ago

    Wow! Mouth watering pictures… I will try this recipe… Thank you.

  • Your cupcakes and you are awe inspiring. Love that you are supporting this cause. I had no idea domestic violence was that prevalent in your country. How great that they’ve taken it to a personal one on one way to help stop it by ringing a door bell.

  • angie
    5 years ago

    All the cup cakes are adorable and fantastic I love it the one who made this is so creative..Thank you for sharing the recipe I might make this on my moms birthday..

  • 5 years ago

    These are so beautiful, Deeba!!!! And home-made marzipan is simply wonderful !!!

  • 5 years ago

    Deeba, your cupcakes are amazing! Absolutely adorable and so pretty! I love the puprle and pink colour and your flowers are PERFECT!

  • 5 years ago

    The cup cakes are adorable.

  • 5 years ago

    I couldnt help smiling when I saw those cupcakes. Really Luuuvvvly…..And great cause you are supporting!

  • Those are so pretty, I wish I could decorate my cakes and cupcakes as well as you!

  • 5 years ago

    Hi Deeba! Been a long time sicne i visited..these cupcakes look wonderful! btw which food gel colors are you using? are they available in india?

  • so cute!!! i made some monster cakes recently, would love to know what you think 🙂

  • 5 years ago

    Wow! So cute & definitely impressive! Beautiful work, Deeba!

  • Deeba,
    Those dainty little cupcakes are so cute, I wouldn’t want to eat them!
    Absolutely adorable marzipan petite flowers and roses… damn cutesy!

  • 5 years ago

    “Around 35 percent of Indian women suffer from physical violence at the hands of their partners while nearly 40 percent men and women think that it is sometimes or always ‘justifiable’ for a man to beat his wife.” Just how shocking can it get?!
    I wish I could do my bit with ‘Paint It Purple’ as well!
    Beautiful cupcakes,the flower decorations are very pretty!Never knew that we get vanilla bean powder.
    Thank you for sharing!:-)

    • 5 years ago

      Yes shocking, but if you get talking to folk from different levels of society, you will begin to notice the gravity and depth of this ‘disease’!
      BTW I got vanilla bean powder right here in Gurgaon. Fab India stocks small sachets of this interesting ingredient.

  • Himanshu
    5 years ago

    Deeba, These cupcakes are fab. I have been looking for a recipe, especially the decoration part, for long. As most of the ingredients listed in other recipes, are hard to find in Gurgaon. But, I am sure, I can easily get these here except for the one thing, which is unsalted butter. And I liked the idea of contributing this way to a good cause. I recently came across your site, while searching for a recipe to whip cream for cakes :), and trust me I am almost daily visiting here. Like your recipes and also those beautiful shots you’ve taken.

    • 5 years ago

      Thanks for your wonderful words Himanshu. Unsalted butter is rare to find here at most times, so I make my own, and freeze it.

  • 5 years ago

    Yummy visual delight!!!

  • 5 years ago

    These are be-yoo-tiful and lovely and I can’t wait to try out the recipe. And as a Pixel Project volunteer — thank you so much for supporting our cause!

  • These are gorgeous, D. Very well done 🙂

  • 5 years ago

    Thank you for mentioning the source of the marzipan recipe :-).
    Great blog and great cause.


  • Nadia
    5 years ago

    Hello there, just became alert to your weblog via Google, and located that it is really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful in the event you continue this in future. A lot of other people will be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

  • 3 years ago

    I’m drooling. These seem so very tasty. And light grewia color is making them very pleasant.

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