Parma Violet Cupcakes

Everyone has something that can instantly transport them back to their childhood, be it the smell of freshly cut grass, the touch of your favorite bear or the taste of candy you haven’t nibbled upon since you were eight.  For me, it’s Parma Violets.  

While on a recent charity shop bringe I happened across an old style sweet shop, their shelves were piled high with vintage favorites such as sugar mice, beach balls and, of course, Parma Violets.  Instantly I snapped up several packs (50p each, how’s that for inflation!!) with the intention of turning them into cupcakes.  Sadly, they didn’t last long and I munched my way through both rolls during the car ride home.  I’m a greedy soul really.


Then I remembered my long forgotten bottle of violet liqueur nestled snugly between my loathed bottle of Baileys and never opened bottle of Barcadi. Thirty minutes later I was the proud mama to a batch of parma violet cupcakes.  I can see this one being a keeper!

Parma Violet Cupcakes


110g unsalted butter, softened
225g golden caster sugar
2 large free range eggs
150g self raising flour
125g plain flour
120ml milk
 2tbsp violet liqueur



Heat the oven to 180C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases. 

In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and the sugar until well smooth.   Add the eggs one at a time, mixing into the mixture between additions.

Sift the flours together into a separate, smaller, bowl.  Measure out the milk in a jug and then add the violet liqueur.  Add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the milk.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, filling about 2/3 full.   Bake for about 25 mins until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool inthe tin for 5-10 minutes.   Then turn out to cool completely on a wire rack.

Oh yes, I almost forgot! The winner of the teacup cupcake is none other than Maria of Frills and Spills!  If you could drop me an email with your details I’ll get them posted asap ­čÖé


  1. Stephy
    June 9, 2011 / 5:54 pm

    These photos are beautiful, but i've never even heard of this candy before.

  2. Butter Hearts Sugar
    June 9, 2011 / 11:13 pm

    They are so pretty! I love that the cupcake liners match too. The pictures look beautiful.

  3. MissMathful
    June 10, 2011 / 6:52 am

    these look yummy, im a big parma violet fan

  4. Kate@katescakesandbakes
    June 10, 2011 / 8:47 am

    I love discovering the old fashioned sweet shops- I feel like Charlie off of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory every time I go in. What a treat these para violet cupcakes are. I too tend to eat (inhale) any sweet-shop bought sweets before anyone else has a look in!

  5. Manderley
    June 10, 2011 / 10:31 am

    soo beautiful!

  6. Kath
    June 10, 2011 / 12:37 pm

    I totally agree with parma violets bringing back happy memories. I am intrigued by the violet liqueur, must keep an eye out for that. The cupcakes look so lovely.

  7. Danni
    June 11, 2011 / 3:45 pm

    I'm afraid I'm a full on Parma Violet hater, but the colour of these cupcakes still makes them so tempting!! x

  8. Sarah, Maison Cupcake
    June 12, 2011 / 10:13 pm

    These look fantastic! I used to love these sweeties. I'd love to get some violet liqueur.

  9. Anonymous
    June 13, 2011 / 4:45 pm

    I never knew you could get violet liqueur wow!! I have some parma violets stashed away to make cupcakes, but of course I had forgotten so thanks for the reminder! Your's look great x

  10. Les r├¬ves d'une boulang├Ęre (Brittany)
    June 14, 2011 / 10:52 am

    Oh wow I love your presentation! The purple frosting is just so pretty. Also I've never heard of this liquer before!

  11. Jess
    June 14, 2011 / 2:50 pm

    SO gorgeous! Going to have to try this out!

  12. Jo
    June 19, 2011 / 5:46 am

    Mmm, they look so delicious! I love the lilac colour! Be sure to enter my £100 ASOS giveaway!

  13. Nicole
    June 21, 2011 / 9:25 am

    Great pictures! The frosting is amazing!Kisses from Hong Kong,Nicole

  14. Cooked in Mum's kitchen
    June 24, 2011 / 2:31 pm

    These look delicious… I am definitely going to make these!Just included your blog in my friday favourites ­čÖé Cooked in Mum's kitchen,xxx

  15. Nelly
    August 12, 2011 / 12:36 pm

    I adore Parma Violets, and these are definitely going on my "to-make" list! *nom*Nelly x

  16. Charlene & Lee
    September 6, 2011 / 2:51 pm

    My Husband tried one from a country stand last week and demolished the lot without me even having a sniff! I will definitely be trying this recipe soon! I don't suppose you could just crush up parma violets could you? Can't find violet liqueur in my local! haha

  17. Scrummy somethings
    September 17, 2011 / 9:51 pm

    I bought some violet syrup whilst on holiday in Toulouse this summer. It adds a gorgeous flavour to my cakes!

  18. Fiona Hodge
    August 18, 2020 / 6:49 pm

    Can you use the sweets in the cupcake to make it taste the same? As I am not sure about the violet liquor. As I am not sure my sister in law likes it, but she loves the sweets.

    • August 19, 2020 / 4:04 pm

      Hi Fiona,

      I don’t see why not. I’d crush them to a dust then add it to the batter along with a tbsp milk. Or you can get Violet extract if you don’t want to use the alcohol.

      Katie xoxo

  19. Fiona Hodge
    August 20, 2020 / 12:25 am

    Thank you so much xxx

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