I could hardly wait to share this recipe with you as I think you’ll love these syrup-infused orange semolina cupcakes! Last time I baked these was before I went vegan and I remember it well for a reason.

I made them into a cake for the French TV crew who came to film us for an episode of a French travel show Echappées Belles. The episode was about several Cycladic Islands and foreigners who chose to live on them. The producers seemed quite keen on our back story of escaping the rat race in the search of Aegean-tinted bliss.

Duncan did a lot of stand-up comedy back in London so he was quite comfortable in front of the camera. I, on the other hand, looked like I should have downed some whiskey before the filming started (I wish I had thought of that).

The worst off though was our poor cat, Noodle. The producers were quite keen to include him in one of the ‘domestic bliss on a Greek island’ scenes but, as luck would have it, two days before the filming, we applied a “spot-on” flea treatment on him. Being new and very inexperienced pet owners, we must have applied the medication incorrectly as Noodle managed to eat it and fell seriously sick the day after. He was really, really poorly and so he ended up looking extremely miserable on camera. Poor thing! Luckily, he pulled through.

Sick cat episode aside, it was funny and a little bit cring-e-y to see yourself on TV. And the cake went down so well that I’ve decided to have a crack at veganising it and re-packaging it in the form of cute, individual cupcakes. They turned out great and all my omni neighbours were scoffing them down with approving murmurs so I’m confident you’ll like them too.

PS: If you make my orange semolina cupcakes, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @lazycatkitchen and use the #lazycatkitchen hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!

serves: 12 cupcakes
prep: 20 min
cooking: 30 min


135 ml / ½ cup + 1 tbsp mild olive oil
180 ml / ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
120 g / 3/8 cup fine-cut orange marmalade
6 tbsp / 3/8 cup apple purée*
3½ tbsp aquafaba**
grated zest of 1 orange


50 g / ½ cup desiccated coconut
60 g / scant 1/3 cup brown sugar
70 g / ½ cup + 1 tbsp plain flour, sifted
135 g / ¾ cup fine semolina (for cakes)
1½ tbsp ground almonds / almond flour
1½ tsp baking powder
chopped pistachios or almonds, to decorate (optional)

360 ml / 1½ cup orange juice
100 g / ½ cup sugar (I used brown)

Pre-heat the oven to 180° C / 350° F. Oil a 12-hole standard muffin tin with a bit of olive oil or line the tin with cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients apart from chopped pistachios.
In another large bowl, whip aquafaba** until it has soft peaks.


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