Home What's Cooking? Olive Oil and Ricotta Graffiti Cupcakes

Olive Oil and Ricotta Graffiti Cupcakes

We’re not too proud to admit that we have something of a cupcake fetish. (Need evidence? Exhibit A, exhibit B, and exhibit C. We rest our case.) There’s something immensely satisfying about these personal-sized, sweetness-packed pick-me-ups that never fails to make us happy—from the moment we first lay eyes on them to the (very sad) moment when we’ve cleaned every crumb from their cheerful little wrappers.




But not all cupcakes are created equal, and if we had our druthers, they’d be a bit lighter on the sugar and a lot heavier on the flavor. So, we asked ourselves, why not create a cupcake recipe that’s tasty without sweetness overload, and that has a more grown-up flavor profile?


Enter this exclusive Olive Oil and Ricotta Graffiti Cupcake, which is destined to become your go-to recipe when you want a decadent treat. We’ll give you the heads-up that this is not a waist-watcher’s recipe, but the olive oil, ricotta, and cream give the cupcakes an irresistible moist and smooth quality that’s pretty addicting. The savory flavor of the oil and the tang of the vanilla and almond extracts also bring balance to the sugar. And the rainbow nonpareils? They’re a little more special than traditional rainbow sprinkles, and when baked inside the cupcakes, they give the cake a colorfully swirly effect that’s revealed with every bite.


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You can leave off the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting if you prefer your cupcakes on the less-sweet side, but let’s be honest: they’re so much more adorable with.


Let’s get cooking:


Olive Oil and Ricotta Graffiti Cupcakes

Recipe by Sarah Bessette


Makes 12 cupcakes



1 ⅔ cups flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup olive oil

1 cup sugar

1 egg

¼ cup ricotta

¾ cup cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 ounce, or more to taste, rainbow nonpareils





  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl or in a stand mixer, combine the olive oil, sugar, egg, ricotta, cream, and extracts, and beat on low speed. Once all of the wet ingredients are well mixed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed just until combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick.
  4. Scoop the batter evenly into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the top of each with about a teaspoon of nonpareils. Using a knife, gently swirl the candies into the batter. The more you distribute them through the batter, the more pronounced the swirling effect. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.


Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Recipe by Sarah Bessette



3 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Rainbow nonpareils, for garnish



  1. In a bowl, beat all ingredients together on medium-high until light and fluffy.
  2. Frost the cooled cupcakes, and sprinkle with a small amount of nonpareils. Chill until ready to serve.


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