Several years ago, I came across the concept of a Ras Malai Cake. Ras Malai is a dessert originating from the south Asian subcontinent that consists of flattened cheese balls that are soaked in a creamy cardamom infused milk syrup.
The concept of the fusion style cake intrigued me, and I saved the link to a recipe that I hoped to tackle one day. The years went by, and like many ideas, I seemed to forget about this one as well.
Fast-forward to a few months ago when my friend Zakiya of Blend of Spiceshared on her Instagramthat she not only had a recipe for Ras Malai Cake on her website, but she had also adapted it to form cupcakes! She shared a gorgeous photo and recipe on her stories, and after asking her a few questions, I came to the realization that I couldn’t put it off any longer.
I first made these cupcakes as dessert for an Eid Ul Adha potluck that we hosted. To say these were a hit is a major understatement! I received so many compliments and requests for the recipe, so many that I don’t think I’ve ever received on anything I’ve made!
I had the opportunity to make these again this past weekend for a game night that my friend hosted. I wanted to test the recipe again with my adaptations, and again they delivered stellar reviews! I’m so excited to share the recipe here, and I hope you and your loved ones enjoy these as much as we all have!
Ras Malai Cupcakes
- 1 box white cake mix (enough to produce 24 cupcakes)
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 (8 ounce) package mascarpone cheese, cold
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup condensed milk
- 3 drops Kewra essence (screwpine)
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- Crushed pistachios
- Edible dried rose petals
Use cake mix to prepare cupcakes according to box instructions. Cool completely and set aside.
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Transfer filling to a piping bag fitted with a small tip.
Gently insert the tip into the center of the prepared cupcakes, and squeeze in filling. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat mascarpone cheese, butter, condensed milk, and Kewra essense until smooth. Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined, then increase speed to high and beat until smooth and fluffy.
If frosting feels too loose to pipe or spread, refrigerate until it reaches the desired consistency.
Pipe or frost cupcakes as desired. Garnish with pistachios and dried rose petals.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
so so fascinated by this recipe! If I wasn’t heading straight for birthday party season (and less sophisticated palates) I’d make these pronto!
in regards to the condensed milk, you mean 7oz right? or do you mean 14 oz is the actual half a can?
Yes, 7 oz total. Sorry about the confusion!
how long in advance can these cupcakes be filled and frosted? im making them for a baby shower and i wasn’t sure if the cupcakes would get soggy if i filled and frosted the night before and stuck them in the fridge. Thank you so much!
sorry for all the questions lol – but can i substitute kewra water instead of the essence
Yes, you can definitely substitute water for essence; just taste as you go! You may need to add a bit more.
And please don’t apologize, that’s what I’m here for 🙂
You can definitely make them the night before! Just make sure they’re refrigerated and you’ll be fine inshAllah 🙂 I’m excited for you to try these, and inshAllah you’ll love them! Drop by and let me know how it goes 🙂
Hi,I can’t wait to try this recipe! I’m looking to make my own cake instead of a boxed one, what kind should i make? Like a light angel food cake or a heavy butter cake would work better?
Hi! You can absolutely use your own cake recipe (I haven’t because I haven’t found the recipe for a light and airy vanilla cake). I would suggest something light, as opposed to something dense like pound cake. Happy baking!
Salaam! Can I use yellow cake mix instead of white cake mix for this recipe?
Wsalam! I personally haven’t tried it with yellow cake, but I’m sure it would be equally delicious. The taste might be a bit different, but I can’t imagine it tasting bad lol.
Let me know how it goes!
I’m so excited about these cupcakes! My mum and I live on either end of North America and we’re both going to make these for Eid for our friends and family. One quick question for you – having a hard time with ingredients right now because of the pandemic. I read online that you can sub mascarpone with cream cheese, sour cream and whipping cream. Unfortunately, everything was out of stock except the cream cheese! I’ll try again before Eid, but in case I can’t get what I need, can I keep the frosting the same, except swap out cream cheese for mascarpone? Thank you!
I’m so excited for the both of you to try them! I’m sure you’re going to love them <3
Okay, so as for the cream cheese- I had a friend who substituted the mascarpone with cream cheese, and she said it was disgusting LOL
Typically I've had no issues with making the swap, but when it comes to these cupcakes, the mascarpone adds a velvety thickness with mild taste, and although cream cheese will give us a similar texture, it'll add a tanginess that just isn't going to work with these flavors.
Hope this helps! And an early Eid Mubarak!
excited to try these but your method doesn’t mention that we need to hole out some cake from the middle of the cupcake in order to fill it. are we supposed to take out a chunk of cake and then fill like you typically would for other filled cupcakes? Otherwise where would the filling go?
I don’t hole out the cupcake. I simply insert the tip of the piping bag directly into the center of the cupcake and squeeze filling in. The cupcake is light and airy, there is plenty of room for the filling 🙂
Assalamu Alaikum! I just wanted to know if I can make the filling and frosting the night before and finish the cupcakes the morning or would I have to make it all at once?
Wsalam! Yes, you can absolutely make these the night before! In fact you can bake, fill, and frost the night before!
Salaam! Is there any other substitute for the kewra essence/water? I don’t think I’ll be able to find it where I reside. Thanks 🙂
Wsalam! The thing is that kewra has a very distinct flavor and smell, and unfortunately there is nothing that can easily substitute it. I would suggest either replacing it with a bit of rose water, or just leaving it out completely.
Thank you! Do you think the taste would be much different if I left it out completely?
I think it’ll be alright without the kewra 🙂
Thank you so much! I made them and they were a hit! 🙂
So happy to hear that!
Hi! When you say condensed milk is that sweetened condensed milk or just evaporated milk? Just a bit confused on that
Hello! Yup, it’s sweetened condensed milk 🙂
can you substitute cream cheese for mascarpone? couldn’t find mascarpone at my store. which grocery store can you find it in US? also where do u get the edible rose petals lol
In this recipe the mascarpone cannot be substituted with cream cheese. Cream cheese has a slightly tangy flavor, and it just wont work with the other flavors in the recipe. I have a friend who made the substitution and was left horrified lolll
As for where you can find it, all big grocery stores carry it. I’ve bought it at Meijer, Kroger, Safeway, Raley’s, Whole Foods, etc. It can be found in the specialty cheese cases, not where the sliced and shredded cheeses are. Good luck!
As for the rose petals, sometimes you can find them at local Arab or South Asian markets. Sometimes they’re even sold as tea! If you have a Cost Plus/ World Market near you, they also sell edible rose petals in their spice section!
Hey! Can I make the frosting and filling a week in advance? I have to make 2 batches in a week so just wondering!
To be completely honest, one week ahead seems like a bit of a stretch. I would suggest no more than 4 days in advance. Good luck!
Did you add whipping cream to the frosting? My frosting is so runny!!
No, there is no whipping cream in the frosting. If you feel like it’s too runny, you can add some more powdered sugar to thicken it up.
What is the consistency of the filling supposed to be like? I also feel like mine is too runny! 🙁
The filling isn’t supposed to be too firm, but it shouldn’t be runny either. Is it possible that your ricotta cheese was too runny? What you can do it strain some of the liquid from filling, and that should help firm it up.
Hi, I have a question regarding this recipe – Can I add a pipette with the ras malai milk in it too?
Yes, you absolutely can!
Hi! Do you add the filling by inserting from the bottom of the cupcake or the top?
I insert from the top. You don’t need to scoop out any of the cupcake. It’s a light and airy cupcake, so theres space for filling 🙂
Ayesha Andrabi of A Buttercream Dream
For as delicious as these cupcakes taste, they were unexpectedly easy to make! I left out the mascarpone and condensed milk because I didn’t have them in hand, and it was still amazing. I’ll be trying it again when I have those items on hand! This will be a go-to recipe for me going forward.
Thank you so much Ayesha! I’m glad it worked out for you despite not having some of the ingredients!
This is such a hit 🙂 wowww that you 🙂 BIG QUESTION … I HAVE LOT OF THE FROSTING LEFT OVER …
How long will it survive refrigerated ??? I have gathering saturday evening which i plan to use ? any luck ?
Thank you so much! You can keep this for a few days refrigerated. Just be sure to keep them covered 🙂
Thank you so much. Amazing recipe.. Loved the cupcakes.
Thank you so much for your feedback!
The frosting was runny, like a cake batter consistency, I would think it would need to be firm to pipe it. Mascarpone is tricky and measurements and temp of other ingredients should be the same.
I’m sorry you had this issue! It’s important to use cold mascarpone, and it’s mentioned in the recipe card. Also, if you’re still running into this issue despite using cold mascarpone, I would suggest reducing the condensed milk to half the quantity.
Been eyeing this recipe for so long and finally gave it shot this week and OMG the flavors were everything I expected and more! Spot on tasted like rasmalai with the perfect amount of sweetness. Henna, I love trying your recipes!! Thank you for sharing them ❤️ can’t wait to see more fusion dishes and try them out myself!
This means so much to me Hina! Thank you so sooo much <3
Thank you for the recipe. I made it for Diwali and everyone just loved it. It was easy to make too. I wish I could post the pics too. Thank you for making fusion recipe will definitely look into other recipes too.
Thank you so much Divya! It feels so nice to to hear that I could take part in your celebrations in this small way 🙂
Hi! I absolutely love this recipe. I’ve made it twice now and it’s always a hit! I am however, struggling to get the frosting to the right consistency to pipe onto the cupcake. Mine comes out very running and even after refrigerating it hardens but still with a loose consistency. Any tips? Thank you!!
Hello Pooja! I’m so sorry to hear that you have that issue with the frosting. Have you tried reducing the condensed milk? I recently edited the recipe card to reflect the correct amount of 1/4-cup condensed milk. I apologize for the inconvenience!
Easy to make with delicious results! Added a bit of cardamom to the cake batter and used rose water instead of kewra essence in the frosting.
Thank you so much! Love the idea of using rose water!
So is it 1/4 cup condensed milk or 7 oz? I have read both in the comments.
It’s 1/4-cup, as the recipe states.
If I could give this recipe more stars, I would! I am a huge fan of fusion desserts.. This is beyond amazing. It was definitely work making these cupcakes. I took my time and read all the reviews. For anyone making these, follow the recipe to the T. It is so worth it. So delicious. Thank you so much Henna for this recipe. I am a fan and can’t wait to try more of your recipes.
I am speechless <3 Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such kind feedback! <3
I have now made these twice now.
Every time I have made them… yummy!
This recipe was so easy to follow and in no time I had plenty of treats to give out to my friends. It’s going to be part of my Eid treat box from now on!
I think next one I will have to try is the Gajar Halwa cupcakes!
Thank you Henna!!
I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you so much!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!! These cupcakes turned out so delicious that everyone was asking for the recipe! Definitely keeping this recipe in my baking arsenal!
I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you so much!!
I changed the recipe into a cake and oh my God it’s SO yummy! Love your website.
I’m so happy that you enjoyed it!
WOW these cupcakes were amazing and tasted just like rasmalai!! The kewra essence really made it impeccable. Will be making these again and again.
Thank you so much for sharing! You’re amazing!
Thank you soooo much for your kind words! Honestly, this totally made my day ❤️
Finally got a chance to make this recipe and it exceeded even my high expectations! Absolutely delicious and easy to make!
Thank you so much! So happy to hear that!
I have always loved these cupcakes and j tried to make it into a cake and the family loved it even more. This recipe js truly a crowd pleaser. Thank you!!!