Lorraine Pascal was a guest chef on Masterchef's Masterclass last week, cooking her Mojito Genoise. A delicate light sponge soaked with a mojito flavoured sugar syrup topped with a lime buttercream frosting. Needless to say I went right out and bought the ingredients, determined to adapt it into a cupcake version, and here it is.

There are a few components to this one, the rum sugar syrup, the cake, and an italian meringue buttercream (also requires a sugar syrup).

 Mojito Genoise Cupcakes


Rum Sugar Syrup

  • 150g Light Brown Sugar
  • 20ml Water
  • Zest and Juice of 1 lime
  • 40ml White Rum
  • Bunch of Mint Leaves


Combine ingredients in saucepan and cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat and boil for 3 - 5 minutes until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and add roughly chopped mint. Stir and then set aside to cool. 



Genoise Sponge (Makes 12 cupcakes)

  • 130g Sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 55g butter - melted and cooled
  • 130g plain flour


Fill a medium sized saucepan a third of the way with water and set on medium heat. Crack your eggs into a mixing bowl, and place it over the top of your saucepan (bain marie), making sure its not touching the water.

Start beating the eggs, and once foamy - slowly rain in your sugar while mixing. Turn the saucepan off, the residual heat will be enough now.

Mojito Genoise Cupcake

Continue beating for around 10 minutes, until you have thick white eggs that hold up when you drizzle back on itself.

Mojito Genoise Cupcake 

Remove mixing bowl from saucepan, and pour your cooled butter around the edge of the bowl. Fold in carefully until combined.

Add 1/3 of the flour, continue folding. Once combined add another third and so on.

Once all the ingredients are incorporated, fill cupcake cases 2/3 full. Bake at 175 degrees (fan forced) for 15 - 20 minutes.

Mojito Genoise Cupcake

I let mine cool with the oven switched off and the door ajar to avoid sinking (no idea if they were going to sink but they didnt sink the way i did it)

Mojito Genoise Cupcake


Italian Meringue Buttercream

  • 30ml Lime Juice + Zest of one lime
  • 30ml White Rum
  • 215g Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Egg Whites (around 4 - 5 whites at room temp)
  • 340g Unsalted Butter (softened, but not too soft)

Get your egg whites ready by placing them in a mixer with the whisk attachment ready to go.

Combine the sugar, rum, lime juice and zest in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved, increase the heat to a medium / medium-high (I use 6 on an induction cooktop). Start your mixer on a low-medium speed at this point.

Mojito Genoise Cupcake

Brush down the edges of the saucepan as the sugar syrup boils to prevent crystalisation. You want to bring the syrup up to 240 - 245 degrees fahrenheit. At around 230 degrees increase your mixer speed for your egg whites.

Keep an eye on the egg whites and syrup - once the egg whites reach medium peaks and your sugar syrup is at 240 - 245, pour the sugar syrup into the mixer with it running on high in a slow steady stream. Once its all together, continue running your mixer on medium-high for around 10 minutes. It should be thick and glossy, and after 10 minutes fairly cool.

Switch to a paddle attachment, and then with the mixer running add your butter in a tablespoon or so at a time, every 5 or so seconds.

Continue beating once incorporated until light and fluffy. You may find the mixture curdles a little, but just keep going it will smooth out in a couple of minutes. (If you find it has split and looks curdled - your butter may have been too warm to emulsify with the mixture, pop 1/4 of the mix in the microwave for 15 seconds and pour it back in slowly while beating).

If the mix is too runny, pop it in the fridge for 15 - 20 minutes and try whipping again.

Now its time to assemble

Take a syringe (these are like 50c at chemists) and fill with your rum syrup which should now be cool from earlier.

Mojito Genoise Cupcake

Poke it in the top of each cupcake and squirt the mix in. Anywhere between half to a full syringe (6 - 12ml) is fine depending on taste.

Mojito Genoise Cupcake

Then pipe your icing on top and decorate with a mint leaf if you like, voila - mojito in the form of cupcakes, delicious.