Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide

Sea Buckthorn Curd Cup Cakes Recipe

Freshly baked sea buckthorn curd cup cakes

The wonderful tart flavour of Sea Buckthorn berries, also known as Sea berries (Hippophae, Hippophae rhamnoides) lend themselves perfectly to making a rich, creamy curd. Think lemon curd but with more richness and depth of flavour - you'll just have to try this one!

First, you'll need to extract the juice from the berries (I show you how below), then make the curd. This is delicious lathered onto toast, but I also love this baked in mini cup cakes.

Sea buckthorn berries in a sieve, ready to be pressed

How to juice sea buckthorn berries

The berries of sea buckthorn contain quite a large seed, so I choose to press them manually through a sieve or gently squeeze them through a jelly bag then discard the seeds and pulp. You could use a juicer if you wish.

Sieving fibre and pips to make sea buckthorn juice

You'll be left with a very tart juice that you can dilute for drinks or cocktails, or use in this delicious sea buckthorn curd. Every 150 grams of berries makes about 90 ml of juice.

Pure, homemade sea buckthorn juice

How to make sea buckthorn curd

Jar of wild sea buckthorn curd

Sea Buckthorn Curd Recipe

As a child, I remember the alchemy of making lemon curd and its decadent, irresistible texture. This rich, spreadable curd is just as indulgent, if not more so, with its intense flavour of sea buckthorn berries. Spread on toast or use in desserts such as cup cakes with sea buckthorn curd (see below).

Jar of homemade sea buckthorn curd

Makes 450g jar


  • 90 ml (6 tbsp) sea buckthorn juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 125 g unrefined sugar
  • 65 g butter, cut into 1 cm cubes

Put the juice, sugar and butter into a heatproof bowl and sit the bowl over a small pan of gently simmering water. Make sure the bowl is suspended over and not sitting in the water. Stir occasionally until all of the butter has melted.

In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and egg yolk and stir them into the butter and sugar mixture, continue to whisk until all the ingredients are well combined. Allow to cook for a further 10-15 minutes, stirring intermittently until the mixture is thick and creamy and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and leave to cool before spooning into sterilised jars and seal.

Keep in the fridge for up to a week, or tightly cover and freeze till needed, you’ll be able to spoon it out straight from the freezer. This is perfect for the curd filled cup cakes below.

Jar of homemade sea buckthorn curd on a lace table cloth

Cup Cakes with Sea Buckthorn Curd Filling

Light and fruity cup cakes that conjure up images of orange groves and fully sunned fruit. Just the thing to enjoy sitting outside while there’s still some warmth in the sun.

Makes 12


  • 115 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 100 g unrefined sugar
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 150 g self-raising flour (125g plain, 25g wholemeal)
  • ½ tsp orange water
  • 4 tbsp sea buckthorn curd
Half eaten sea buckthorn cake, showing the luscious inside

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cases. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the orange water, the eggs, little by little and 1 tablespoon flour. Whisk until thoroughly combined, before adding the remaining flour and beat together well.

Preparing cake mixture of cup cakes filled with sea buckthorn curd

Spoon half the mixture into the cases and add a teaspoon of curd on top of each, followed by the remaining mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, until risen, remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack until cold.

Single, home baked sea buckthorn cup cake

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