Category Archives: Baking Recipes: Cupcakes

Lemon Cupcakes with Lime & Ginger Whipped Cream

I’m not always a chocolate-and-cream kinda girl. Sure, chocolate comforts and soothes my soul, but sometimes, I like a little zing in my sweet treats. There’s something about citrusy bites that puts a spring in my step, that makes me feel like spring/summer is around the corner. Perhaps it’s the bright yellows and greens or that burst of orange, but yes, occasionally, I like to dish out sunny cheerful bakes in my kitchen. Besides, M loves tangy treats more than sweet ones, and we were calling out desperately for winter to ‘go-away-already!’ as January slipped by. Those were good enough reasons for me to bring a little zing into our home.

I happened to have some lemons, limes and ginger lying around the pantry, and if you don’t know already, nothing pleases me more than to put something together with what I already have at home. I’ve said before that ‘waste not’ is something I’d like to practise in my kitchen, and it makes me happy that indeed, nothing goes to waste when I manage to conjure something out of ingredients that might have otherwise landed in the bin. Since I always have butter, flour, sugar, eggs and milk in my kitchen, it seemed pretty obvious that I should make some lemon cupcakes with lime and ginger whipped cream.

The lemon and lime combination was a no-brainer. Trying to get the ginger into the party was a little tricky. I wasn’t sure if it would worked, but in my head, a subtle heat that comes through after all that tanginess, seemed pretty damn fine. As I was expecting guests that evening, I didn’t want to overwhelm them with something too adventurous, and added only a teeny bit of ginger juice to the whipped cream topping. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when one of my guests said she doesn’t like ginger and was glad that she couldn’t taste it. You see, I really like ginger myself, and would have preferred a stronger flavour to come through. Oh well, I’m going to be heavy-handed with the ginger next time. Otherwise, the cupcakes were moist and citrusy, and gently perfumed with the smells of summer. The whipped cream lent a certain lightness to the cupcakes, and it made for a (deceptively) guilt-free treat!

Here’s the recipe:

Lemon Cupcakes with Lime & Ginger Whipped Cream
(adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

For the lemon cupcakes:

Makes 12

120g plain flour
150g caster sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
40g unsalted butter, room temperature
100ml whole milk
20ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 egg

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with muffin cases.
2. Beat flour, sugar, baking powder, zest and butter in a mixer at slow speed until combined.
3. Gradually add the milk and lemon juice and beat at the same time until just incorporated.
4. Add the egg to the batter and beat till mixture is smooth.
5. Spoon the batter into muffin cases until each is 2/3 full. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until skewer comes out clean after being inserted. Do not overbake as it can dry out. 6. Leave the cupcakes to cool sightly in the muffin pan before turning them out to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the lime & ginger whipped cream:

1 and 1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest, plus extra for decorating
1/4 teaspoon juice squeezed from freshly grated ginger (you can increase this to 1/2 or even 1 teaspoon, adjust to taste)
200ml whipping cream
2 and 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar (adjust to taste)
A very, very tiny drop of liquid green food colouring (you want a very pale jade cream)

1. Whisk cream, ginger juice, zest, colouring and sugar till stiff peaks are formed.
2. Frost cupcakes and decorate with sprinkling of grated lime zest.

*Updated: This post has been featured on Foodgawker and Tastespotting. Check out my profiles on Foodgawker and Tastespotting to see my other featured posts!

Check out what I have been baking in my own kitchen.

Also check out my other food adventures.

Fundraising for Japan – A Success, And Yes, We Have A Winner!

Thanks to your generous donations, The Pleasure Monger’s fundraising event for Japan was a success! We may have fell short of the £2000 target, but we did raise a whopping £1510, which amounts to 76% of our target! To be honest, I wasn’t sure if anyone would donate when I organised this, but a number of you did; the funds that we’ve raised together are so much more than I could ever give on my own. I’m grateful for your support and I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The fundraising page that I’ve set up on JustGiving will run till 2016, so please continue to drop a pound or two to help the victims of the earthquake in Japan. I’m sure everyone knows that the people in Japan are still suffering from the aftermath. For people like us who can’t be there to deliver aid, we can help in other ways. Yesterday evening, I was just thinking how wonderful it would be if everyone who stops by this blog could give a pound or spare some change; we could very well raise £20000 in a month! And then we have other bloggers who are trying their best to raise funds (read the updates at the bottom of this post for more details on how you can get involved), bloggers who are way more popular, prolific and well-known than I am, and if every reader of theirs give a pound for every post they read, they could raise so much more. That £1 makes such little difference to us, but for the victims, every penny counts and the success of the fundraiser thus far proves that we can pool our resources together and make a HUGE difference. So please continue to give, within your means, to any of the avenues that are most accessible to you.

Now, let’s realise the promise I made. When I organised the fundraiser, I said that I would pledge a USD100 Amazon gift card to one lucky donor so long as he/she donates before 31 March 2011 (GMT2359h). So today, I used the random integer generator on random.org to pick a winner and the gift card goes to…….

SHIRLEY!

I’ll be in touch in the next few minutes with an Amazon email containing the gift card. Congratulations and thank you for your donation!

xx

 

Fundraising for Japan

Dear readers,

In light of the recent events that hit Japan, I have started a fundraising page on JustGiving to raise some money for the disaster relief efforts. My nominated charity is ShelterBox, which is rallying resources to help the people in Japan. Temporary shelters are getting increasingly overcrowded right now, and if you’ve read the news, many have died in the bitter cold. The Japanese authorities are requesting ShelterBox to deliver emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies to the north of Japan. Thousands of boxes of such supplies are either in Japan or ready to be mobilised now, and we can help to deliver to the needs of the homeless in Japan. Please, let’s not leave them out in the freezing temperatures, and let’s work to give them a home and some warmth, literally and figuratively.

Anyone can donate, you only need a debit or credit card to do so. I can’t make a difference on my own, so instead of donating the money directly to charity, I am pledging a USD100 Amazon gift card to this fundraising event. I will randomly select the gift card recipient (using http://www.random.org/) from the list of people who donate on my fundraising page before 31 March 2011 (2359h GMT). By giving a little incentive, I hope that this will boost numbers a little and make the event worthwhile.  The gift card can be used on Amazon.com and I will email it to you before 10 April 2011. I will also announce the winner on this blog.

Please note that whilst I am not allowed to publicise this gift card raffle on my JustGiving page (as I am bound by terms and conditions), anyone who donates on my page, with a valid email address, will be eligible for this raffle. In order for me to contact you, please make sure you make your email address available to me on the JustGiving fundraising page.

Thank you for your help. Please also spread the word around, the success of this fundraising event relies on our collective effort.

Updated: I would also like to bring your attention to other avenues of donation. Some of my food blogger friends have set up an initiative called Bento4Japan, they have very generously put up some bento-related items up for auction on eBay. Please visit this site and start bidding! Or you can visit meemalee’s kitchen to have a look, she has written a nice summary of how you can help the people in Japan. Chika of the very beautiful blog, She Who Eats, is also giving away sakura ingredients to raise funds for Japan.

P/S: The fundraising page will be active till 2016, but only donors who contributed to this page before 31 March 2011 (2359h GMT) will be considered for the raffle. I am doing this because I am trying to encourage as many people to donate soon as the relief efforts are ongoing and urgently needed – WE HAVE A WINNER!

 

The Pleasure Monger Turns One!

Slightly more than a year ago, I was pessimistic, tired and really quite despondent as things on the PhD front were nothing short of a catastrophe. M, being the thoughtful, optimistic and patient husband he is, constantly told me to put my chin up, to remember that life is more than the lack of results in my research. He reminded me that we were in a good place, experiencing life overseas, seeing, tasting and cooking things that we might never have encountered if not for our time in London. He encouraged me to keep a diary of these things we came across, an online diary that is The Pleasure Monger today. And so I did.

On 14 February 2010, we were at home. We just had a home-cooked dinner and I was brainstorming on the name for my blog. Lots of names came up, including Rubs Tummy, Licks Lips etc. But only one represented the broad number of topics that I would like to write about. After deciding on the name, I whipped out a pen and paper and started doodling the logo. I decided to write about food, fashion & beauty, and marriage, each of which are represented by a cupcake, lipstick and a diamond ring that you see on my blog header today. I scanned it in, photoshopped it (that’s why it looks so horrible, because I’m clueless at graphic design…), and put it up. The Pleasure Monger was born with me sitting in my pyjamas, on the floor at the coffee table, in our tiny flat in London. The rest was history.

I became happier after writing. I had an avenue to turn to when I was feeling bogged down. I found a passion in telling my stories to no one in particular (in fact, there were just 15 visits a day on my blog in the first month), and I started paying attention to the good things that I was somehow blinded to prior to all this. In a way, you could say that I was awoken. Suddenly, I realised that I am in a good place. Suddenly, I realised that the small things can make me happy – walking down the streets, chancing upon a beautiful dress, watching the buskers perform, having a delightful pastry in a quaint tearoom. I paid a teeny bit more attention to how I dressed up and took care of my skin. I shared snippets of my life with M. I moaned and laughed at the silly things that happened during my PhD. I ate, I cooked and I baked. I’ve even started dabbling in very amateur food styling and food photography.

It’s the 16th February 2011 today. I just closed a chapter in my life, well, namely the trying chapter known as the PhD. I started on my first job in a completely new line of work. I feel less like a child, and more like an adult. I could write more about fashion & beauty judging from the arsenal of stuff I’ve accumulated since last year. I am getting better in the kitchen. I met quite a few cool bloggers and fostered friendships with them. I am more in love with M than ever before, and I know that our relationship will continue to grow in so many ways. I have seen so much over the last year. I travelled quite a bit. I had an informal interview with two of the greatest chefs in the world. I am taking nicer food photos and inching my way through the world of food styling. My work here has gained so much more exposure that The Pleasure Monger now receives over 20000 hits a month. It has been an incredible journey and I can’t wait to get to the second birthday. There is just so much to learn.

I don’t know how this year is going to pan out. Maybe people will jump on to other blogs and stop reading mine. Maybe more people will identify with what I write here. Hopefully I’ll make more friends and get to know even more amazing people. But one thing’s for sure, it’s been a blast and I love what I do, so I hope to continue doing this.

There are simply so many things I want to say to everyone. There are so many old entries that I want to revisit with you. I had half a mind to do a round-up post but that would be too much because really, all I want to say is thank you for sticking around to read what I have to say and thank you for sharing your life with me. I have thoroughly enjoyed my email exchanges with some readers who have taken the time out to write to me. And really, The Pleasure Monger wouldn’t have turned ONE two days ago without your support.

I shall leave you with one of my favourite photo shoots from last year for my Red/Matcha Velvet Cupcakes with Adzuki Bean Paste and Matcha/Plain Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting. Yes it’s quite a mouthful, but it represents what the last year has been for me. Colourful, pretty, tasty and pretty much damn awesome.

Red/Matcha Velvet Cupcakes with Adzuki Bean Paste and Matcha/Plain Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Red/Matcha Velvet Cupcakes with Adzuki Bean Paste

Makes 12 (adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

 

60g unsalted butter, room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 egg
10g cocoa powder (or 10g matcha powder if you want to make Matcha Velvet cupcakes)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
120ml buttermilk
150g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
12 teaspoons store-bought adzuki bean paste
1 quantity whipped cream cheese frosting (see below)
12-hole cupcake tray lined with muffin paper cases

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

2. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer with paddle attachment or handheld electric whisk on medium speed till light and fluffy and well mixed.

3. On high speed, slowly add egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.

4. In a separate bowl, mix cocoa powder (or matcha powder), and vanilla extract to make a thick dark paste. Add this to butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. repeat this process until all buttermilk and flour have been added. Turn mixer up to high speed and beat until you have smooth even mixture. On slow speed, add salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. beat until well mixed, turn up speed and beat for couple more minutes.

5. Spoon mixture into paper cases until 2/3 full, bake in preheated oven for 18 min or until sponge bounces back when touched. Skewer inserted in centre should come out clean. Leave cupcakes to cool slightly in tray before turning them out onto cooling rack to cool completely, then spoon out some crumbs from the top of the cupcake and fill the well with 1 teaspoon of store-bought adzuki bean paste. Frost the cupcakes with whipped cream cheese frosting.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold
1/2 cup whipping cream
10g matcha powder (if making Matcha frosting)
Edible gold/sherry lustre

1. Beat icing sugar and butter together on medium slow speed until mixture comes together and is well mixed.

2. Add cream cheese all at one go and beat till completely incorporated. Turn mixer up to medium high speed and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, for at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat as it can become runny. Add matcha powder if you would like to make matcha frosting.

3. Whisk whipping cream till light and fluffy in a separate bowl. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture till smooth. Dust with edible lustre if you like.

Enjoy!

Check out what I have been baking in my own kitchen.

Also check out my other food adventures.

*Updated: This post has been featured on Foodgawker and Tastespotting. Check out my profiles on Foodgawker and Tastespotting to see my other featured posts!

Lime Cheesecake with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

I was browsing through my crazy collection of food pictures, and found this, ignored, lonely and almost forgotten in my archives. Poor, poor cupcakes, it’s time to do you some justice.

Lime cheesecake with toasted coconut cream cheese frosting

I made these in October 2008, when we had some friends over for a massive eat-until-we-concuss steamboat session. Very odd to have made cheesecake for dessert to finish off a steamboat session, but….who cares, I had a craving for them and the hostess with the mostess should have the final word! Nothing is weird, so long as you have the stomach for it, agree?

Lime cheesecake with toasted coconut cream cheese frosting

I snooped around for a lime cheesecake recipe, found one from Smitten Kitchen and tweaked it because a) I didn’t have key limes or mangoes, b) I didn’t have graham crackers, c) my baking tools are for UK measurements, and d) I wanted to make territory-friendly cupcakes instead of a whole cheesecake (you have one, she has one, I have one, nobody fights!).

Lime cheesecake with toasted coconut cream cheese frosting

I also took on Deb’s advice to add a little coconut-y twist to the recipe, and whipped up a toasted coconut cream cheese frosting to go with the cupcakes.

The end product? Take me to tropical-lala-land-malibu DIVINE!

Here’s the recipe:

Lime Cheesecake with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

The Crunchy Bits: Crust

142 g digestive biscuits. crushed to fine crumbs
56.5 g unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line cupcake pan with paper cases.
2. Stir together digestives crumbs and melted butter in a bowl until well-combined and press evenly onto the bottom of the paper cases (about a centimetre thick). Bake crust in middle of oven 8 minutes and cool in pan on a rack.

The Creamy Bits: Filling

460 g cream cheese, at room temperature (I insist on full-fat…)
1 cup and 2 tbsp caster sugar
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 and 1/2 tbsp plain flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
5 medium eggs

1. Lower temperature on oven to 165 degree Celsius.
2. Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy, then beat in caster sugar.
3. Add lime juice, sour cream and vanilla paste, and beat with the mixer till smooth.
4. Turn the mixer down to low speed, and mix in the sifted flour and salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure mixture is just combined.
5. Add eggs and mic until just combined.
6. Pour filling into crust bottoms until about 2/3-3/4 way up each case, and bake in middle of the oven until the cheesecake sets in the centre, for about 35 min (this depends on your oven). Remove cupcake pan from oven, let cool slightly in pan before removing the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.

The Tropical Bits: Frosting

(from Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella)

56.5 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups flaked coconut
227 g cream cheese, at room temperature (again..full-fat)
2 cups icing sugar
2 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla paste

1. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a saucepan and stir in flaked coconut for about 8 minutes until coconut turns golden brown.
2. Beat 2 tbsp of butter with the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
3. Add icing sugar, milk and vanilla paste slowly and beat until smooth.
4. Stir in the toasted coconut.
5. Frost cupcakes when cupcakes are completely cooled. You can top this up with more toasted coconut if you wish, which is what I did!

This recipe makes more than 12 cupcakes, I tossed the rest of the ingredients in an 8-inch baking tin and made a separate 1.5 inch-high cheesecake out of it. The baking time for this would be about 1 hour, but again, test with your oven.

Enjoy!

Check out what I have been baking in my own kitchen.

Also check out my other food adventures.

*Updated: This post is featured on Photograzing. Check out my Photograzing profile to see my other featured posts!


It’s Time For Some Red Velvet Cupcakes

Winter in London brings about waves of depression to the cheeriest people. The sun sets as early as 4pm, and the absence of light simply….deflates. I find that I bake a lot more during the coldest months. For me, baking is one the best ways to take away some of that stress and depression. Sinking my teeth into home-baked goodies make me a wee bit happier too. I also like to spread the love (or erm, crap, depending on how the baked goods turn out) by giving them to colleagues and friends, hopefully they like them as well (if you don’t, you must let me know before I inflict more suffering onto you….).

Darkness fell pretty early one day in November last year, and I was sitting in my office feeling depressed and lethargic from the long day spent in the lab. I thought, ‘That’s it! I have to do something!’. So off I went to Waterstone’s, a bookshop close to where I work, and I made a beeline for the cookery section. No surprise there, really, as I always find solace in cooking and baking. Several cookbooks were on sale, and it was a no-brainer when I decided to make The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook the latest addition to my growing family of recipe books. I have tried cupcakes from the bakery along Portobello Road, thanks to our lovely friends who would bring us some, and they are very, very good indeed. To this day, the cookbook has served me well.

Red velvet cupcakes

Red velvet cupcakes

I made the red velvet cupcakes on three occasions, once for my colleagues, once for M’s, and once for our own comfort stash; all three batches turned out well, no glitches, no nothing, just good, light, moist, chocolatey cupcakes with highly addictive cream cheese frosting.

Red velvet cupcakes

Red velvet cupcakes

I have to admit that I was a little scared when I saw how red the cupcakes turned out. But there was something very alluring about the way they looked, maybe it’s just me developing some kind of vampire tendencies for blood-red stuff. Anyhow, the deep red crumbs looked perfect and inviting next to the white cream cheese frosting.

Here’s the recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook:

Cupcakes

60g unsalted butter, room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 egg
10g cocoa powder
20ml red food colouring (preferably Dr Oetker red food colouring)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
120ml buttermilk
150g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 and 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 quantity  cream cheese frosting (see below)
12-hole cupcake tray lined with muffin paper cases

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

2. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer with paddle attachment or handheld electric whisk on medium speed till light and fluffy and well mixed.

3. On high speed, slowly add egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.

4. In a separate bowl, mix cocoa powder, vanilla extract and food colouring to make a thick dark paste. Add this to butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined. Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well mixed, add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. repeat this process until all buttermilk and flour have been added. Turn mixer up to high speed and beat until you have smooth even mixture. On slow speed, add salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. beat until well mixed, turn up speed and beat for couple more minutes.

5. Spoon mixture into paper cases until 2/3 full, bake in preheated oven for 20-25min or until sponge bounces back when touched. Skewer inserted in centre should come out clean. Leave cupcakes to cool slightly in tray before turning them out onto cooling rack to cool completely, then frost them with cream cheese frosting.

Cream cheese frosting

300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold

1. Beat icing sugar and butter together on medium slow speed until mixture comes together and is well mixed.

2. Add cream cheese all at one go and beat till completely incorporated. Turn mixer up to medium high speed and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, for at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat as it can become runny.

Note: I would advise adding the icing sugar in portions depending on how sweet you like your frosting. Do remember that the less sugar you add, the more runny the frosting will be, so it will get more difficult to pipe the frosting when you’re done. Also, it’s best to eat the cupcakes within two days of baking them, and do remember to store them at room temperature if you can (as long as the frosting doesn’t melt!), putting them in the fridge or leaving them lying around for too long dries them out.

Enjoy!

Check out what I have been baking in my own kitchen.

Also check out my other food adventures.

Cheesecake Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting

Cheesecake cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting

These gems are the first cupcakes that I ever made a) in my life and b) when we were all settled down in London after the big move. I baked for quite a bit before moving to London, but having a kitchen of my own and a competent oven made me want to try out all sorts of recipes. My baking frenzy started after making these cupcakes because they look cute, taste yummy and are great ways to entertain when we host dinner parties. I also have a willing and self-sacrificial husband who is always happy to lend his tastebuds to all my (edible and inedible) creations. Bless him.

I took the recipe off a website that I can’t quite remember now, and tweaked it to make it work in my kitchen. If you love cheesecakes, these are a great way to have portions of it with mmmmmm…frosting! I don’t like my frosting to be too sweet, so the consistency is more spreadable than stiff. If you want to make the cupcakes look a little more well-decorated, you can add more icing sugar to whip the frosting into a stiffer texture, or add strawberries on top if you don’t like your frosting to be too sweet. Tint your frosting with colour of your choice, I chose yellow because I think it appears more edible than garish green or toxic blue!

You will need:

A. For the bottom/cake portion of the cupcake

1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
1 cup white caster sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I actually used vanilla bean paste which is thicker in consistency and stuffed full of vanilla seeds)
1/2 cup double cream

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Sift flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl.

3. Beat eggs and sugar in large bowl at high speed for 3-4 minutes till mixture doubles in volume and looks pale. Reduce the speed on the mixer and add in vanilla extract and butter.

4. Fold in dry ingredients (sifted in step 1) to egg mixture, followed by double cream till mixture is smooth.

5. Divide batter into 12 equal portions in a cupcake tin lined with baking cases (1 heaped tablespoon per case).

B. For the middle/cheesecake portion of the cupcake

400g Philadelphia full-fat soft cheese (at room temperature)
1/2 cup white caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Beat ingredients together till smooth and thick. Spoon 1 tablespoon onto top of each baking cases (which are now already filled with A).

C. For the top/digestive-crust portion of the cupcake

1. Lightly crush 10 pieces of digestive biscuits. Personally, I fill a ziploc bag up with the biscuits, seal it up and bash my day’s frustrations away with a roller pin. Do it until they resemble finely chopped nuts. Top each cupcake with crushed biscuits.

2. After assembling the 3 layers (A, B, C) of the cupcakes, bake them in the preheated oven for 40 minutes (original recipe says 22-25 minutes but mine turned out to be very undercooked, so test the baking time with your own oven) or until corners are golden and centers are done (insert skewer into the middle of a cupcake, skewer should come out clean). Remove cupcakes from cupcake tin and cool on wire rack completely before frosting.

D. Now the fun part – Frosting!

200g Philadelphia full-fat soft cheese, cold, not softened like in B
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
2 or 2 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted twice (I used 2 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Yellow food colouring (colour is up to you)
Small strawberries (optional)

1. Beat cheese and vanilla together until blended.

2. Add 1/3 cup of sugar at a time and beat the mixture until smooth. Add lemon juice and zest and beat mixture until smooth and stiff (stiffness will depend on amount of sugar you add, like I said, I don’t like mine too sweet but compromising on sweetness will change the consistency of the frosting, so play around with yours). Do not overbeat as frosting will become too runny.

3. Add 1 drop of colouring at a time to the frosting and mix well. Continue adding the colouring until you’re happy with the colour but not so much that the frosting tastes bitter!

4. Frost!

5. Top each cupcake off with a small strawberry (you can clean them by using a wet tissue to gently wipe them, if you wash them under running water, the wet strawberries will stain the frosting).

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes. Spread the love!

Check out what I have been baking in my own kitchen.

Also check out my other food adventures.