April 07, 2008

Coffee Cupcakes from Singapore

Amrita, my little friend in Singapore, sends me a great recipe for making coffee cupcakes, secretly. Once emailed, I immediately run to my kitchen and do it. Why? Because I love coffee. I love the aroma of it, the taste of it, the strength of it. Although, I have to limit to one cup a day, that is one too many, making these cupcakes are the best excuse to enjoy coffee another way.

I could not find any difficulties in doing these little cakes. I only have to reduce the sugar to a certain amount considered 'safe' for my sugar-level, didn't use the salt, and used 3 eggs, instead of the amount of eggs Amrita suggests on her recipe. I also have to use half unsalted butter and half salted butter. Salted butter makes the sponge too salty to my taste, therefore, I don't use it much in baking cakes. The additional flavour I add is ground cinnamon. I love the aroma of coffee blended with the scent of cinnamon. Sensational!

Amrita uses 17 cupcake holes but I used 6 Texas muffin holes, 6 mini muffin holes, and 12 medium muffin holes. I don't have suitable liners for the medium muffin tins and I think greasing and flouring them will do the trick. It did! For the 12 medium cupcakes, I sprinkle some finely chopped dark chocolate on top. I want to see how it will go with coffee and cinnamon.

Making French coffee icing really worths the effort. This custard-like buttercream is the perfect match for the delicate cake. Puuurrrrfect! It seems that Amrita weighs everything just in right balance that makes a perfect buttercream with damn beautiful consistency. I love it! I really recommend this recipe to be used for adult cupcake-birthday-cake. Perhaps you can play around with some coffee liqueur, Kahlua or Tia Maria? However, I can't post her recipe here because she runs cupcakes business and this is one of her 'secret' success!

Now, because Amrita can't share with us that recipe and I still am wanting a coffee cupcake, I then remember Nigel has one recipe of old-fashioned coffee walnut cake. My mum-in-law recognizes is as the English old-fashioned coffee walnut cake as she's held the similar recipe from generations. We both enjoyed coffee cake and I determine to revisit it again. I brought some slices of the cake when we had a day out in Tauranga. It was really nice with a cup of coffee while breathing the fresh air and viewing beautiful scenery.

coffee cupcake

This is one of the view. You can see the poles of the swinging bridge there. This historical location is called Karangahake reserve park. This river used to be the greatest place for the goldminers in New Zealand back in 1875. You can find useful information (just in case you haven't been here and for you from overseas who are keen on traveling to New Zealand) on Explore Karangahake Gorge New Zealand.

Coffee and Walnut Cake

Source: Nigel Slater. The Kitchen Diaries. p. 355-356.

First time made this cake was months ago when I was trying out the recipe. I just followed the instruction without reducing anything. This time, I have to reduce the sugar because the cake is going to be iced with buttercream (which is sweet!). I can't eat cake with too much sugar, will give me a headache afterwards and hurt my stomach. However, you can still use the whole lot if it's alright with you. In this picture, I am using French coffee icing that Amrita sends me. It gives great consistency and it tastes even better although it's fridged for a day or two. I add 1 tsp ground cinnamon to the flour.

175g butter,
175g golden caster sugar (I used 125g only),
175g self-rising flour,
3 large eggs, lightly beaten,
1 tsp baking powder,
2 tsp instant coffee granules,
65g walnut pieces, chopped,
1 Tbs boiling water (I replaced it to hot milk)


200g butter,
400g icing sugar,
2 tsp instant coffee granules,
60g walnut pieces

Beat the butter until pale then add in the icing sugar. Continue beating until smooth and creamy. Stir a tablespoon of boiling water into the coffee granules, and mix into the butter cream. Fold in the walnut pieces.

(Iam using the French coffee icing, so I have a different procedure and I don't fold in walnut pieces in. I just sprinkle the pieces on top of the cake).

Preheat the oven to 180C. Prepare two 20cm loose-bottom round cake tins and lined. Beat the butter and sugar until light, pale and fluffy with an electric mixer. Add in the beaten eggs gradually at a time, beating well. Mix the flour and baking powder (plus cinnamon if using) and fold into the butter mixture gently with a metal spoon. Pour in the dissolved coffee. Mix well. Add in the chopped walnuts. Mix carefully.

Divide the batter between the two tins, smooth the top lightly and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cooled, put one cake upside down, spread with the buttercream, then put the other cake on top and spread the remaining icing on top and the sides of the cake. Serves 8-10.


Grace said...

i don't think it's possible for me to have too much sugar. even if it were, sometimes a headache is a small price to pay for such deliciousness. :)

Deborah said...

I'm not a coffee fan, but your photos are beautiful!

eliza said...

though i don't drink coffee but i like coffee-flavored baked goods, your cake just fits my needs :)

AYE Admin said...

Mmmm... another beautiful post! And that picture! Wow! My brother is visiting NZ right now and I am so jealous. Oh, someday, I hope!

Anyway, I wanted to tell you congrats on your DMBLGIT award (completely deserved!!) and that I've given you another award. Go check it out at


Chris said...

Holy Moly! This is a coffee lover's dream! I know someone who will love it if I make this!

LyB said...

Wow, those look good! And you can count me as a coffee lover too! :)

Arfi Binsted said...

Grace: hehehe... well it's the temptation which is realllly hard to ignore, isn't it?

Deborah: thanks :D

Eliza: that's good to hear!

Holly: oh, I hope he's having a great trip in New Zealand.

Chris: that someone will give you a great prize, Chris! hehehe

Lynn: Hey! Make a toast!