Cupcake fever for Christmas

Since I only have Dinosaur-ovenTM to use in our KL apartment, my friend K, offered to let me use her oven in her apartment. Luckily she only lives up the road.

Thus started our baking December project for Christmas. It was fun having someone to bake together, although half her time was chasing after her little daughter (super cute!).

So here are the cupcakes we baked.

First was the red velvet , using beetroot and also the food colour version. We used Hummingbird bakery‚Äôs recipe, and then modified it for the beetroot version. The taste of both cupcakes were good. Honestly, we couldn’t tell the difference in the cupcakes except for the colour. As you can see, the one using beetroot is not brownish-red, as the baking process discolours the pigment of the beetroot.

Whereas the one with lots of red food colour is bright red.

Cutting up beetroot is a bit of a pain though, but not having to use so much artificial red food colouring may be a better choice for some.

Here’s the recipe for the beetroot version of the red velvet cupcake (makes about 12-15 small cupcakes):

60 g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

1 egg

10g cocoa powder

3 tbsp beetroot puree

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

100ml buttermilk

150g plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar


1. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, slowly add the egg and mix until well incorporated.

2. In a separate bowl, mix beetroot puree, vanilla extract and cocoa powder together until smooth. Add this into the butter mixture and mix throughly.

3. slowly combine the buttermilk and flour into the mixture alternatively in 3 parts.

4. Add salt, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar and beat until well mixed. Let th mixture stand for 10 minutes before spooning into paper cases.

5. Bake the cupcakes at 170 degrees C for about 20 minutes. Cakes are done when the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed. You can also test by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean it is done. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the tray then cool completely on a wire rack. Ice it with some cream cheese frosting (see that Hummingbird Bakery’s recipe for the icing).

The second cupcake is from Sweetapolita’s dark chocolate cupcakes. I then used some strawberry swiss meringue buttercream icing to make them poinsettia-like. The little balls are marzipan delicately rolled by K. The green icing is matcha flavoured swiss buttercream icing (see below for recipe).

It was kinda tough piping out the icing because I FORGOT that the strawberry seeds in the icing could block the nozzle of the leaf tip. Bleh.

The final cupcake we made then was the Xmas tree cupcake.

It is basically lemon-vanilla cupcake with matcha icing. The star is made of marzipan which I painstakingly shaped and K painted on some gold lustre dust.

Recipe for Xmas Tree Cupcake (makes about 24 small cupcakes):

For the cake

110 g unsalted butter

100g granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

zest of 1 lemon

1 tbsp of lemon juice

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

50 ml milk

For the Matcha icing

3 large egg whites

120g granulated sugar

250 g unsalted butter, cubed

pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

10 g matcha powder

green food colour (optional)

1. In a clean steel bowl, whisk egg whites and sugar over simmering water. When all the sugar is dissolved by the warmed egg whites, remove from stove and beat with an electric mixer until you get smooth glossy meringue.

2. When the meringue is cooled and you get stiff meringue peaks, add in butter a cube at a time and beat until icing becomes smooth.

3. add vanilla extract, salt and matcha powder and beat until smooth. Add some green food colouring to get the desired green shade for your trees.

4. to decorate, use a star tip nozzle and ice cake in a spiral motion. Sprinkle some coloured sugar balls and add a gold marzipan star on top. done.

OK, that’s all for today. It is Christmas eve now and there are lots to do for our Christmas party yet. Happy holidays everybody!