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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Cappucino Cupcakes


Now, I'm not a huge coffee fan. But I know people who must have that stuff. A cup in the morning and another cup in the afternoon. Well, to each his own, I suppose but that doesn't stop me from loving the smell of coffee. It's just so... comforting. And what I definitely like is a touch of coffee with any chocolatey dessert. It just adds that extra oomph! You know? :D Anyway. When I saw these adorable cupcakes, I thought they would be perfect for a family occasion (apologies, this is a very very backdated post). So here we go!

What you need:
150g butter, room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
2 shots (60 mL) espresso
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dutch-process cocoa powder

For the espresso syrup:
3 shots (90 mL espresso)
1/4 cup sugar

For the vanilla buttercream:
100g butter, room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk

extta cocoa powder for dusting and chocolate wafers, for decoration

What you do:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a 12-cupcake pan with cupcake liners of your choice. I decided to go all fancy and use the stiff cardboard cupcake liners. They so cute!
  2. In a bowl, beat butter for a few minutes until it begins to pale. Add sugar and eggs, one at a time. Beat until fluffy.
  3. Add flour, espresso, milk, vanilla and cocoa powder and beat until combined and light.
  4. Divide mixture between your cupcake liners. They should be around 3/4 full. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are springy to touch.
  5. While the cupcakes are baking in a small saucepan combine your espresso and sugar. Allow to boil and leave on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes without stirring until the mixture thickens to a syrup. Be wary of leaving it too long or it will become toffee.
  6. As soon as your cupcakes are removed from the oven lightly prick them a few times with a fork and spoon your espresso syrups over the tops. This will take a few scoops as you must allow the syrup to slowly seep into the cake before the next. Allow to cool.
  7. To prepare the vanilla buttercream beat the butter and icing sugar until just beginning to combine. Add the vanilla and slowly add milk until you reach the desired texture.
  8. To assemble: prepare a piping bag and carefully ice your cupcakes. There’s no need to apply too much as the cupcakes are already quite sweet; we want to create a nice base to replicate the froth of a cappuccino. Lightly dust with additional cocoa and adorn with wafers or any other relevant candies of your choosing.

Lookit! Are they not gorgeous?? But... okay, I have a confession. I had a few problems while making them. :(

First of all, the espresso syrup. I could not get hold of any "proper" espresso so I tried to make do with just a plain coffee syrup. Not being very experienced with making coffee, I just added as much coffee powder as I dared. So when I tried the first cupcake (with some trepidation, I might add) it was a bit too much coffee for me. Much too bitter (although sweet too, but the coffee flavour was definitely dominant). Definitely not the mocha flavour that I am used to!

After that, I was pretty depressed, thinking I had ruined a whole batch of cupcakes. And for a family occasion too! Where I had to serve them, there was no other way to get rid of them. So serve them I must.

But, in a delightful surprise, people actually liked them! Correction, coffee loving people loved them. It's basically coffee in dessert form. Phew! Watch out for the children though. Although this looks like a kid-friendly dessert what with the chocolate wafer and vanilla icing, this is definitely one for the adults. Don't touch if you're not a coffee fan. :P

So sadly, I can't tell you that I loved this recipe. What I can tell you though, is that other people loved it. And usually, that's more than good enough. :)

Quote of the day: No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee's frothy goodness.


  1. Hi Ihsan, would you happen to know where I can get Vanilla extract in Brunei? I've been to supasave, hua ho, 1st emporium and le apple. None have it. kindly advise? thanks.

  2. Hi Audrey :)

    I've never had any problem with getting vanilla in Brunei. Well, they sell it as Vanilla Essence, which sadly, is artificial flavouring. The problem with 'real" vanilla extract is that its extracted with alcohol, which means its not likely to be sold in Brunei. If you don't want to use vanilla essence, you could try to use the seeds of a vanilla bean (depending on what you want it for, obviously). I also remember Hua Ho sellling a powdered form of vanilla flavouring, should be found elsewhere as well. Am not sure if that's natural or artificial, but you could have a look and see. :)

    Hope this helps!

  3. delicious !!!

  4. Omg Ihsan-
    I love your blog. I can spend ages on here, reading your wonderful discription of the recipes :)
    Love x

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  6. WoW! Looks very luscious.. I wanna try it.=D

  7. This recipe looks great and I’m definitely going to try it. 

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