Is it possible? CNY cupcakes!

CNY (Chinese New Year) is just a few short weeks away. For me, it is a time spent with my family and it’s always a big once in a year gathering of relatives from the extended family. When I was a kid, it was great! I liked CNY. I got new clothes, new shoes, I received ang bao (red packets) from my many many uncles and aunties and I got the chance to pig out on any tibits, snacks, sweet drinks and best of all my parents can’t reprimand me for that. :P

Now that I’ve grown older and married, it’s those time of the year where it’s my turn to give out red packets to my many many cousins and younger relatives. And armed with too much knowledge of “how much calories are in these pineapple tarts & prawn rolls”.  Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy spending the festive CNY season, being chinese it is part of me and my culture. It is after all a festive season of eating, drinking, and enjoying time with the family & even extended families.

I was wracking my head for ideas and inspiration for CNY cupcakes and I got nothing at first. But a big THANK YOU!! for sharing with me all of your creative ideas. Here, I am going to share 2 CNY inspired recipes that I feel has the flavors of CNY in a cupcake-using my R Little Cakebox cupcake baking mix. That makes it so easy to bake for CNY baking.

all 2 CNY flavors

THE FIRST:

A mandarin orange and pineapple cupcake topped with an orange cream cheese frosting. 

Using Mandarin oranges and pineapples, which can be found abundantly almost everywhere during these CNY festive season as they are considered traditional symbols of abundance and good fortune.

SECOND:

matcha cupcake in halfA Matcha cupcake with RED bean filling topped with a simple whipped cream and dusting of matcha powder.  Matcha and Red bean are both japanese ingredients, but red bean is also commonly found in a lot of chinese pastries, plus the colour red is also quite auspicious. (AND I love red bean!)

The matcha (green tea powder) in the cupcake tones down the sweetness level, the slight bitterness of the green tea powder goes in harmony with the sweet azuki red bean paste filling. Topped with a light and airy whipped cream (that is so simply to make).

mandarin & pineapple cupcake

Mandarin & pineapple cupcake with orange cream cheese frosting

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 R Little Cakebox Vanilla cupcake mix
  • Zest of 2 mandarins or 1 large orange
  • 2 pieces of dried candied mandarin (diced into cubes)
  • 10 pieces of dried pineapple (diced into cubes)
  • 150g melted butter
  • 75ml (1/3 cup) milk
  • 75ml (1/3 cup) water
  • 2 large eggs

 

Frosting ingredients

  • 150gram cream cheese
  • 150grams unsalted butter
  • 120grams icing sugar
  • juice of half a small mandarin orange
  • Zest of 1 large orange

 

Recipe:

  1. mix melted butter, milk, water, eggs and vanilla cupcake mix and whisk until mixture is smooth with no visible lumps.
  2. add in all of the zest, dried pineapple and mandarin cubes into cupcake batter and mix
  3. fill cupcake liners with cupcake batter up to 2/3 full and bake for 25-30 mins, or until when a toothpick is inserted it comes out clean with no crumbs.

Frosting:

  1. using a electric beater, whip the cream cheese and butter until it is whipped  and lighter in colour.
  2. add in the orange zest, mandarin juice & icing sugar and whipped until mixed and well combined. (frosting is ready!)

 

Matcha & Red bean cupcakes with whipped cream

 

matcha & redbean cupcake

Ingredients needed:


  • 1 R Little Cakebox Vanilla cupcake mix
  • 2 teaspoon of matcha (green tea) powder
  • 1 can (125g) Azuki red bean paste
  • 150g melted butter
  • 75ml (1/3 cup) milk
  • 75ml (1/3 cup) water
  • 2 large eggs

 

Frosting ingredients

  • 250ml (1 cup) whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoon of white sugar
  • dusting of matcha powder

 

Recipe:

  1. mix melted butter, milk, water, eggs and vanilla cupcake mix and whisk until mixture is smooth with no visible lumps.
  2. add the matcha (green tea) powder into cupcake batter and mix
  3. fill cupcake liners with cupcake batter up to 2/3 full and bake for 25-30 mins, or until when a toothpick is inserted it comes out clean with no crumbs.
  4. when they are baked and cooled, cut a small hole in the centre of the cupcake (using a small spoon, or knife)
  5. Fill the hole in the cupcakes with the red (azuki) bean paste.

 

red bean paste        hole in matcha cupcake red bean filling in cupcake

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frosting:

  1. using an electric mixer, whip the cooled whipped cream & sugar until it is firm (you can see a peak when you lift up the beaters)
  2. Be careful not to over mix then whipped cream, that’s when you have to start over again.
  3. chill the whipped cream in the fridge for at least 3o mins to firm up before using. 

 

Hope you find these recipes useful for your CNY (Chinese new year) holidays!! It goes to show with a little bit of creativity, you can turn the basic flavors into something complex with just a few additions.

Happy baking. :)