I wanted to bake some easy cakes that you do not have to end up eating a lot, and it doesn’t turn out like “huat kueh” (Chinese cake that is dense and has large air spaces). So I went on to search for cupcakes recipes. Small and moist enough? I am sometimes impatient to mix my batter well :p. When that happens, large air spaces and a denser texture results, I realised. It is also important to add in sifted flour in batches rather than at a go. You simply can’t mix it well without over-stretching the batter and causing too much gluten to form.
This recipe is adapted from Alan Ooi’s “I Love Cakes” cookbook, Walnut Coffee Cupcakes by Seashore publishing. I realised that Seashore publish a lot of nice and easy recipe books. I’m a little crazy over their books now. Alan Ooi is one of my to-follow cooks as I have tried a few of his recipes and it turned out really well. He is well known for baking cakes, pastries, and one of the youngest chefs in the Seashore publishing authors. He started baking at 14. Wow..
This cake is very easy, using the blending method, no machines, just ensure that everything is well mixed – otherwise end up with huat kueh lol.. (I did not mix well but luckily it turned out ok)
Sugar does not dissolve in the little amounts of water available in melted butter. Just too much sugar.. Neither does the coffee granules dissolve. Not even with heat. I could have left the coffee that way but rather than surprising people with bitter coffee, I smashed the coffee granules in an attempt to “dissolve it”.
With heat and smashing, the coffee granules are more “dissolved”.
Add beaten eggs. I beat the eggs first just to ensure better mixing and prevent the egg from solidifying (butter is still slightly on the warm side). I do not want poached eggs in my batter. Mix fast to prevent that.
Mix in sifted flour. Ensure it is well-mixed to prevent lumps of unmixed flour in the batter.
Mini muffin cases. Reduce cooking time by half as a guide line and keep an eye on it.
The colour is lighter than large cupcakes but inner is cooked.
Improper mixing, hence large air spaces. (Was quite late already.) But still fluffy.. Therefore, anyone can bake this with decent outcome.
- 180g flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 165g melted butter
- 150g sugar
- 1 tsp freeze-dried coffee granules (Moccona)
- Melt butter. Stir in sugar and coffee granules. Mix well. Leave to cool.
- Preheat oven to 180oC. Prepare muffin cases.
- Sift flour and baking powder.
- Slightly beat the eggs and add to butter mixture. Mix well.
- Add sifted flour mixture to batter. Mix well.
- Fill muffin cases 80% full. Bake for 20 minutes. (13.5 min for mini muffin cases)
- Changes made:
- Coffee granules added to hot butter instead of coffee powder mixed with flour.
- Sugar reduced from 200g. 75% of original.
- Mixed sugar and coffee into hot butter over the stove, hoping it would dissolve instead of mixing sugar into butter after cooling.
- No walnuts at home, hence omitted.
- Not into cupcake frosting, hence omitted
- Coffee granules are not a good substitute. It does not really “dissolve” in the minute amount of water in melted butter. Some mechanical manipulation with two spoons required.
- That amount of sugar does not dissolve in melted butter, or with heat. I feared the sugar would start to caramelize so did not bother to mix till dissolve. Doubt it will too.
- Next time, mix coffee powder with flour. Mix sugar with cooled melted butter.
- Silicon muffin mould often always results in hard bottoms. Not sure is it different with greasing or lining with paper.
- Do not add flour in a lump. Add in batches and ensure it is well mixed to avoid lumps of flour in batter.
- Could add some vanilla extract for fragrance.
- My oven is on the hot side, so I chose to bake 20 minutes. 20-25 minutes is the recommended time. 20 minutes result in very dark coloured cupcakes (looks overbaked) but lesser than that, the fork comes out with batter. (uncooked)
- Reduced sugar works fine for me. Overall, very good and easy recipe.