♥ Age: 21
♥ Location: Knoxville, Tennessee (UTK represent!)
♥ Your cupcake history: I've always enjoyed baking and started doing cupcakes regularly about six months ago. Initially, I baked with heavily-modded/doctored store-bought mixes and experimented with homemade frostings. I have recently begun baking cupcakes and cakes completely from scratch and am having more fun than ever.
♥ Why you like cupcakes: They're extremely versatile when it comes to decorating; no two cupcakes need be exactly alike. They also aren't as overpowering or messy to eat as cake (of course, I still love cake).
♥ Anything to share?: Yep! A recipe - Tapioca Pudding Cupcakes w/Red Bean Whipped Cream Frosting.
For Valentine's Day this year, I decided to bake something for my boyfriend J was unorthodox yet still fit the Valentine color pallet of red/pink/purple/and such. My brainstorming session led me to the Far East. One of J's (and mine, too) favorite Asian sweets is red bean, and a favorite beverage of his (and again, mine, too) is bubble tea. I wasn't able to concoct any tea-based cake recipes at the time (although I do have a milk tea and a matcha recipe now that I am definitely going to try later), so I settled for a tapioca pudding cake recipe with red bean frosting.
I think I managed to totally outdo myself. These are, bar none, some of the most eccentric cupcakes I've ever tried, let alone made but, man, if they aren't amazingly delicious...
(Yes, I wrote our names in frosting. I'm cheesy like that.)
For being my first attempt at baking something completely from scratch (like I said, until recently have I not ventured beyond store-bought mixes with the living daylights modded out of them), these came out absolutely perfect. The cupcakes have a lush milky taste, and the frosting melts in the mouth with a tasty red bean kick.
I snagged these adorable cupcake liners, along with the sprinkles and pearls, from The Baker's Confections on Etsy. I got pink to match the frosting color (and to annoy my boyfriend just a bit... heh!) and brown.
Needless to say, J (and I, and my roommates, and several friends) was astounded by them. They were gone within the day.
Without further ado, onto the recipe - presented in APA format! (I'm a Psychology major and have made a silly habit of organizing my recipes in appropriate scientific format.)
Tapioca Pudding Cupcakes
This recipe makes 24-30 regular-sized cupcakes.
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla extract
3 cup of flour
3 tsp of baking powder
1/4 tsp of salt
1 1/2 cups of prepared tapioca pudding
1-2 whisks or electric mixer
2 large mixing bowls (3 including frosting)
In a large mixing bowl (trust me, you'll need a big one), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs no more than two at a time, beating after each addition.
Add the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, thoroughly whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Alternately add the flour mixture and the pudding to the butter/sugar, ending on the flour mixture. You may or may not need all of the flour (I got down to about 1/2 a cup of flour remaining and the mixture was pretty thick).
Fill cupcake liners no more than 3/4 full; any higher may cause the center of the cupcakes to collapse. I use a large tablespoon or ice cream scoop to get the mixture into the liner cups, and dip the spoon in warm water between scoops to keep the mixture from sticking to it.
Bake at 350 F for about 23-25 minutes, or until cupcakes bounce back when touched. Another way to check if they are ready is the clean knife method: insert a knife into one of the center cupcakes; if the knife pulls out clean, they are ready.
Red Bean Whipped Cream Frosting
5 tbsp of Red Bean Paste (I used canned red bean paste purchased from a local Asian supermarket)
4 tbsp of confectioner's sugar
1-1/2 cup of whipping cream
1 large mixing bowl
Whisk or electric mixer (mixer is easier but whisk works just as well)
Frosting funnel for decorating (optional)
Whip the cream for 1 minute. Add in the confectioner's sugar and continue to whip until soft in texture.
With the beater still on, slowly spoon in the red bean paste and beat until mixed, another 3 to 4 minutes on medium speed.
Refrigerate until ready to use and cupcakes are cooled (this icing melts VERY easily).