Fortune Cookie Red Velvet Cupcakes

Sunday, 18 August 2013

When you think cupcake, you picture a perfectly domed little cake, with a little swirl of icing on the top, and maybe some sprinkles. Yes? (Just imagine what you’d draw in Pictionary)
So for all of my baking life, all my cupcakes have had domed tops (except when I use stand-alone cupcake liners) and that was never a problem.

Last weekend was Sharon’s 21st. The theme was Asian Oriental, and I was put on cupcake duty. After lots and lots of research (scrolling through millions of pins) we decided that we’d just have a red velvet cupcake, white icing, and a fortune cookie on top. (On a completely irrelevant topic, did you know that fortune cookies were invented in America and are not sold in China? Crazy!)

Here are some party snaps.
The birthday girl:

Pretty lantern lights:

Thousands of paper cranes:

The cranes were used as a photobooth backdrop:


Cocktails in pretty jars:

The left is a Mint & Lychee Spritzer with lychees, strawberries, vodka, champagne, sugar syrup, and Agrum. The jar on the right was a delicious punch with strawberries, raspberries, oranges, lemons, orange juice, lemonade, and sparkling wine.

I made these cute little cocktail stirrers to put in the drinks, but we forgot them until the very end. Whoops!

Washi tape flags:

Ribbon flags:

Crepe paper streamers:

Back to the cupcakes.. I needed a flat cupcake so that I could ice it and then stick the fortune cookie on top of the icing. I didn’t think a domed top would hold a fortune cookie. Anyway, the first thing I did was google flat topped cupcakes. Someone said to reduce the oven temperature by 15 degrees, someone else said to use an ice cream scoop (which I think is ¼ cup.. which is what I used in any case) when filling the patty cases. So I did that.  

Yeah, not very nice. It still domed in the middle, the texture looks all funny, and the cupcakes are tiny!
I just put icing on them anyway and we served them (hidden in the middle).

Round two. I found this recipe on Pinterest, which worked perfectly. I was a little bit iffy about using a boxed cake mix, but I thought I’d try it anyway. Glad I did – the texture was perfect, they rose perfectly and evenly (don’t know how, but it’s amazing and I love it) and they were super fluffy and delicious.

So I made the cupcakes, topped them with some deliciously fluffy, light, cream cheese buttercream. Then plopped a fortune cookie (bought from a Chinese restaurant - 300 for $40!) on top. How cute are they?

Flat Topped Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes 72 cupcakes (I needed to make heaps so I tripled the recipe and added some extra stuff!)
  • 3 boxes vanilla cake mix (I used White Wings Butter Cake, but it really doesn’t matter, I just grabbed whatever was on sale)
  • 3 cups plain flour
  •  2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (.. I ran out of white sugar (yes, I’m not a very organized baker) so you can use 3 cups white sugar if you like of course!)
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 eggs at room temperature
  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder (I only had 2 tbsp left so I used 1 tbsp of Milo! It worked well. If I didn’t have cocoa powder I would probably just use Milo!)
  • 3 tbsp red food colouring
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  1. Heat oven to 165C and prepare cupcake tins. (I have 3 so I just did 3 lots twice in the oven)
  2. Whisk together cake mix, flour and sugars until combined. 
  3. Add the eggs, water, vanilla and cream cheese and beat until combined. (I like this recipe because you don’t need to cream any butter and sugar!)
  4. Make a paste with the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vinegar. Add into the batter and beat until it’s all mixed in.
  5. Spoon ¼ cup of batter into cupcake liners, bake for 15 minutes, watching carefully.
  6. Cool and ice!
Vanilla Cream Cheese Buttercream
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 525g sugar
  • 135g water
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 240 g butter, room temperature, in small bits
  • 480 g cream cheese, softened, in small bits
  1. In a stand mixer, beat the eggs and yolks on high speed.
  2. Meanwhile, put the sugar and water into a saucepan and stir to combine. Put in a candy thermometer, and bring to the boil until it reaches 120C.
  3. At this point, the eggs should be super light and fluffy. Turn it to the lowest setting, and while it’s still beating, slowly and carefully pour the sugar syrup into the bowl. You want the syrup to land in between the beaters and the side of the bowl, so that the hot syrup doesn’t touch either of them and stick. Be very careful with this and go slowly.
  4. Increase speed to high and keep beating until the mixture has cooled – the bowl should be cold to touch and there should not be any steam coming from the icing.
  5. On medium speed, add in butter and cream cheese in little bits, beating well between each addition so that everything is well incorporated. Add in the vanilla, then increase speed to high. The buttercream should be very light, smooth and fluffy – it’ll take up to 10 minutes of beating to get to this stage.
  6. Fill a piping bag and pipe onto cupcakes.

A blurry Instagram with lit sparklers:

I'm so sorry that I haven't posted for such a long time - I got back home three weeks ago and have so many photos to sift through! But don't worry, you'll see much more of me (and my Europe photos!) very soon (:

Thanks again for reading everyone!
Much love,
gee xx


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