Friday 13 June 2014

Speak, my Lord

Even though most cupcakes are too sweet for my liking, I feel happy looking at them.  They are just too pretty. Swirls, sprinkles and toppers, I love them all.

These cupcakes make me the happiest woman for the day. They are not only nicely piped, they are so good to eat too.  Pandan Cupcakes with Gula Melaka frosting, that's a great combination of flavours! So uniquely local too.

Having adjusted both sugars in the cake and frosting, these are not cloyingly sweet at all. The moistness in the cakes is not compromised. The Swiss Meringue is also velvety smooth, and best of all they can withstand the sweltering heat. I baked these to bring to J's dinner party, anticipating the dinner will be Malay/Indonesian food cooked by her wonderful helper.

The Pandan cupcakes are made of natural pandan, no artificial coloring or essence. I am surprised that the green is much deeper than usual, and think it could probably due to the colour and freshness of the pandanus leaves and the concentrated extract which I have left much longer in the fridge too.

The Swiss meringue is whisked with brown sugar instead of white. It is not a deliberate attempt to change the taste but I have no white sugar left. The caramelized gula melaka is the jewel in the crown. Burnt rich butterscotch like taste, gula melaka is a perfect partner for any coconut milk based dessert. I shall make it even more intense if I'm making this frosting again.

Pandan Cupcake with Gula Melaka Frosting
Bitter sweet spicy
Makes 12


200g flour
1/2 tsp double acting baking powder
125 unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp salt
200g castor sugar (170g)
2 large eggs, at room temp
75g coconut milk + 25g water(pandan extract )
2 tablespoons pandan juice
Green colouring


  • Preheat oven to 180C.  Line muffin pan with cupcake liner or, if using cupcake papeer cups, place cups onto a baking pan.
  • Combine flour and baking powder. Sift and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, on medium speed of an electric mixer, combine butter, vanilla and salt. Cream until smooth.
  • Add sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the coconut milk. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, taking care not to over beat.
  • Fill paper cups or muffin pan with batter, 3/4 full.
  • Place baking or muffin pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.
  • Cool cakes completely on a  wire rack before icing.

Gula Melaka Swiss meringue buttercream frosting

50g (80g gula melaka,) crushed
2 pandan leaves, torn lengthwise and tied a knot 
1/8 cup water (2 tablespoons water)

3 large egg whites
110g granulated sugar (30g sugar)
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature (cold)
1 tsp vanilla paste
pinch of salt


  • To prepare gula melaka caramel, combine water, gula melaka and daun pandan in a heavy based saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until all the sugar has melted.Then continue  heating up the syrup and let it reduce slightly, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, strain and leave aside to cool completely to room temperature. The caramel will thicken as it cools. If it becomes to thick,thin out with a little bit of water before using.
  • Combine egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk frequently, keeping it over the heat, until the mixture reaches about 70C and the sugar has dissolved (rub some between your fingers - if it feels grainy, it hasn't dissolved).
  • Transfer the mixture to a mixer with a whisk attached and beat on medium high for about 5 minutes, until stiff peaks have formed and the mixture has cooled to room temperature.
  • Turn down the speed to medium and start adding small chunks of butte,checking that it has incorporated before adding more. Keep beating until the mixture comes together,this will take about 5 minutes.
  • With the mixer running, add in the gula melaka caramel, one teaspoon at a time,beating until well combined between each addition. 

This post is linked LTU 'Butter' hosted by Jozelyn from Spice Up My Kitchen, organised by  Zoe from
Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY.

"Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed," he said. "Peace! Be strong now; be strong." When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, "Speak,my Lord, since you have given me strength." Daniel 10:19


  1. Hi Lian,
    These cupcakes are so beautifully made. Indeed pandan and gula melaka are great combo. Thanks for sharing this to LTU!

    1. Hi Doreen, Yes, it is perfect combo. Love the flavour.

  2. Your cupcakes are beautiful!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Linda.

  3. I like the natural green colour of your cup cake as well as the buttercream!
    Thanks for linking up with LTU!

    1. Thank you for hosting this month's LTU. The buttercream is yummy.


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