Cafes and cupcakes from Tokyo

First Bake Date

In Buttercream, Chocolate, Cupcakes on March 8, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Miss Ella and I had our first bake date. Yay!

History: Since it was our first time we each chose only one recipe each so that we could ease ourselves into the wonderful world of cupcakes.

I chose a classic cake recipe with a twist while Ella went for something a little more modern (Ella’s post will be coming shortly. Patients please).

Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
w/Dark Chocolate Ganache and Orange Cream Cheese frosting

Recipe adapted from which was adapted from which was originally adapted from . (My apologies for the confusion)

1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup Guinness beer
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
5 tbsp sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with liners. Melt the butter with the beer and bring to a simmer on a pan over low heat. Stir in cocoa powder until smooth. Remove from the heat.

Sift and whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl beat the egg lightly then add the sour cream and mix until combined. Using a hand whisk, slowly beat in the chocolate mixture. Add the dry ingredients and lightly stir until partially combined. Then using a spatula, fold the mixture gently until thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cupcakes rest for 2 minutes in the pan. Remove them and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

1/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped into pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature

Put the chocolate pieces in a bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer over low heat or microwave on medium for 30-40 seconds until simmering. Add the hot cream to the chocolate and let it sit for a minute. Slowly stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Let it rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before using, stirring occasionally.

Spoon the ganache over the cupcakes and spread with a spatula. Let the excess ganache drip off in a bowl. Or you can also just directly dip the cupcakes into the ganache (without filling). Chill for 20 minutes before adding frosting.

Adapted from

4oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
Zest of 1 orange
1-2 cups powdered sugar

In a bowl beat cream cheese, butter and orange zest until light and fluffy. Slowly add sugar until desired consistency. Chill 10-15 minutes before frosting cupcakes. Add 2 or 3 zest ribbons to top of frosting.

Verdict: Both Ella and I have a fair amount of experience in the kitchen but we’re certainly not what you would call experts and since Tokyo, Japan is where we call home at the moment a lot of adapting has to be done to the recipes we choose.

While Japan uses the metric system like America the actual volume of a cup or tablespoon varies. Here 1 cup is equal to 200ml. It takes some getting used to but we’re adapting well, because that’s what we do.

The other thing we always need to consider when choosing recipes is the size of the oven we’re using. We can only bake six regular or 12 mini cupcakes at a time so to save on time (and space) we need to cut our recipes in half. We end up with an even dozen cupcakes which is much less depressing when they don’t turn out.

I experienced a lot of firsts with this recipe. It was my first time using alcohol to make cupcakes and it was also my first attempt at ganache. Maybe it was beginners luck but our first official bake date was a huge success. I’m still riding the high of that day.


Coming soon! Ella’s delicious vegan cupcake recipe.

  1. How many patients? I have, like, two or three I could spare, but no more than that.

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