25 December 2011

Lychee Rose Cupcakes

Merry Christmas everyone!

Hubby and I had a really peaceful, silent night on Christmas eve and a quiet Christmas Day =D (as we left dear son with his grandma over the weekend). Our family isn't big on Christmas so no celebrations or anything, just enjoying the much-appreciated me-time to indulge in our own favourite activities. Before dear son came along, we would be having a winter holiday somewhere around the world. Oh well...

I spent the whole of today baking, and wrapping presents for a gathering with my long-time JC friends tomorrow. Really looking forward it. Will talk about the baked treats I prepared for this year's gathering in the next post :)

First up is this Lychee Rose Cupcake that I've KIV-ed for a long time and finally got down to baking it last week. Today is my second time, fine-tuning the recipe based on my first attempt. When I first saw the recipe from Evan's blog, I was really intrigued by the pretty pink hue of the cake, but was hesitant as the measurements are given in cups (too used to grams), the use of self-raising flour (seldom use), rose syrup (our family doesn't drink cordial and 1 large bottle is really a lot albeit the small quantity used in the recipe) as well as rose water (hardly use too).

I had to convert the measurements painstakingly into grams which was a little confusing as there are many types of conversion tables on the internet. Also invested in a bottle of Rose Brand (the glass bottle one) Rose Syrup and Nielsen-Massey Rose Water. I guess I can make rose syrup drink or even bandung drink from time to time now, and attempt recipes that use rose water more often now.  Evan's recipe yields 24 regular sized cupcakes which are too many for me, therefore I also cut the recipe by half. In addition, I also reduced the amount of sugar further since lychee inside the cupcake is already quite sweet.

During my first attempt, I added too much batter into the cupcake holder and the batter overflowed, this time, I managed the proportion quite well and the cupcake rose into a beautiful dome. I only had to trim a little of the top so that my frosting can sit nicely. For the frosting, I simply whipped some unsalted butter, cream cheese, icing sugar, rose syrup and rose water (without rasberry puree or jam as suggested).

On a separate note, I totally adore using ice-cream scoop to scoop batter into the cupcake holders. Previously, I used a spoon and spatula but it could get a little messy; with the use of an ice-cream scoop, I just scoop and click, absolutely fuss-free. Yeah! Now I understand why Chef Joycelyn loves using ice-cream scoops (she mentioned before in her class that she owned many different sizes of scoops). What I don't understand is, why does a stainless steel ice-cream scoop cost so much, about $23? Wow. Whatever, it's one of the baking essentials like Microplane, Silpat that I have to have :p

Lychee Rose Cupcakes (makes 12 regular size cupcakes)

  • 94g self raising flour
  • 62.5g plain flour
  • 12.5g ground almond
  • 125g unsalted butter, slightly softened at room temperature
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 48g fresh milk
  • 30g rose syrup water (10g rose syrup, 20g water)
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 12 pcs canned lychees (cut lychees into half if the lychees are big)
  • Frosting: 35g unsalted butter, 135g cream cheese, 40g icing sugar, 1 tsp rose syrup, 1/2 tsp rose water
  1. Preheat oven at 170 degree celsius.
  2. Rinse 12 pcs of lychees, pat dry with kitchen towel and set aside. *I use 6pcs and halved them as the lychees I got are big. It's advisable to dry the lychees so that the cake doesn't turn soggy.
  3. Sieve self-raising flour with plain flour, then mix well with ground almond and set aside.
  4. Beat butter and sugar using a mixer until light and fluffy, add eggs one at a time and mix until combined.
  5. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating between milk and rose syrup water. Fold in batter until just combined, do not overmix.
  6. Scoop 1/3 batter into cupcake holder, top with lychee and pour in another 1/3 batter (total height should come up to slightly less than 3/4 of holder).
  7. Bake the cupcakes for 20-25mins, until skewer inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.
  8. Whip unsalted butter, cream cheese till light, then add icing sugar, rose syrup and rose water, and mix till creamy and fluffy.
  9. Shave top of cupcake (if necessary) and pipe frosting onto cupcake as desired.

Taste-wise, I thought the combination of lychee and rose is a matchmade in heaven, and the aroma is really intoxicating. The cake is tender and moist, complemented by a juicy lychee innard. Yums!

These cupcakes are made for a group of texas poker friends that hubby is meeting tonight. Hope they will like it :)


  1. I love lychees. Those cakes look scrumptious.

  2. Merry Christmas Meg! These lychee rose cupcakes looked very beautiful! I've always like your creations, so creative and tempting!

  3. hi meg, thanks for trying out the recipe. your cupcakes look girly and pretty! actually, cup measure is very easy. do you own the metal measuring cups? just use that one. its easier than converting to grams. i hv a set in gradual measures ie. 1 cup, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4 etc.

    an ice cream scoop definitely doesnt cost $23, where did you look? shermay, or ToTT? lol. NTUC carries it, so does cold storage. you can try looking there :)

  4. Hi Lisa,
    If you like lychees, then you must try the recipe, it's good :)

  5. Hi Jane,
    This recipe is created by Evan, I just modified slightly :p

  6. Hi Evan,
    Thanks! I only have plastic measuring cups, and I tried measuring using both and they gave different quantity. So I kiasu and convert to grams. Haha :p
    For the ice-cream scoops, I was looking for the extra small ones less than 44mm, so that I can make small drop cookies too. I went to NTUC and Cold Storage, only the standard size ones leh.

  7. meg, i'm not sure how small is small but the scoop i got from NTUC measures 5cm across. i haven't seen that size anymore tho', got it quite sometime back maybe thats why. i'll keep a lookout for you! if i manage to see any i'll let you know ;)

  8. Hi Evan,
    It's ok lah, I already have 1 which measures 3cm across and 1 which measures 2cm across. Enough to use already. Thanks!!!

  9. How long can the cupcakes and frosting keep?

  10. Hi Bren,
    At most one week in the fridge but it's better to consume within 2-3 days due to the lychee inside the cake (might make the cake turn soggy).

  11. Hi.
    I am going to bake this for my galfriend who turns 40 on Thur.
    Is rose syrup the cordial. Just bought Madagascar Rose water. Pricey $11.50.
    Just making extra sure before I embark on it on Wed.


  12. Hi Jacqui,
    Sorry for not replying earlier. Was caught up with too many things!
    Yep, rose syrup is the cordial.

  13. Hi! Your post and picture is tempting me to try out this recipe. :)

    Just one qn..
    Cake recipe called for 1 tsp rosewater. When should I add this in? Only saw the addition of rose syrup water.



  14. Hi MY, you can add the rose syrup water into the milk or with the milk (step 5).

  15. Thanks Daydreamer! I just made this using your recipe. Lovely texture and not too sweet!


  16. Hi MY,
    Glad that the cake turned out well :)

  17. Hi Meg! Love your blog and I am a fan too of not-so-sweet bakes. Am thinking of making these into a whole cake for my mum's birthday. Any idea how big a pan and what tweaks do I have to make to the baking time? Thanks in advance :)

  18. Hi urbanGem,
    I've not tried baking this as a whole cake before. Probably you can try a 6" or 7" pan and bake 40-45 mins. Try insert a toothpick to test at 35mins to check for doneness. If the toothpick comes out wet means not done yet, bake for another 10-15 mins.
    Maybe I should also try baking this as a whole cake myself too!

  19. Thanks Meg for the reply! Yes I think a whole cake would be beautiful. Shall give it a try this weekend.

  20. Hi, may I ask if I want to make this into a cake instead of cupcakes, is it alright to use the same receipe? =)

  21. Oh, I just saw the previous comment. I will try it over the weekdays. Thank you!

  22. Hi Joanna,
    Hope the cake turns out well for you :)

  23. Tried these today and received raving comments..thank you!

  24. Where can I buy rose water in Singapore?

    1. You can try Jones the Grocer. Alternatively use Nielsen Massey Rose extract, you can check out Phoon Huat.

  25. Hi may I check, you use rose syrup but why does the cupcake colour looks normal instead of pink? How did you achieve that? Thanks!

    1. Hi Joanna, I added only a small quantity so the pink colour doesn’t show.