09 September 2012

Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes - comparison of 2 recipes

The Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcake seems to be the "in-thing" now, a lot of homebakers are making it. (Other than Tau Huay of course :p).
It is supposed to be "light and cottony soft", so naturally I wanna have a go at it too :), especially since I like the texture of chiffon cakes very much. So I scouted different blogs for recipes and came across 2 recipes by Cuisine Paradise and Nasi Lemak Lover; both are in fact the same, except the difference in quantity.
The recipe uses the egg separation method, that is, egg whites are whipped separately and then folded into the main batter. I guess the steps are fairly simple to me since I have had experience in baking chiffon cakes. The curious thing about this recipe is, no baking powder/soda or cream of tartar is used. I followed the recipe to a T and didn't reduce the amount of sugar used since I believe sugar affects the texture of chiffon.
The verdict? The cake turned out quite light but not cottony soft enough in my opinion. Is it because I didn't beat the egg whites enough? I kept thinking what had gone wrong in my steps.
Then I saw the recipe by Reirei that was posted in FB under Singapore Homebakers group. Ah ha! Her recipe uses baking powder and cream of tartar! The rest of the ingredients are almost the same, in fact the liquid amount (oil and milk) is lesser. So I baked another small batch (halved her recipe) to test the difference.
This time round, the cupcake really turned out cottony soft even the next day! I love it, especially chilled. Hmmm, my conclusion is baking powder and cream of tartar do make a difference to the texture of the cake. I'm re-posting both recipes (based on yield of 9 cupcakes using square cases) below, test both recipes if you like and let me know your personal verdict :)

Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes (I)
(From Nasi Lemak Lover. Makes 9 cupcakes)
3 egg yolks
20g sugar
35g corn oil
60g milk
70g cake flour
3 egg whites
25g sugar
60g dairy whipping cream
10g sugar
1tsp instant custard powder
Icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
1. Pre-heat oven to 170C.
2. Arrange paper liners on baking tray.
3. Hand whisk egg yolk and sugar till pale in colour.
4. Add in corn oil and milk, mix well.
5. Sift in cake flour, stir to combine.
6. Beat egg white until foamy, gradually add sugar, and continue beat till soft peak form.
7. Take 1/3 of egg white and use a hand whisk to mix into egg yolk batter.
8. Fold in the balance egg white with a spatula till well combine.
9. Scoop batter into pre-arranged paper liners to about ¾ full.
10. Bake for 20-25 mins at middle rack.
11. Beat whipping cream with sugar till firm and stiff (over a bowl of iced water).
12. Add in custard powder, mix well.
13. Pipe custard cream into cupcake and dust with icing sugar. Refrigerated before consume.

Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes (II)
(From Reirei of All That Matters
. Makes 9 cupcakes)
 3 egg yolks
 1/8 tsp salt
 24g corn oil
 24g milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
 32g cake flour
1/8 tsp baking powder (sift together with cake flour)

 3 egg white
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
 50g caster sugar
90g chilled fresh milk
 30g custard powder
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
3/4 tbsp icing sugar (optional)
145g dairy whipping cream

Some Snow Powder (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 175℃。
2) In a bowl, whisk egg yolks with salt. Then add oil, milk and vanilla extract, whisk till well-blended.
3) Fold in flour mixture and set aside.
4) In another bowl, beat egg whites , sugar and cream of tartar to stiff peak.
5) Scoop 1/3 of the egg white mixture to the yolk batter, fold well, then pour batter back to the remaining egg whites. Fold lightly till well-mixed.
6) Fill baking cases with about 30-32g of batter. Bake for 20 mins, then leave to cool.
7) In a separate bowl, mix milk, instant custard powder, vanilla paste and icing sugar till mixture is smooth.
8) Pour in whipping cream and beat till the thickness desired.
9) Using a piping tip, insert tip into the cake and pipe for 5 seconds. 3 to 4 seconds if you prefer less cream.
10) Sieve snow powder on top (optional) and chill cake before serving


  1. I am also finding opportunity to test out Rei's.

  2. I tried Cuisine Paradise's recipe before. It didn't turn out very soft for me as I suspected I had overbeaten the egg whites. Then I tried Rei's recipe. I meant, I eat Rei's cake and found it very soft and nice. I think I prefer Rei's cake too!

  3. hi Meg, with so many recipes around for this cake, now I know which one to follow
    thks :)

  4. I am going to attempt Rei's soon.

  5. Looks VERY good... I like the cupcake boxes you use.. You have a very good eye for these things :)

  6. Hi Edith, give it a try, the cake remains soft for a few days!

    Hi Jane, I realise that for cakes without use of cream of tartar or baking powder, the technique becomes really important. The egg whites and batter must be whipped to exact texture for good results. I guess until I master the precise technique, I'll stick to having a little bit of leavening agents :p

    Hi OKC, there are a lot of very nice cupcake cases out there in the market actually :)

  7. Hi. Tried d 2nd recipe n the cake turns out great. The only problem is that i failed on the filling cream. I only able to get the liquid half firmed n the oth half still watery after beating abt half n hr. May i know how u beat those filling? Using handheld mixer or egg beater? Do i need to sit the bowl on the ice water? Hope can help... tx

  8. I never think off to compare recipes with and without baking powder n cream of tarta. Thanks for highlight. Shall try one day.

  9. Hi,

    love the boxes. where did you buy them? I couldnt find at bake king and phoon huat.

  10. I bought the cupcake cases from Phoon Huat at Jalan Saga Merah (opp. Holland Village).

  11. Hi I've tried Rei's recipe & it was awesome for the cake, but just like Mandy, my filling fail. I can't seems get it whipped. I suspect it might be the milk. at the end I use the top recipe & instruction for the filling, adding vanilla beans, omitting the milk......

    any tips?

  12. Hi Irene,
    Did you try chilling the mixer bowl? I usually weigh the whipping cream directly in the mixing bowl, then chill the bowl & cream for at least 30mins to 1hr. I find that this step helps the whipping.

  13. Hi,
    I've tried Rei's recipe & it was awesome.


  14. Must we have the cream? Or can we omit it?

  15. Cream is optional, it complements the cake very well.

  16. Hi can i replace corn oil with canola oil?

  17. Hi VOnO,
    Yes corn oil can be replaced by canola oil.

  18. I'm confused. Both recipes yield 9 cupcakes, but the first one uses 70 g cake flour and the second one only uses 32? Is this correct? If so, I am very excited to try it!!


  19. Hi Maripaz,
    Yes that's right. Because lesser amount of flour is used for the second recipe, the cake turned out to be more cottony soft than the first. Reason why it's able to rise (thereby "same" quantity) is due to the addition of baking powder; also the addition of cream of tartar to the egg whites help stabilise the meringue (also helping the cake to rise). Hope that my explanation is ok.

  20. Hi I tried your second recipe - love the cake very much. Would you be able to advise why my cakes leave the side of the cases unlike yours? Have I over-mixed the egg whites? Thanks very much for sharing.

  21. Hi Yummy Bakes,
    I notice that when cakes (e.g. sponge) are very light and tender, sometimes they leave the sides of the cases or baking pan, it could be due to temperature difference when removing them from the oven. One little trick I know is drop the cases or baking pan onto a hard surface from a height about 5-10cm. You could try and see if it works.

  22. Oops, not sure if my first comment posted. Just wanted to say thanks because I tried 3 different recipes (2 from this page) and preferred Reirei's. It tasted better after chilling in the refrigerator overnight. It was also easier than the third recipe I tried. For my filling, I mixed a little pastry cream with whipped cream, and it was a nice flavor and texture. Thanks again for sharing!!! Really loved Reirei's recipe!

  23. Hi maripaz,
    Glad that the recipe turned out well for you =D The recipe is indeed quite do-able, I let my friends' kids try baking it recently and they turned out good too!

  24. Try Reirei's recipe and slightly modify to green tea flavour. Love the texture so much. I post in my blog and link it to you. Thanks again for sharing with us.

  25. Hi DG,
    Green tea sounds good, I think I should bake some myself too =D