KitchenTigress: Hokkaido Cupcakes

Hokkaido Cupcakes

Hokkaido cupcakes are made with milk from Hokkaido, hence the namesake. These small chiffon cakes are so soft they're creased and slightly collapsed after they cool down.

Perhaps taking a cue from plastic surgery, the cakes are injected with a filler to plump up and smooth out the wrinkles.

Unlike pillow-faced Madonna, Hokkaido cupcakes take to the filler treatment very well.

How to control how much the cakes sink?

By changing the amount of milk and egg white in the batter. More egg white and milk make softer, more wrinkled cakes that sink when they cool down. Less would give you sturdier, less fluffy cakes.

Spongy and soft, the cakes have a great texture. But they are quite bland. It's the creamy filling that provides flavour.

The filling is usually a mix of custard and stiffly whipped cream. If you think making custard from scratch with egg yolks and milk is too much trouble, there're three options:

🍓You could use traditional custard powder, which must be heated on the stove with some milk.

🍓You could also use instant custard powder which just needs to be mixed with hot water.

🍓If putting the kettle on is too much work, instant pudding powder would make you jump with joy. It doesn't require heating or anything hot. All it needs is cold milk to thicken into a pudding. To make Hokkaido cupcake filling, the pudding should be whisked with stiffly whipped cream before it's set.

I opt for no custard/pudding, so my cupcakes are filled with only whipped cream. Cream is like shoes, you know? I could never have too much cream, or too many shoes.

Good Hokkaido cupcakes should be lighter and fluffier than chiffon cakes and Ogura cakes but they're easy to make compared to the big brothers. You don't have to worry about the little ones sinking.

How to make Hokkaido cupcakes

Step-by-step guide

Hokkaido cupcakes hail from Malaysia, not Japan. They're so fluffy they collapse a bit as they cool down after baking. But, once filled with whipped cream, they're nice and plump again.

hokkaido cupcakes
(For 9 cupcakes)

  • 45 g egg yolks
  • 20 g castor sugar
  • 35 g corn oil
  • 45 g full-fat milk
  • 60 g cake flour

  • 135 g egg whites
  • 40 g castor sugar
  • 200 g fresh dairy cream, with 35% fat, thoroughly chilled
  • 2 tbsp castor sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • icing sugar
  • strawberries

  1. Preheat oven to 165°C. Place bowl for whisking cream in fridge.

  2. To make cupcakes, whisk egg yolks and 20 g castor sugar till pale and thick. Add corn oil. Whisk thoroughly. Add milk. Whisk thoroughly. Sift cake flour into mixture. Whisk till just mixed. Set mixture aside. Wash and dry whisk thoroughly.

  3. Separately whisk egg whites till thick. Gradually add 40 g castor sugar, still whisking. Continue to whisk till firm peak stage. Fold egg whites into yolk mixture in 2 batches, mixing till almost even after each addition. Scrape down thoroughly, including bottom of bowl, and fold till just evenly mixed.

  4. Divide batter equally between 9 paper (not cardboard) moulds measuring 7 x 4 cm (top D x H). Bake in middle of oven till golden brown and tops spring back slightly when pressed, about 25 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool down.

  5. To make filling, remove bowl from fridge. Place cream and 2 tbsp sugar in bowl. Whisk till cream is just stiff. Add vanilla extract. Mix evenly.
  6. To assemble, transfer whipped cream into piping bag fitted with nozzle. Insert nozzle into centre of cakes. Squeeze just enough cream to slightly puff up cakes. Rotate cakes as you pipe so that filling is nicely centred. Chill till ready to serve.

  7. To serve, dust cupcakes with icing sugar and garnish with slivers of strawberry.