Tuesday, 30 August 2011


The three elements combined to make a perfect cupcake - Fluffy, Moist and Light (FML)!

I know of some people who perfer a dense cupcake, but in my opinion I think these people are crazy. How can a person prefer a dense cupcake to a FML cupcake of joy?!

It has taken me a while, but I think I have discovered the secret to making a FML cupcake! I use to think that if you beat the mixture for long enough, it would make the cupcake fluffy. But I have since discovered that this is not the case. If you over beat the mixture, it actually has the opposite effect, it makes the cupcake dense.

So after extensive research and experimenting, I have discovered that in order to make a FML cupcake, one has to beat the butter, sugar and eggs for an extensive period of time. Basically, you can never over beat the butter, sugar and eggs. However, once you have added flour and milk to the mixture, you want to beat the mixture as little as possible. That is, stop beating the moment the flour and milk is combined.

From my extensive research, I have discovered that if you over beat the mixture once the flour and milk has been added, the air is let out of the mixture. I wonder why beating the butter, sugar and eggs adds air to the mixture and yet, when you beat the flour and milk into the mixture, the air is let out? Very odd. But nevertheless, it works! I swear by it. Give it a go and let me know.

Hmmm, darn, now I feel like a cupcake! FML!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Putting the cupcakes in Rock N’ Roll

I love it when people request themed cupcakes as it gives me the opportunity to make cupcakes that I wouldn’t usually make. For instance, this weekend I had a cupcake order for a 29th birthday. The birthday boy’s (or man I should say) lovely mum placed an order of 30 cupcakes. She told me that he liked guitars, so naturally I had to make guitar themed cupcakes! I also made cupcakes spelling out ‘Happy 29th Birthday Neil’.

Like always I miss calculated how many guitar toppers I actually needed and ended up with 10 spare! And to think, maths was actually my strongest subject growing up. I even went to Math Camps and everything in High School!

Last week before taking Zachy to school, he noticed some fondant toppers drying on my kitchen table – flower and cat toppers more specifically. He said to me, ‘Aunty Tina why don’t you combine the two toppers. Place the flower on the cat, that way the cat will look like a girl cat. She will look so cute!’ And that is exactly what I did. So when I saw the left over guitar toppers, I thought ‘What would Zachy do?!’ So I thought, why not make some boy penguins and make them play the guitar. And so, I did.

And that is how I put the cupcakes in Rock N’ Roll!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

"Happy Lion King!"

My goodness, it has been a crazy busy week. I am exhausted. But given my lack of blogging, I knew I just had to blog tonight. So why has my week been so crazy? Just the usual work stuff got in the way and, oh yeah, it was BIRTHDAY!

As it was my birthday, I had to bring in something to share with my colleagues. My natural inclination was to bring in cupcakes of course. Given that it was the night before my birthday, Brendyn did offer to make the cupcakes for me. Although this may be a nice gesture to some, I was mortified by the offer. Did he realise what he was suggesting? My colleagues eat my cupcakes on a regular basis and they have now come to expect a certain cupcake standard. And if Brendyn made my birthday cupcakes, PEOPLE WOULD THINK I ACTUALLY MADE THEM! I am sure that Brendyn’s cupcakes would be nice, I just doubt it would be as nice as mine. Sorry darling!

The night ended with me making over 100 cupcakes – cumquat, coffee and strawberry flavoured cupcakes. I didn’t end up taking a photo of all the cupcakes because I didn’t think they look special enough. Having said that, I do regret it slightly. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the cumquat cupcakes as they were somewhat dense. But everyone else seemed to have enjoyed them, so I guess that is the main thing.

Given the hectic work week, we had my birthday celebration today! Both sides of the family got together for a spectacular day of eating. A few weeks ago, Ameila said she wanted to throw me a surprise Lion King party, where she could wish me a “Happy Lion King”. Not wanting to let her down, I made a Simba cupcake topper. I had intended on making all the Lion King characters, but time did not permit.

All in all, I had a fabulous birthday. Having said that, my gosh, I am glad this week is over!

Monday, 22 August 2011

You can leave your top on!

Actually, I strongly encourage you to put a top-top-topper on. Cupcakes that are simply decorated with icing with no topper or sprinkles just look sad. It pains me to see. I am sure if cupcakes had feelings, they would feel sad too! Having said that if the icing is piped or spread beautifully to form an image or a bouquet of cupcake flowers or something of a similar nature, then I guess I could turn a blind eye. I guess.

Yes, I am obsessed with toppers! But it's not a bad way to be, if you ask me. For me, half the fun of my baking adventures is the time taken to make the fondant decoration. I love seeing the lump of white fondant transform into all things cute. I have said it before and I will say it again, anything is possible in the wonderful world that fondant.

I can honestly spend hours on end in my own little fondant world. A few weekends ago, Brendyn spent the Saturday playing golf, so I had the whole house to myself (and Abby dog of course). And it was WONDERFUL! I spent the day in my jam jams and made fondant toppers all day long.

What did I have to show for my lazy day in? A 100 plus toppers - yikles! But in all seriousness, it was out of this world crazy fun times! Some one call the police because I am out of control. BAM!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

I picked it, I baked it!

What a lovely start to the morning! Brendyn and I went to the Wannaroo fruit and veg market this morning for our weekly shop. Not only was the fruit and veg fresh, but so cheap! We enjoyed our experience so much that we have decided to do our weekly shop at the markets here on in.

As we are approaching spring, strawberries have come back in season. The strawberries were crazy cheap! A large punnet of strawberries cost $1.99 - what a bargain. So to celebrate this fabulous buy, I decided to make a batch of strawberry cupcakes.

The cupcake base colour was a little weird but my goodness was it amazing. It was moist, light and fuffy with a hint of strawberry flavour. The strawberry frosting was equally as delicious. The cupcakes were made out of real strawberries, with no artificial colourings or flavourings. You know me - I like to keep it real!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The X Factor

Firstly, I would just like to apologise for my lack of blogging. My work (yes, my real full time work, that actually pays the bills and fund my cupcake obsession) has been HEC-to-the-TIC. Also, in between starting a facebook page, working on my website, baking and making cupcake toppers there are simply not enough hours in a day to blog.  

Little less conversation and little more blogging action!

Ok, so I have been on the hunt for the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe for a while now, but I have not been able to nail one down that I truly like. My poor family, friends and colleges have been eating vanilla cupcakes for months on end as I experiment with various vanilla cupcake recipes.

Last Wednesday evening when I was unable to sleep, I decided to experiment and make a batch of Victoria Sponge cupcakes, basically a fancy name for vanilla cupcakes. After baking the cupcake bases the recipe required the bases to be brushed with vanilla syrup, what I like to refer to as the X factor. Although the vanilla cupcake was very moist, I wasn’t fond of this batch of vanilla cupcakes as I found it to be very dense.

By this time, the clock had struck 1AM and I was so displeased with the first batch of cupcakes that I decided to revert back to an old vanilla cupcake recipe that I usually use. I found this recipe online a few months ago through a blog (which now I can’t remember the name of for the life of me) and wrote it down on a piece paper, which I have now taken a photo of on my iPhone because knowing me I would lose it! Anyway, the vanilla cupcake recipe makes nice moist fluffy cupcakes but I always thought it lacked something – the X factor.

So it hit me at 2AM in the morning, that I should use the left over X factor and brush it over the moist fluffy vanilla cupcakes. So I did. What was the outcome, you ask? YUMMA-LICIOUS!

Cupcake Wars with myself:
Victoria Sponge Cupcakes vs Simple Vanilla Cupcakes

So from being unable to sleep to engaging in a cupcake war with myself, I think I may have found the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe. I have since made this vanilla recipe combo twice and both times it turned out pretty darn good.

Friday, 12 August 2011

I found Nemo!

I completed my first topper order today! Hooray for me! Hooray for Top the cupcake! Hooray for toppers! What an exciting occasion. Although the job was for my friend, Jade, it was still a job never the less. And most importantly, I had so much fun making them.

Jade’s little niece, who loves Nemo (you might remember him from movies such as Finding Nemo), is turning one. To celebrate such a wonderful occasion, the family has organised a beautiful birthday party for her tomorrow. Jade asked me to make 40 Nemo toppers to place on the mini cupcakes she is making for her gorgeous niece’s birthday party. And of course I had to say yes. Not because Jade was my friend, but because this gave me an opportunity to make NEMO toppers! Oh, and the fact that I could help out a friend was kind of nice too – I guess, whatever, minor details.

On to more important matters, I would like to take this opportunity to wish a very big:

happy first birthday to Candance and happy 5AM baking to Aunty Jade!

So here you have it. I found Nemo … all 40 of him!

If you haven’t already guessed, the Guess Who? competition I was running on my facebook page, i.e. guess who I am making out of fondant, was Nemo himself.   

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Nothing says ‘Thank You’ quite as much as something edible

What can I say? I am simple girl living in my own little simple world and in my opinion, nothing says ‘Thank You’ quite as much as something edible. I am not one to fuss over flowers or cards as such, but give me food of some variety and I am your girl. Yes, I am a cheap date. I hope I haven’t offended anyone who has given me flowers in the past – I did appreciate them! But if I was asked point blank whether I would like a big bouquet of flowers or a say a pink glaze donut (insert drool here), I would have to go the donut hands down!

I must admit, I have challenged everything that Brendyn has learnt over time about women! He was never quite sure why I was never impressed by the big bouquets of flowers he would send me. But yet I would jump with glee when he would come visit me with a KFC bucket of chicken (it had to be original chicken, not hot and spicy – the original chicken skin is so much more tastier and did I mention juicier?!). All this KFC talk is making me hungry ...

Moving on swiftly, Brendyn has since learnt that the way to my heart is through my tummy. To thank me last week for being the wonderful baking human being that I am, he brought me a single rose. Not just any old rose, a chocolate rose. Yes, ladies and gents, a rose that you can eat. I did wee my pants a little when he gave it to me. And do you blame me?!

Anyway, there is a cupcake point to my KFC weeing madness, to thank some amazing volunteers who assisted me with my work I decided to thank them through cupcakes. I made a batch of vanilla cupcakes and decorated them to say ‘Thank You’. I love making cupcakes that spell out things because you can rearrange the cupcakes to spell out different funny (potentially rude) things. 

 Please take note of my chocolate rose taking pride of place!

So next time, show people you actually care and say ‘Thank You’ through something edible.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

If one cannot sleep, one should bake ...

If one has already baked and still cannot sleep, then one should organise a baking related competition for one’s blog. It is currently 2AM and I am wide eye awake! When the clock struck 12 tonight, in my head I knew it was time for bed but as I laid in bed telling myself to go sleep, I realised I was wasting my time and that time was better spent baking. So got up went to the kitchen and baked 48 vanilla cupcakes. But this is a blog post in itself for another day.

Anyway, I decided that a month long competition is simply too long. So to keep me going to the end of the month, I have decided to run a shorter competition concurrently. This time entrants go into the running to win a set of cute animal cookie/fondant/sushi cutters (please see image below)! To enter, entrants must first like my ‘Top the Cupcake’ facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pa​ges/Top-the-Cupcake/210765​192305368) and then participate in my ‘Guess Who?’ game.

Basically, you are required to guess who I am making out of fondant. Each night for the remainder of this working week (so basically, Wednesday and Thursday night) I will be adding more fondant to the above topper until it is completely decorated. Each day you have the opportunity to guess who the topper is. To register your guess, simply add a comment (underneath the photo) as to who you think the fondant topper is. All correct answers registered by Friday, 12 August 2011 (Western Australian time) will go into the draw to win the cookie/fondant/sushi cutter set. One winner will be announced on this page on Saturday, 13 August. The winner will be determined by a random mixing bowl draw.

Ah, how I love competitions. There is only one thing I love more than competitions, and that is WINNING competitions. I did tell you that I am little tiny bit competitive right?!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

How would you renovate your life with $150K?

My favourite radio station, Nova 937, is currently running a competition. Basically if you get on air or enter the competition online, you go into the running to win $150K - HELLO! 

Like many people, I could use an extra $150K. No surprise as to what I would do with it, but if I were to win, I would open my very own cupcakery (for those uninitiated few, cupcakery is the cupcake fanatic’s answer to a bakery). I have a vision of how it would look exactly in my head and to see it come to life would be amazing. Think French chic meets modern house wife. Ah, an Asian's Australian dream. 

I thought it would be a great idea to make a set of Nova cupcakes. My reasoning behind this was that by doing so might (fingers crossed) increase my chances of winning and secondly, increase the publicity of ‘Top the Cupcake’. So before I went to bed Wednesday night, I made Nova fondant toppers. I decided to spell out 'I heart Nova' and make the iconic Nova mascot. I woke up early the next day on Thursday morning and made a fresh batch of cupcakes. I had planned to wake up at 5AM and had set my alarm and everything! But I was like a little kid, I was so excited about this baking adventure that I woke up at 4AM and couldn't get back to sleep! 

I am pretty happy with the final product. But more importantly, did I win $150K? Sadly, I don't think so. I am pretty sure the competition has come to a close. Oh well, I guess this little Asian baker will just have to continue to hold on to her Australian dream.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Hot or not?!

I wish there was a webpage where people could rate whether your cupcakes are hot or not. If such a site existed, it would save me from countless hours of internal debate with myself. If there is a site rating people, why not cupcakes?!

As you know, I am an avid supporter of edible cupcake toppers. I usually make fondant toppers, but this can take up quite a bit of time as you not only have to colour the fondant, but you also have to mould it into the desired shape. So I always get a little bit excited to top my cupcake with edible things other than fondant toppers. Is this cheating? I don't know. I don't think so. I mean you are still decorating your cupcakes yourself, but with things that are already pre-made. I think it makes you efficient, not necessarily a cheater. 

Alas, I have digressed. Anyway, a number of weeks ago I went to a cute little cafe called Hoopla in South Perth. I naturally gravitated towards the cupcakes they had on display. The cupcakes were cute and were decorated with Licorice All Sorts. When I first saw the cupcakes, I wasn't entirely sure whether I liked it or not. Was it hot or not?!

This week after dropping by my in laws place with a batch of cupcakes, I noticed a packet of opened Licorice All Sorts (a staple in the house). So to settle this internal debate once and for all, I decided to mimic the Hoopla Licorice All Sorts cupcake design.

So, is it hot or not?! The verdict is out and it's got my vote - definitely HOT to TROT!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Go fish!

I went shopping with Zachy over the weekend at Spotlight. When we passed the baking aisle, he saw a packet of fish sprinkles (well actually, the fish were a little bigger than sprinkle size but too small to be topper size). Anyway, despite the fish sprinkles/toppers (to be confirm) unusual size, Zach loved them and wanted me to buy them to make fish cupcakes. After looking at the fish sprinkles/toppers price, I decided not to purchase the sprinkles/toppers but instead make my own. I promise Zach that I would make him fishing cupcakes and the next day, I did.

My first idea was to make a fondant person hold a fishing rod and have a fish hang on the end of the rod. Although the idea was good in theory, it looked a little dodgy! If you are not over the age of 18, please scroll down and do not look at the photo below.

Wanting to keep my blog fairly G rated or at least PG rated, I decided to make a censored batch. So instead, I scrapped the idea of a fondant person and instead only made little rods with a fish hanging on the end. I then stuck those fishing rods in the cupcake directly.

They were so simple to make and Zach was quite impressed with my fishing efforts. So all in all, a fairly successful baking adventure.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Happy birthday month to me!

My birthday is in late August and I have decided that a one day celebration is simply just not enough! So I am going to make it a month long celebration and what is the best way to celebrate? With cupcakes and toppers of course! Not just with any type of cupcakes and toppers, but my favourite kind, FREE cupcakes and toppers. That’s right FREE!! I will be running blog competitions throughout the month of August in celebration of my birthday.

Today after having an inspiring lunch date with my long-time friend and all-rounder beautiful person, Jade, I have decided to create a Facebook fan page. Throughout the month of August, anyone who likes the ‘top the cupcake’ Facebook page will go into the running to win twelve fondant toppers of their choice. That is, if you like the look of one of my cupcake topper designs (must be fondant based), I will personally make you a batch and post them to you. That’s right ladies and gents, this is an INTERNATIONAL competition! I have checked with Australia Post and transporting fondant toppers is A-OK. So hop on to Facebook (because let’s face it, just about everyone has Facebook these days) and like the top the cupcake page and you can go into the running and win personalised cupcake toppers of your choice!

As I am a law graduate, I felt the need to draft up some terms and conditions just to make it official. For all you lawyers out there, who feel the need to read the fine print, feel free to read away. FYI – lawyer or not, by entering the competition, applicants agree to abide by the terms and conditions set out below.

The competition is being run by Tina @ top the cupcake and will commence at 7PM on Monday, 1st August 2011 (Western Australian Standard time). To enter the competition, the applicant must like the top the cupcake Facebook page and remain liking the page for the duration of the competition. The competition will close 5PM on Wednesday, 31st August 2011 (Western Australian Standard time). Entry to this competition is free. The draw will be a random draw from a mixing bowl from all eligible applicants registered prior to the competition closing. The first name drawn will be announced the prize winner. There will be one prize of twelve fondant toppers of the winner’s choice (fondant topper design must be chosen from one of the existing top the cupcake topper designs). The prize winner will be announced on the top the cupcake Facebook page. The winner is required to contact Tina @ top the cupcake to accept the prize. Tina @ top the cupcake is responsible for the cost associated with delivering the prize but does not accept liability if the prize is damaged. The prize is not transferrable. Family members of Tina @ top the cupcake (through blood or marriage) are encouraged to be fans of the top the cupcake Facebook page, but unfortunately are not eligible to enter the competition.

Lawyer friends, let me know if my legal drafting is up to scratch!