Mad about Fusion Cupcakes

              Chocolate Cupcakes with Adzuki Bean Paste Centre and Green Tea Frosting

I’d be the first to admit that I’m not a huge fan of cupcakes. Given the choice between a cupcake and a slice of cake, I’d invariably go with the slice.

I think it has something to do with the frosting-to-cake ratio and the fact that the few times I’ve made cupcakes, the cake tended to shrink away from the waxy cups, leaving an unsightly gap between cake and cup.

              Fusion Cupcakes

So why did I bake these cupcakes? There were two reasons. One being that it’s the Lunar New Year and the first year ever that my family didn’t make pineapple tarts (dad and mum are away on vacation in Beijing), I couldn’t help but feel that something was missing if I didn’t bake anything for the festive season. The second was a cupcake-related email and blog post by Ivan.

The recipe I chose comes from Cheryl’s The Cupcake Bake Shop. I decided on this particular cupcake because of the Asian elements of green tea and adzuki beans (something in line with the festive season theme) and because of the very pretty photograph of the cupcake’s cross-section in her blog post.

              Cupcake Cross-section

The sis was very skeptical about the flavour combination, especially when I told her about the red bean paste component, but she actually liked the cupcakes when she had them! :D

I personally liked the taste and texture of the cupcake. The cupcakes did shrink somewhat, especially the ones that I kept at room temperature and the frosting was slightly grainy, but I felt that the cupcakes turned out great overall. Thanks for generously sharing your very inspiring cupcake recipes, Cheryl!

Note: If you do intend to try the recipe out for yourself, be forewarned the adzuki bean paste is indeed very time-consuming to make as Cheryl already states in her recipe.

26 Responses to “Mad about Fusion Cupcakes”

  1. Kitty Says:

    Can you please send me the recipe for your blueberry muffins that you posted a while back !!
    Thank you.

  2. ivn Says:

    I am slightly surprised (but pleased as punch) to inspire a bake and a post from you.

    Question: what led to the graininess of the frosting? I’ve always wondered about that; too much butterfat?

  3. Learner Says:

    Hi Karen….my 1st attempt was a distaster last week. Yesterday I baked again. As in my 1st attempt, the 1st day was burnt and patches of holes. I use 1/4 cup per layer. The final lapis was uneven and undistinct layers. Can you help me?

  4. Learner Says:

    Hi Karen….sorri. I was refering to your kuey lapis at

  5. Karen Says:

    Ivan: It’s the amount of icing sugar. It’s not easy to get butter and sugar to mix smoothly without the addition of any liquid. :) Which is why I prefer italian meringue buttercream over the typical American beat-your-butter-till-smooth-and-add-icing-sugar kind of frosting.

    Learner: Are you saying that the very bottom layer was burnt or the top layer? For kueh lapis, the very bottom layer tends to be a little browner with some bubbles. Uneven layers: You’re probably not spreading the batter evenly enough and you definitely need to press every layer down with the fondant-smoother-like metal tool and poke holes into each layer before spreading the batter on. Undistinct layers: You’re most likely not baking each layer long enough - each layer should be lightly golden brown.

  6. Learner Says:

    Thanks Karen…thanks for your time. The bottom layer was burnt with holes. What is a fondant-smoother-like metal too? My lapis so bad cannot take photo to show. I use a 8″x8″x3″ tray and use 1/4 cup per layer. Guess 1/4 cup per layer too little? I enjoy baking the layers. BTW do teach baking?

  7. Karen Says:

    Learner: Make sure that you are only using the top grill in your oven. The tool is just a flat rectangular piece of metal with a handle attached to one of the flat sides for you to hold on to when you press down on the cake. I usually use just enough batter to cover the previous layer.

    I used to teach macarons and decorated cookie classes, but not at the moment (have a full-time job). Happy baking!

  8. Learner Says:

    Thanks for your patience. Do you have an email that I can email you, pl.

  9. Nikki Says:

    Beautiful, Karen! My personal favourite (after a gazillion trials), is the Swiss meringue buttercream. But I do agree on the Italian meringue BC, it is gorgeous and silky! I wonder, how do you get that pretty BC swirl in the pics? Is it a particular piping tip?

    nikki ^_^

  10. Cocotte Says:

    Love it!!

  11. Christiana Says:

    I just came across your blog and its wonderful! I am now a follower! You have a great blog and your photos are great
    I have my own blog too and would love to know what you think!

  12. Sylvia Says:

    Hi Karen!!

    Great cross-section photo! I’m passing along a blogging award to you!


  13. Joy Says:

    Hi Karen, I have just started baking. One query: how do you achieve that frosting on your cupcake that creates a rose-like pattern? Which tip do you use? Thanks!

  14. Janice Says:

    Hi Karen, I bumped into your website while looking for macaron recipes. I’m also a software developer by day, so I totally appreciate the technicality of your posts : )

  15. Tay Says:

    They looked good from the first photo, but then, I too was worried about the flavor combination.

  16. hena tayeb Says:

    they look yummy..

  17. Angel Says:

    Love your creations! I was browsing the internet for recipes and came across you website and everything you’ve made looks amazing!

    I wanted to ask for the recipe for the mango mousse cake you made! Is there anyway you could email it to me?

    Thanks :)

  18. ginny Says:

    Hello Karen,

    Love your website and mouth watering photos of baked YUMMINESS !
    I noticed you have not posted anything yet…and it’s already May. Please post more and hope you get this message.

    Can I order some macaroons from you? Its for an aunt’s birthday coming in 2 months time. Where can I email you? I don’t know where.

    Hope to hear from you.

    thank you.

  19. yemek tarifi Says:

    thanks..…delicious..iam going to prepare it soon..

  20. Melissa Says:


    I LOVE macaroons and yours look so good, how can I order them? Your order page seems to be no longer in use…..

  21. Kai Says:


    I am amazed by your creation.

    May I know if you also take orders? I am interested in your chestnut macarons:) How is the order/price like?

    I can be contacted at my email above.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Thank you


  22. Phuoc'n Delicious Says:

    Love the innards shot; it’s so wonderful and perfect. Like you, I’m not a cupcake fan too but this looks moist and I could imagine the flavour combo would be a hit. Definately have to try this sometime. Thanks for sharing :)

  23. Clare @ Mrs Multitasker Says:

    Such a BEAUTIFUL cupcake! How do you frost it like that? teach me teach me!

    If you like nice cross-sectioning then you’ll love Annie’s gorgeous and super delicious peanut butter cupcakes.

    Her post here:

    And my meager attempt from a while back:

  24. Shannon Says:

    Can i know if you teach people to make macaron ? I try to make macarons many times but all were failures. I went to a class at Anna culinary and try to make according to the teacher but it was also unsuccessful. I tried using egg white powder too but again failure… I tried making itailian merigue but the sugar syrup solidify after i pour it in the egg whites, so it is was also unsuccessful. I really want to make macaron and not flat cookie like “things”. Hopefully you can help ? Thank you.

  25. *Dream Weaver* Says:

    The combination of flavours of this very Japanese inspired cupcake is awesome. I would really love to take a bite of this. Great job!

  26. Sett Jamer Says:

    thanks for the share firstly.

    I thinks that this cupcake is amazing…the combination between two style..

    in the past, I ever did this cupcakes…but, unfortunately, failed…

    I want to make it again as soon as possible

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