Sunday, 19 June 2011

Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting and Spun Sugar

It’s Father’s Day and I wanted to make my dad a treat instead of purchasing a gift because these days he feels he has all the material things he needs.  But we could all use a delicious treat, right?  Well, my dad prefers not to eat butter, so I opted for a butterless, and thus light and fluffy, ensemble of a dessert. 

I have made this lemon chiffon recipe numerous times, and I think I’d have to say that it is my favorite cake – light yet moist texture, great flavor.  Not to mention the frosting – also my favorite.  As a decorative topper, I made spun sugar decorations.   I wonder if my dad will like it…

Lemon Chiffon Cupcakes
Adapted from here.
Makes 11 small cupcakes

Ingredients (I halved the original recipe)
1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon of cake flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoon sugar
1.5 large eggs, separated
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoon water
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest (1 lemon)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1.       Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place cupcake liners in baking pan.
2.       In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and 1/3 + 1 Tablespoon of sugar.
3.       In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until foamy.  Add cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks.  Gradually add remaining 1 Tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks.
4.       In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks, oil, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.
5.       Add the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
6.       Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into the batter.  Then, fold in the rest.
7.       Spoon into the lined muffin tins.
8.       Bake for about 13 minutes.
9.       Cool on wire rack.

Batter components


Before baking

After baking

Marshmallow Frosting
Adapted from here.

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites (I used 4 teaspoons meringue powder and 4 Tablespoons of water as a replacement)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.       In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water, and cream of tartar.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until soft-ball stage (see for definition)
2.       In a large bowl, combine egg whites and vanilla.  Beat until soft peaks.
3.       Gradually, and continuously, pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites while beating.  Continue to beat until stiff peaks (7 minutes – will stiffen as it cools).
4.       Add food colouring of your choice.

Spun Sugar
Adapted from here.

1/3 cup light corn syrup
¼ cup sugar

Ahead of time – tape 2 long stir spoons about 60cm apart on the counter (see photo)
Have sheets of parchment paper ready

1.       In a small saucepan, combine ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Continue to boil until it turns golden.
2.       Take off heat and stir in food colouring.
3.       Let rest for 3 minutes.

Technique 1: dip a fork into syrup and quickly drizzle it back and forth over the 2 spoons so that the syrup makes threads over and between them.  Carefully remove threads with your hands and mold into desired shape.

Technique 2: dip a spoon into syrup and drizzle designs on parchment paper.  Wait until it cools to break into pieces.

Technique 3: dip a spoon into syrup and drizzle it over the back of an ice cream scoop (or ladle) over parchment paper for a rounded finish.  Wait until it cools before removing.

Prep for spinning sugar

Remove from heat at this stage of golden colour

After adding food colouring

Technique 1: draping the sugar

Technique 3: drizzling the sugar over an ice cream scoop

Result of Technique 1
Results of Technique 2
Result of Technique 3

Cupcake assembly
I piped frosting onto the cupcakes using tip #847.  I placed various spun sugar decorations on top.

Verdict: My dad was very surprised and seemed to really like it (he ate 2 right on the spot!).  He said that the spun sugar decorations gave the cupcakes a nice variety in texture.  Success, and well worth the effort!


  1. Those looked so good, I had to add you to my list of Versatile Blogger Award! Check it out- I was so honored to recieve it myself! Well deserved- your blog is off to a great start!

  2. Let say, this is what I have been looking for long time.
    I would like have big one all by myself.
    The cake is very light but sanctuary and simple but elegant taste.
    Frosting is vanilla base and nice soft mostly not too bitterly so easy on mouth.
    Most surprise in this cup cake is harmony of combination that three elements create,
    The frost is depressed sweetness and when you bite by wide opened mouth, first candy punch you with crunchiness and sweetness melt over in your mouth pull your attention mmmm
    Then smoothly the silky frost spared all over the mouth and formed by lemony fresh fluently taste please even nose and throat when it going down to stomach.
    I wished I had have big one all by myself.
    Dan .h