Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hokkaido cake

People often ask me if they can use chiffon cake recipes to make cupcakes.  I always tell them I personally don't do that as the cupcakes would most likely sink. I never would have wanted to try until I read about the Hokkaido cake recently.

Image credit: The Pickiest Eater in the World.  The Hokkaido
cake as introduced by The French Baker in the Philippines in 2012.

Apparently, the Hokkaido cake is very popular in Asia.  It is basically just a chiffon cake baked in squarish baking cups, filled with whipped cream, then garnished with fruit and dusted with icing sugar.  Every recipe I've seen of this cake on the internet "warns" of the fact that the cupcakes would sink a little bit once out of the oven. The sinking is part and parcel of the process and nothing that affects the beauty and taste of the finished cupcakes.

Yesterday, I had the chance to try making the cupcakes.  When the cupcakes came out of the oven, they were all puffy and tall.  Too tall actually, that I thought I had overfilled the baking cups.

Then, as expected, when they cooled down, they all collapsed and had wrinkly tops. :(  I really hate it when that happens.  But then again, the cupcakes all settled to a nice height.

Some even separated from the baking cup :((  I hate that even more!

Filling with whipped cream caused the cupcakes to expand a bit so they sort of became puffed up again! The icing sugar dusted on top hid more of the imperfections and so the finished cupcakes ended up looking like this...

For anyone who loves chiffon cakes like me, you'd actually know what to expect of the cupcake.  It was beautiful of course - fresh, clean, with a very subtle sweetness!  You won't be able to stop at just one as it is really light.

By the way, see those strawberry slices on top? Would you believe those were from a single strawberry?

How huge is that!!!!

Here's how I did it.  Give it a go sometime!

HOKKAIDO CAKE (makes about 12 square-shaped cupcakes)

For the chiffon cake:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3/8 cup white sugar

¼ cup corn/canola oil
4 egg yolks, from extra large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

4 eggwhites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

3/8 cup white sugar


1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
2. In a large bowl, combine {A} well. Add in {B}. Beat with electric mixer or by hand until smooth and well blended.
3. In a separate bowl, beat {C} on high speed until frothy. Gradually add in the sugar {D} and beat until stiff peaks are formed. Gradually and gently fold in egg whites into egg yolk mixture. 
4. Arrange 12 square baking cups in a baking tray.  Scoop batter into each cup, filling to about 3/4 full. (I used a 2" ice cream scoop and each of my cups needed two scoops.)  Bang the baking tray gently to release any air bubbles in the cake batter.
5. Bake for about 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling:

1 1/2 cups whipping or thickened cream, chilled
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a chilled bowl then beat till stiff.  When ready to fill cooled cupcakes, transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a small plain round tip. (I used Wilton #12.)

To assemble the cupcakes:

1.  Insert the piping tip into the center of the cupcake and gently squeeze out the whipped cream until it oozes out the top.
2.  Dust the cupcake top with powdered/icing sugar.
3.  Garnish with a slice of fruit.



  1. it's beautiful ! thanks for sharing... by the way that strawberry is one of a kind! :-)

  2. hi, i just want to try this. but i want to ask how long thus these hokkaido cakes will last if i want to gift them or serve them during parties?

    1. Two things to consider - first, cupcakes generally dry out fast and second, these have whipped cream. In saying that, I do not advice making these cupcakes in advance. Better to fill with whipped cream and top with fruits shortly before serving.