Coffee Sponge Cupcake

by Shirley@Køkken on September 16, 2012 · 34 comments

in Cupcake, Sweets

Things haven’t been that great lately. My father had a fall a couple of weeks ago and hurt his spinal chord. This impaired his fine motor functions and bed binds him now at a rehabilitation hospital where he is showing gradual improvement through physiotherapy.For a 75 year old, mild mannered man who had conscientiously devoted his life to work so that he could provide the best for his family, the episode left him distraught, wondering often why this had happened to him.  At times, he would lose his appetite and would ask for things which we did not  know he liked…. while he would sometimes stubbornly refuse to eat his meal, he would never turn down a sweet treat. A little slice of mooncake, a bite of pandan chiffon cake and just yesterday this coffee butter cream sponge cupcake….

Between work commitments and rounds at the hospital, I managed to find a little time to whip up this easy but surprisingly good cupcake combination. Originally intended as a thank you treat for the outstanding nursing team at Tan Tock Seng Rehabilitation Hospital, I was glad that it offered some comfort to my father. It was also because I knew that I would be feeding this to him, so I had deliberately chosen a lighter base, with less sugar and fat. The sponge is not a common choice for cupcakes which are typically based on richer and more substantial cake varieties such as butter cake. With lower sugar content and a small amount of Canola oil, this sponge recipe adapted from Alex Goh’s recipe relies solely on the leavening action of egg white meringue. The pillowy softness of the cupcake went really well with the slightly salty coffee butter cream and is perfect for the Asian palate’s preference for  softer and lighter cake/bread.  The butter cream frosting is not necessarily a good idea for an aged sick patient but I have the option of feeding my father with just the plain cake or coat it with a smidgen of the delicious buttery cream.

Till my next post, enjoy the recipe and live well.

5.0 from 3 reviews

Coffee Sponge Cupcake

Serves: 9

  • Egg Whites 3 (from 3 large eggs (60g with shell))
  • Sugar 60g
  • Egg Yolk 3(from 3 large eggs (60g with shell))
  • Vanilla extract ¼ tsp
  • Coffee extract 1 tsp
  • Plain flour 65g
  • Oil 30g (I used canola oil)
  • Milk 20g
  • Butter Cream
  • 75g Egg white
  • 60g Castor sugar
  • 225g Unsalted butter
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1tsp Mocha/ coffee paste

  1. Whip the egg whites until foamy then add sugar in 3 additions and whip until egg white forms soft peaks form.
  2. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing well before adding more egg yolks.
  3. Add in vanilla and coffee extract and mix until combined.
  4. Add in plain flour and fold to mix well with a spatula.
  5. Add oil and mix well with spatula. Repeat the same with milk – taking care not to over deflate the foam.
  6. Spoon batter into a lined muffin mold. (filled to ¾ of the cupcake mold)
  7. In an oven preheated to 170C, bake the cupcakes for 25mins.
  8. Set aside to cool completely.
  9. Swiss Meringue Butter Cream
  10. Place egg whites, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk egg whites over a water bath until sugar and salt completely dissolves.
  11. Remove from heat and continue whisking the egg whites using a stand mixer.
  12. Whisk at low speed and gradually increase speed. Whisk the egg whites until glossy and firm peaks are formed. (The meringue should cool down by then)
  13. Lower mixing speed and add butter in spoonfuls until well mixed.
  14. Add in vanilla extract and coffee paste.
  15. Change balloon whisk to paddle and continue mixing for another 10mins at low speed until smooth and fluffy.
  16. Decorate cupcakes by frosting with butter cream using a open star piping tip.


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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 daphne September 16, 2012

oh dear. hopefully he is better soon. But with such a beautiful and light cupcake- I hope he feels comforted. I think I would prefer this cake version than a denser one for sure.


2 Shirley@Køkken September 16, 2012

Thanks, Daphne- we are doing all we can to keep his spirits up. This cake is light enough to gobble a few at one go… be warned.


3 thecoffeesnob September 16, 2012

I’ve heard so many good things about Alex Goh’s recipes. I got one of his books years ago on impulse and never got round to using it; maybe it’s about time I should start!

Anyway, your dad’s lucky to have such a filal daughter. I hope he heals well soon.


4 Shirley@Køkken September 16, 2012

Thanks, Laureen…. it’s only right- He sacrificed so much to bring us up…


5 Edith September 16, 2012

Speedy recovery to yr dad. Good to have you by his sides to give him encouragement.


6 Shirley@Køkken September 16, 2012

Thanks, Edith.


7 Li Shuan September 16, 2012

Wishing ur dad speedy recovery. I’m sure it’s not easy for the family at the moment but u must take good care of ur self too.

Like this spongy cupcakes!


8 Shirley@Køkken September 16, 2012

Thanks, Li Shuan…


9 Viveka September 17, 2012

You always provide such teasing photos – love cupcakes … so this I will give a go .. one day so on file this goes. Not a baking person – but this really tickles my fancy. *smile


10 Chris September 17, 2012

Shirley, sorry to hear about your dad’s fall – and wishing your dad speedy recovery. That cuppies look soft and nice. Take care ….


11 Shirley@Køkken September 17, 2012

Thanks, Chris…


12 mokwo September 17, 2012

hi shirley, sori to hear about yur father…hope he’ll get better soon enough…TLC n some sugar( not too much though!) sure will be nice for him..
take care of yurself too!!
btw..nice cc, love the swirl of that buttercream!


13 Alice September 17, 2012

Hi Shirley, sorry to hear about what happened to your dad, I pray for his speedy recovery, also strength and pantience for you too and all who care for him
the cupcakes are lovely :)


14 Jane Lim September 17, 2012

Hi Shirley,
I hope your dad is recovering well with the care of the nurses. I wish him speedy recovery!
Well, anyone would have brighten up with this light cupcake! Looks nice. Reminded me that I hadn’t attempt coffee cakes for a while now…


15 Vera Zecevic – Cupcakes Garden September 17, 2012

Hey , this looks adorable! I would really like to showcase this recipe on my cupcake recipes and ideas blog if you agree.


16 Honeybeesweets September 17, 2012

Hope your dad recovers soon. I’m sure with you and the trusty medical personals there, he will be. My parents prefer lighter cakes like sponges and chiffons too, so this recipe is a great choice. Will try it out too. :)


17 Jeannie September 17, 2012

Amazing looking cup cakes….mine usually sank like the titanic if I bake spongecake in a cupcake liner:( Glad your dad gets to enjoy delicious light cakes like these! Hope he’s recovering well!


18 Shirley@Køkken September 17, 2012

Jeannie – it will sink a little but it shouldn’t shrink to nothing. Make sure your egg whites are stable and don’t over deflate the batter when you fold in the ingredients.


19 Shirley@Køkken September 17, 2012

Mokwo,Jane, Alice, Bee Bee, Jeanie – thank you all for your kind words. I will relate your well wishes to my father…


20 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious September 19, 2012

Hope your father is doing better! And these cupcakes look amazing! I am absolutely obsessed with sponge cake so this is right up my alley!


21 Shirley@Køkken September 25, 2012

Thank you, Chung-Ah


22 Cassandra September 19, 2012

Hi Shirley , tried baking the coffee sponge cake today, my daughter luv it so much especially with the cream, overall not too sweet which is what I like & the cake is soft & fluffy. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe!


23 Shirley@Køkken September 25, 2012

Hi Cassandra, I am so glad that you and your daughter liked this! :)


24 Carol Marschel September 30, 2012

My dad will be 93 next month. He still lives at home and does his own cooking. He has acquired a sweet tooth but does not bake. I will have to try these coffee sponge cupcakes. I am sure they will be a hit for him. Thanks for the recipe. (-:


25 Mel November 14, 2012

Please update me of new posts. Thanks.


26 robert snow December 20, 2012

Many Greetings Shirley,
I often visit your website, to view your wonderful recipes and of course your beautiful photos of the outcome. But today I must write to you and say how sorry I am to hear of your father’s accident, and wish that he returns to good health quickly. With you by his side, providing his food, would make one think….I must have gone to Heaven to dine with Angels. I am sure your father is very proud of you.
Again wishing you and your father all the very best, and that your lives return to normal very soon.
Most Sincerely,
Robert Snow
Nova Scotia


27 Shirley@Køkken December 20, 2012

Thanks, Robert – He is doing a little better now and I hope I can be here often enough to feed him…. :)


28 Angel February 25, 2014

Hi.. I tried this recipe today but I think the sponge cake and the buttercream frosting does not fit well. The buttercream was a bit too sweet for my taste and the sponge cake itself was a little bland. Anyhow, my boy love the sponge cake and he finished one on his own.


29 Shirley@Køkken March 2, 2014

Hi Angel, the sponge cake by itself is usually not very sweet because it is usually there to support other frosting flavours. If you feel the buttercream is too sweet, you can reduce the sugar and use salted butter to give it a bit of saltiness.


30 Ag Yeo October 16, 2014

I have a copy of Alex Goh’s book Fruity Cakes but found that Pages 13 and 14 for the sponge cake recipe are missing. Do you have the book? It’s not sold in Singapore bookstores any more.


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