Chiffon Cupcakes with Mandarin Whipped Cream

Cotton soft chiffon cupcakes topped with a light citrus whipped cream. This mandarin shaped cupcake is perfect for celebrating the new lunar year, or just a cute afternoon tea!

It’s the beginning of 2021, and soon enough it’s going to be the start of the new lunar year, the year of the ox! What better way to bring in the lunar new year than with some dessert. These cotton soft chiffon cupcakes are decorated with a citrus whipped cream to resemble cute little mandarins.

Mandarin shaped cotton-soft chiffon cupcakes with citrus whipped cream

What do mandarins symbolise in Chinese culture?

Now you might be thinking, why mandarins…? If you are from an east-asian background you might understand their relevance, but otherwise you might be confused as to why a fruit would have anything to do with the start of a new year.

I may have taken advantage of their cuteness in making this dessert, but there is actually a lot of symbolism behind this small citrus.

Mandarins are a symbol of wealth and good luck. Both things I would like to bring with me this year (or anytime really)!

The word “mandarin” in Chinese is similar to the word “wealth”, and so having these lying around during the lunar new year is said to bring you money!

Also the orange colour of the mandarin in similar to gold, another reason why you should go buy some mandarins for the lunar new year. Or… just make these mandarin shaped cotton soft cupcakes!

Mandarin shaped cotton-soft chiffon cupcakes with citrus whipped cream
Mandarin shaped cotton-soft chiffon cupcakes with citrus whipped cream

Tips on making super soft chiffon cupcakes

One of my favourite things to make in this world is sponges. There is something so satisfying about folding in the meringue to create a cloud-like batter. But, you would be surprised to know that sponges were once my arch-nemesis. The number of dense, eggy sponges I made… I can’t even count the number of times it’s happened (and cried), but those experiences are what gave me the knowledge I have now!

If you have had trouble with chiffon cakes, cupcakes are a lot easier to handle. Their size makes them are a lot more forgiving, and even with small mistakes you’ll have melt-in your-mouth clouds.

Follow these tips for the fluffiest, chiffon cupcakes you have ever tasted.

  • Cooked dough method (Tang mian)
    • Out of all the methods I’ve tried, this is the one that gives the fluffiest results. “Cooking” your dough with the heat of the melted butter, oil and milk coats the flour with a layer of fat. This prevents the flour from forming as much gluten (what makes your cakes dense) giving you super soft sponges!
    • Heat your wet ingredients until steaming before whisking it into the egg yolks and flour
  • Folding in the meringue
    • This is one of the most important steps as it gives rise to your cupcakes. If you deflate the meringue it can cause those dreaded dense and eggy cakes…
    • My tip is to lighten the mixture you are adding the meringue to. That way it is easier to distribute the meringue with minimal deflation. I do this by adding 1/3rd of the meringue to the cooked dough mixture before folding the rest of the meringue in.
    • Then add the cooked dough mixture to the meringue. By doing this the heavier batter is sitting on top, instead of stuck in the depths of your mixing bowl (where you could potentially miss). This makes it so much easier to distribute the two batters evenly. No cake omelettes today!
  • Bake them enough
    • One of the saddest things to see is a beautifully risen cake deflate right before your eyes. This happens when you haven’t baked your sponge for long enough. The moisture escapes when you take it from the oven, and before long you have a cake crater.
    • The solution is easy, bake for longer.
    • Sponges will rise to their maximum height before shrinking back slightly. If you take them out of the oven before they shrink back they’ll deflate.
    • Everyone’s oven is different, so the timing of a recipe is only a gage. Keep an eye on your cupcakes and only take them out after the slight shrink back!
Mandarin shaped cotton-soft chiffon cupcakes with citrus whipped cream

Back to the recipe!

Now you might be looking at the recipe and thinking. Catherine… why are you using orange when this is clearly a mandarin recipe. Unfortunately mandarins are not in season in Australia, and the ones that you can find honestly tastes like absolutely nothing. Taking advantage of the produce you have available is one of my biggest tips, and if I have fragrant oranges on hand, why not use those. The same goes for all of you. Use the citrus you have available and create the best tasting version you can!

I hope you like this recipe, and hopefully the tips I give you can help you create the best chiffon cupcakes! If you have any questions let me know and I’ll do my best to help you out.

Leave me a rating and comment down below if you enjoyed this recipe and I can’t wait to see your creations. Tag me on instagram @catherine.justdessertsau and hashtag #cattycakes so I can see and share your creations. Happy lunar new year, and until next time happy cupcaking!

Chiffon Cupcakes with Citrus Whipped Cream Recipe

RatingDifficultyIntermediate

Cotton soft chiffon cupcakes topped with a light citrus whipped cream. This mandarin shaped cupcake is perfect for celebrating the new lunar year, or just a cute afternoon tea!

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Yields12 Servings
Prep Time30 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time50 mins

Chiffon Cupcakes
 15 g Unsalted butter (1 tbsp)
 30 g Vegetable oil (2 tbsp 1 tsp)
 35 g Milk (2 tbsp 1 tsp)
 5 g Mandarin/Orange juice (1 tsp)
 30 g Sugar (I) (2 tbsp 1 tsp)
 70 g Flour (1/2 cup)
 3 Eggs
 60 g Sugar (II) (1/4 cup)
 Zest of one mandarin/orange
Citrus Whipped Cream
 200 g Thickened/Heavy cream (3/4 cup 2 tsp)
 50 g White Sugar (1/4 cup)
 Juice of 1/4 orange, or 1/2 mandarin
 Zest of one mandarin/orange
 Orange food colouringor red and yellow colouring
 Lemon thyme leavesfor garnish
 Compound chocolatemelted and piped into small twigs

Chiffon Cupcakes
1

Preheat the oven to 160C/320F

2

Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cupcake liners

3

In a small saucepan combine the butter, oil, milk, orange/mandarin juice, and sugar (I), heat until steaming

4

In a medium sized bowl add the egg yolks, then slowly whisk in the hot milk mixture

5

Add the flour and zest, then continue to whisk until smooth

6

In a large bowl whisk the egg whites until foamy, then add sugar (II), whisk until stiff peaks

7

Transfer the egg yolk mixture to the meringue and fold until just combined

8

Distribute the batter evenly between the cupcake cases

9

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown

10

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool

Citrus Whipped Cream
11

Add the cream, juice and sugar to a mixing bowl, whisk until soft peaks

12

Add the food colouring and continue to whisk until stiff peaks

13

Transfer to a piping bag with a large round piping tip (or cut off a large opening) and pipe circular rounds on top of each cupcake

14

Garnish with thyme leaves and chocolate stems

CategoryCake

Ingredients

Chiffon Cupcakes
 15 g Unsalted butter (1 tbsp)
 30 g Vegetable oil (2 tbsp 1 tsp)
 35 g Milk (2 tbsp 1 tsp)
 5 g Mandarin/Orange juice (1 tsp)
 30 g Sugar (I) (2 tbsp 1 tsp)
 70 g Flour (1/2 cup)
 3 Eggs
 60 g Sugar (II) (1/4 cup)
 Zest of one mandarin/orange
Citrus Whipped Cream
 200 g Thickened/Heavy cream (3/4 cup 2 tsp)
 50 g White Sugar (1/4 cup)
 Juice of 1/4 orange, or 1/2 mandarin
 Zest of one mandarin/orange
 Orange food colouringor red and yellow colouring
 Lemon thyme leavesfor garnish
 Compound chocolatemelted and piped into small twigs

Directions

Chiffon Cupcakes
1

Preheat the oven to 160C/320F

2

Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cupcake liners

3

In a small saucepan combine the butter, oil, milk, orange/mandarin juice, and sugar (I), heat until steaming

4

In a medium sized bowl add the egg yolks, then slowly whisk in the hot milk mixture

5

Add the flour and zest, then continue to whisk until smooth

6

In a large bowl whisk the egg whites until foamy, then add sugar (II), whisk until stiff peaks

7

Transfer the egg yolk mixture to the meringue and fold until just combined

8

Distribute the batter evenly between the cupcake cases

9

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown

10

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool

Citrus Whipped Cream
11

Add the cream, juice and sugar to a mixing bowl, whisk until soft peaks

12

Add the food colouring and continue to whisk until stiff peaks

13

Transfer to a piping bag with a large round piping tip (or cut off a large opening) and pipe circular rounds on top of each cupcake

14

Garnish with thyme leaves and chocolate stems

Chiffon Cupcakes with Mandarin Whipped Cream

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5 Comments

  1. Sarah February 1, 2021 at 11:27 pm

    Rated 5 out of 5

    How cute are these! My kids love mandarins and would love these 🙂

    Reply
  2. Jenny February 9, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    Rated 4 out of 5

    My milk curdled on the stove! Need to watch it more carefully. Great fresh flavours, will make again!

    Reply
    1. Catherine February 10, 2021 at 2:23 am

      Glad you liked the recipe! Yes gotta keep an eye on things that are heating 😆

      Reply
  3. Jacquelene February 13, 2021 at 1:06 am

    Omg I love the explanations and detail of this recipe! I’ve been following your blog for a while so I really appreciate the conversation of grams to cups/tablespoon/etc. Will make these after this comment! 🤣

    Reply
    1. Catherine February 13, 2021 at 2:32 am

      Been working on writing more detailed explanations of the recipes! I’m glad you’re enjoying them 🥰 Hope the cupcakes go well!

      Reply

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