Summer 2009 Cupcake Crawl Entry: Nostalgia with Coconut and Greek Honey Yogurt Fairy Cakes

>> Wednesday, 15 July 2009

I remember when I go to birthday parties back home I always noticed everyone seemed to be so excited about the cake. In weddings, everyone is looking forward to have a slice of the wedding cake. I see guests’ faces checking the cake out and they would seem to light up when served with a slice of it. I, on the other hand, was thinking, please for God’s sake, get that cake out of my face! But of course, I would pretend to be delighted when given a piece, and then I would give it to my friends. It would seem be rude but rather than throwing it down the bin, might as well give it to someone who really enjoys eating cakes.

You see, I grew up in a family where cakes were a constant sight. We have a small intimate family cake business. We bake cakes for birthdays, weddings, Christmas, New Year and every big or little occasion. Everyone in the family has a role in cake-making. Mom and Dad have 5 girls, 4 of us know how to bake cakes well, our youngest sister Alex doesn’t know anything about cakes because she wasn’t born yet at that time. My mom, the expert, would separate the egg yolks from the whites, the crucial part, since you have to make sure that no trace of yolk or eggshell present in the whites, and it has to be free from any liquid, no water nor oil. My father had the most tedious part of mixing the batter using a wooden spatula by hand. After which, it is then passed on to me, where I get to fold the batter in the stiffly-beaten whites which was prepared well by our elder sister Nog-nog. My sister Cyde did the washing, making sure that the tube pans, mixing bowls, mixing forks, measuring cups and spoons were completely free from cake crumbs and grease and were super dry and ready for use. Ida, our youngest sister then was assigned to wrap the cakes with white cellophane ready to be delivered to customers. Our kitchen was so busy starting on the 23 of December and up until midnight on the 24th, and would oftentimes extend up to 3 in the morning. The orders would just keep on pouring that we don’t really have the chance to sit down and celebrate Christmas Eve.That wonderful scent of cake baking in the oven was all over our home, but I dreaded it that sometimes I would cover my nose up.

I do enjoy making cakes, but to make it a living, baking up to almost 200 cakes non-stop -4 cakes in one batch, I thought, it really was too much. At a young age, it was tiring and I wasn’t enjoying it at all.

We stopped making cakes when my mom went abroad. However, at times, some customers would go to our house and order, which I would usually accept. That time I was really enjoying it. It wasn’t too much to handle at all. I get orders once a week, no bulk orders hard to handle, no deadlines. I bake cakes for weddings even if my mom wasn’t there. I enjoyed decorating the cake, which was my most favorite part. I am no artist though but despite that, I had the drive to bake and play with the frosting.

It has been a year since I haven’t baked a cake. I missed it. My mom visited us and brought her electric mixer and willingly gave it to us. She knows very well that I enjoy baking and cooking.

So today, I am making some fairy cakes. The scent brings back fond memories with my family. It makes me feel so much closer to home, and now that I have my own family, I am so excited to share it with our son, Orlov, when I come home soon.

Coconut and Greek Honey Yogurt Fairy Cakes
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ lb butter
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1c *Buttermilk
¾ c Greek honey yogurt
Sweetened/Candied young coconut (Dulce de Coco)

Buttercream Frosting

8 tbsp of unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup of sifted icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1tsp almond extract
Range of food colorings


Sift together dry ingredients- flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Turn on low speed; add the eggs one a time. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix to incorporate well. Alternately add the sifted dry ingredients and the *buttermilk and Greek honey yogurt to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined.

Line a muffin pan with muffin cups. Fill each cup with 1/3 of the batter, add in a teaspoon of sweetened young coconut/dulce de coco then fill 1/3 more of the batter. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tops are brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and cool completely.

Buttercream Frosting

Whip butter until light and fluffy, add sifted icing sugar little by little until well-incorporated. Beat in the yolk. Add almond extract to mix.

Decorate your fairy cakes the way you like it! I also used desiccated coconut tinged with green coloring to make “grasses”. =)

This is a very soft and moist fairy cake. Absolutely worth a try! =) I assure you it will be worth your time and effort!

This is an entry to GourmetGirl Magazine’s Summer 2009 Cupcake Crawl Entry.

Don’t forget to vote for my entry starting on July 20, 2009 at Gourmetgirl Magazine official Blogsite: Kitchen Rap

Thank you and enjoy your fairy cakes!

*Add one tablespoon of cream of tartar to one cup of skimmed milk. Stir and stand for 15 minutes. Stir the curled buttermilk.


TheGourmetGirl 18 July 2009 at 19:59  

Great combination of flavors and a wonderful addition to the 2009 Virtual Cupcake Crawl.
Wishing you luck.

Confession Nook 21 July 2009 at 23:09  

thanks guys... hope i'd get some votes...=)

Sam Sotiropoulos 23 July 2009 at 19:53  

Oh how wonderful!!! I love the look of these cupcakes. Of course, I also love the ingredients, esp., the Greek yoghurt. Yum. :-) Found you via @thegourmetgirl :-)

TheGourmetGirl 24 July 2009 at 22:34  

If a person doesn't have access to Greek Honey Yogurt, how would you suggest they amend their Greek Yogurt?
You gave directions to make buttermilk, but I have had some people ask about the honey. I gave them my answer, but advised I would speak with you for your opinion since the recipe is yours.
I'll be making your cupcakes over the weekend.

Confession Nook 25 July 2009 at 09:09  

TheGourmetGirl: Thanks for your question. Greek yogurt compared to plain yogurt is much more creamier and thicker and contains a substantial amount of fat. One can actually make home-made Greek yogurt by combining full fat pasteurized cow's milk and plain unflavored yogurt with active live cultures- often seen on the labels with ”active culture or live culture” or the name of a certain strain, say for instance, L bulgaricus, S thermophilus..- which can be easily obtained in local supermarkets. However, an acceptable substitution for Greek yogurt is to strain plain unflavored full fat yogurt. Do this by lining a sieve with cheesecloth/muslin or a couple of coffee filters then place it over a bowl and let it stand in the fridge overnight covered with plastic wrap. You will have a thicker yogurt as a result. Just add honey of your choice and that’s it! =) Thank you and let me know how it went!

Confession Nook 25 July 2009 at 09:13  

Sam: I am no expert in Greek Food but I just love using greek yogurt in my cooking. I know it has a higher fat content but it's so good, gotta skip counting calories! =) Thank you!

TheGourmetGirl 25 July 2009 at 20:59  

I am making your cupcakes at this moment, I don't think you realized that you didn't specify the quantity/volume for the almond and vanilla extracts in the ingredients list for the cake. You also did not indicate when to add the yogurt.
Since I am a veteran and have access to professional chefs, I was able to ascertain the correct quantity, but you may wish to correct that so others won't be confused.

Confession Nook 26 July 2009 at 08:48  

TheGourmetGirl: Pardon me, edited already. Thanks! =)

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