Iron Cupcake: San Francisco – PEPPER! Spicy Orange Szechuan Pepper Cupcakes

Yesterday I participated in my first Iron Cupcake: San Francisco Challenge! It was super fun, and the cupcakes were awesome! I totally got my ass kicked on the presentation front. 🙂 I’m already looking forward to the next month.

The secret ingredient this month was Pepper. I immediately thought of the Szechuan Peppercorns I’ve had sitting in my cupboard for… well, a really long time. Somehow, my mind immediately went: “orange!” I got this notion in my mind that since Orange goes well with cloves, cardamom, and other similar spices it would probably go well with Szechuan Pepper as well. I didn’t want the cupcake to be too peppery, so I made plain orange cupcakes, and then made an orange frosting spiked with the pepper. It turned out really really well. I ended up adding a little white pepper and a pinch of red chili pepper to add a little extra kick!

The orange flavor in these is really luscious. If you want, you can leave out the pepper and get some kick-ass orange cupcakes!


Orange Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes or about 24 mini cupcakes

1 1/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Butter, at room temperature (1 stick)
2 Large Eggs
3/4 tsp Orange Oil
Zest of 1/4 Orange
1/2 cup minus 1 Tbsp Whole Milk
1 Tbsp Orange Juice

Preheat oven to 375F
Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners

1) In a medium bowl, sift & whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
2) In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium, cream butter and sugar.
2) Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low until fully combined and smooth, then beat in orange zest and orange oil.
4) Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk, beating until just combined after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
5) Add orange juice and beat until just combined and no stray flour remains.
6) Divide batter among prepared cupcake liners. Bake until golden and a toothpick comes out clean, about 18-19 minutes for regular sized cupcakes or about 15 minutes for minis. When done, cool on a wire rack for about an hour. Cool completely before frosting!


You can frost these with my Spicy Orange-Szechuan Pepper Buttercream, below (or omit the pepper to get plain Orange Cupcakes). Or use the frosting of your choice! I imagine a chocolate frosting such as my Chocolate Creme Fraiche Frosting would go really nicely with these. You could even add some orange oil to your favorite chocolate frosting to up the orange-flavor ante!


Spicy Orange-Szechuan Pepper Buttercream
Makes enough to frost 1 batch of cupcakes (I usually have a little left over)

2 cups Butter (4 sticks), at room temperature
1 cup Powdered Sugar
Zest of 1/4 Orange
3/4 tsp Orange Oil
2 Tbsp freshly ground Szechuan Peppercorns
1 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp red chili (cayenne) pepper

In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar. With an electric mixer, cream together until smooth and fully combined. Add orange zest & orange oil and mix until fully incorporated. Add all 3 peppers, then mix until just combined. Voila! You’re ready to frost.




TamsinCakes Fans Page!

Hello! *ahem, ahem* I have an announcement to make. The awesome Ryan Singer has created a new TamsinCakes Fan Page !!

Anyone can be added to the Fan blog, so if you have something to share, a question to ask, or want to say anything at all about TamsinCakes, just reply to any of the posts on Fans of  TamsinCakes saying that you’d like to be added to the blog. We’ll set you up with posting capabilities ASAP!

I’ve decided that I’d like to coordinate with my Beta Testers via Fans of TamsinCakes from now on, so please go there for news on flavors currently in Beta, to announce your interest in being a Beta Tester, and to leave feedback on any flavors you try!

Happy Blogging!

Published in: on June 29, 2009 at 9:00 am  Comments (1)  
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TamsinCakes at Facebook Meetup Group

On Monday, I had the pleasure of providing cupcakes for a Meetup for Facebook Application Developers. I just wanted to say thanks to the organizers, Sudha Jamthe & Perrine Crampton, for having me – and to everyone who tried the cupcakes & gave feedback! I got some very useful feedback on my comment cards. 🙂 On the whole, the responses were pretty positive! I made 90 mini cupcakes in total, 30 each of my 3 signature flavors (so far!) – Ginger Lemongrass, Hot Cocoa, and Red Chai Chocolate. They all disappeared! It was a lot of fun being there and I hope to be able to do it again.

The only thing missing is pictures – I forgot to bring my camera. If anyone else has pictures from the Meetup, let me know!

Published in: on June 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm  Comments (1)  
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Coming Soon!

Welcome to TamsinCakes! TamsinCakes are locally made, handcrafted cupcakes with unique yet sophisticated flavors. We are currently in the very early stages, developing recipes and brainstorming flavor ideas. It’s all very exciting!!

As I test and develop new flavors, I will be posting updates on this blog and on Twitter – you can follow us at @TamsinCakes.

Every new flavor will launch via a TamsinCakes Product Release Party, free and open to anyone who likes cupcakes! These will be announced via Twitter.  All Twitter followers who RSVP will be entitled to a free cupcake at every Product Release Party!

Cupcake lovers in the SF Bay Area – I’m looking for Beta Testers to try out new flavors as I’m perfecting them & give feedback. Interested? Just leave a comment here and I’ll get in touch with more details. Don’t be shy – the more Beta Testers the better! No culinary expertise necessary, just a love of  delicious sweet things!

TamsinCakes should be ready to launch by July 2009. Check back often and follow us on Twitter for updates!

Published in: on May 13, 2009 at 9:50 am  Comments (6)  
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