“Lovely” “Delightful” “Minkolicious” “Oh wow!” “I want to marry Minko”All of the above were quotes said by Groom 2.5 after tasting Minko’s Do The Hokey Pokey cupcake, except one. Which quote was not said by Groom 2.5 and who said it will be revealed at the end of this post, along with the next step in the Cupcake Love Connection.But first, more about this amazing cupcake!
What is a Do the Hokey Pokey Cupcake?
Let’s start with a flashback to the Cupcake Love Connection questionnaire. Groom 2.5 said that his ideal woman would be “sweet, delicious and complex … with a hint of nuts.”
Minko met his needs – and then some! What a lady! This was one of the most complex cupcakes that I have ever made, but it wasn’t just complex for the sake of being complex. Each element added something that led to a perfect mix of flavors.
This cupcake consisted of:
- A white cupcake made with caramel and orange zest.
- Hokey pokey candy folded into the cupcake.
- Cinnamon mascarpone frosting with a bit of orange zest. When asked what kind of cupcake he liked best, Groom 2.5 answered, “There is no one answer, but chocolate and cinnamon are always popular, as is a hint of orange.” Minko totally hit the cinnamon with hint of orange in this frosting – not to mention the orange in the cake. I’m glad she didn’t go for the chocolate too. You can’t give a guy everything he likes on the first date.
- Coffee syrup drizzled on top. Minko did not know that Groom 2.5 is a coffee lover. She got very lucky there. Much of love is luck, isn’t it?
- Pistachios sprinkled above the coffee syrup (the hint of nuts). Minko gave me the choice of using macadamia nuts or pistachios on the cupcakes. I opted for the pistachios. Upon seeing them on the cupcakes, Groom 2.5 called them the Kyrptonite of this cupcake. You might say I cheated by picking a nut I knew he would love, but it wasn’t like she gave me 10 choices. What good is Cupid if she doesn’t do a good job aiming the arrow?
Groom 2.5 said nothing about enjoying caramel or hokey pokey. I love that Minko added those elements in, too. You should never lose yourself completely in a relationship. It should be a good meld of two people.
This section is going to be long. I won’t hold it against you if you skip to the bottom for the answer to who said what and the future of the Cupcake Love Connection. All recipes are compliments of master baker and Cupcake Love Connection participant Minko! As always, I added my own baking notes.
Hokey Pokey Recipe
Before you get started, you will need to make or buy (if you can find it near you) some hokey pokey. See my hokey pokey recipe post for more on how to make it yourself.
Coffee Syrup Recipe
If you've tried this recipe, please RATE THE RECIPE and leave a comment below!
Use this syrup to drizzle over your favorite "poke cake" recipe.
- 1 C white sugar
- ¼ C water
- 1 C heavy whipping cream
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 t ground Vietnamese Coffee If you don't have any, any strong coffee will do.
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar, cinnamon stick and water; bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is a deep, caramel color and has the consistency of a thin syrup (about 10-15 minutes).
Remove from heat and stir in the cream; return saucepan to high heat and boil the mixture until it is the consistency of a thick syrup (about 2 minutes).
Stir in the coffee; cool syrup.
Strain the coffee syrup through a fine strainer into a heatproof jug. (I completely skipped this step. I didn't have a fine enough strainer and it tasted amazing without straining.)
The syrup should be refrigerated until ready to use (allow it to reach room temperature before drizzling over the cupcakes).
The caramel that you will be making here is used in the cupcake recipe. I expected the caramel to be more of a candy consistency, but it was more of a syrup. This recipe also made more than was needed. I’ve been using the extra syrup to sweeten drinks. It’s perfect for that!
This is more of a caramel syrup than a "sauce" and I find it perfect for sweetening drinks as well as using in desserts.
Leave 1/2 cup water near the stove as you will need it at Step 4.
Heat sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar starts to dissolve, 5 to 6 minutes.
Constantly swirl the saucepan while the mixture continues to cook. When the mixture starts to turn amber (in 10 to 12 minutes), remove from the heat.
Very carefully add 1/2 cup water in 3 additions to saucepan.
Add salt and stir with a metal spoon until caramel is dissolved, about a minute, returning to heat if needed.
Pour into 2-cup glass measuring cup. You might need to add more water, if needed, to equal 1 1/3 cups of caramel.
Let stand until cooled to room temperature.
Do the Hokey Pokey Cupcake Recipe
Do the Hokey Pokey Cupcakes
This recipe involves a lot of separate parts like syrups and sauces, but they are all worth it once they come together in this amazing cupcake.
- 2 C flour
- 1 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 3/4 C unsalted butter softened
- 2/3 C sugar
- finely grated zest of 1 orange
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 2/3 C caramel mixture from above in this post
- 1 cup crushed hokey pokey
A few hours before you are ready to bake, combine the orange zest and the sugar in bowl. This will let the orange flavor infuse into the sugar.
With a fork, whisk flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl.
Beat butter, grated orange zest and sugar in a large bowl for 1 minute, until light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs and sour cream until blended.
Alternately fold in flour mixture and 2/3 cup of the cooled caramel mixture in three additions, beginning and ending with flour.
Fold the crushed hokey pokey into the batter. Depending on how much you crush the hokey pokey, your cupcakes will look more or less spotted when they are done baking. I used pretty big pieces, which was more sloppy looking but quite tasty (see the photo below). If you want a smoother look, chop your hokey pokey very finely.
Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
Bake at 350 F for 21 to 23 minutes or until toothpick comes out of cupcake clean.
Cool cupcakes in cupcake tins for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes directly onto cooling rack and allow cupcakes to cool completely.
See frosting recipe below in this post
The Cinnamon Mascarpone Frosting
The cinnamon mascarpone frosting was a winner! You can bet that I’ll be making this again. I may even have to do a separate post devoted to it at some point since it’s buried down in this one and I want to give it the glory it deserves. Minko’s recipe used 6 oz of mascarpone cheese. I adjusted it to use 8 oz since that was what my package held and I didn’t want to bother measuring. You may want to double the frosting amount if you are going to use large swirls. I didn’t quite have enough frosting for all of the cupcakes. Perhaps Minko likes some of them naked?
Cinnamon Mascarpone Frosting
A classic mascarpone frosting warmed up with cinnamon.
- 1/4 C half a stick butter, softened
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 t ground cinnamon
- 1/2 t finely grated orange zest
- 2 2/3 C sifted powdered sugar
Using electric mixer, beat butter, grated orange zest, mascarpone, and cinnamon in a large bowl, about 1 minute.
Add powdered sugar; beat until smooth.
Pipe onto cupcakes.
Drizzle with coffee syrup.
Top with choppped nuts.
Who Said What
“Lovely” “Delightful” “Minkolicious” “Oh wow!” “I want to marry Minko”
All of the quotes above were said by Groom 2.5 except “I want to marry Minko”. “I want to marry Minko” was said by Bride 1.0. She adored these cupcakes. Groom 1.0 said he had never seen her eat a cupcake so quickly.
It’s probably good that Groom 2.5 isn’t ready to marry Minko just yet – especially since he seems to think that I am playing some kind of joke on him and that Minko is actually an old man.
Let’s take a moment to examine exactly what they do know about each other.
What Minko Knows About Groom 2.5
Minko now knows that Groom 2.5 loves her cupcakes. She has also now seen his hands. I’m not sure if she’s ever been to a wedding where the poem about hands has been read, but if not, I’ll share:
These are the hands, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.
These are the hands you will place with expectant joy against your stomach, until he too, feels his child stir within your womb.
These are the hands that look so large and clumsy, yet will be so gentle as he holds your baby for the first time.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, for a lifetime of happiness.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes: tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into his eyes: eyes that are filled completely with his overwhelming love and desire for you.
OK, maybe I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.
What Groom 2.5 Knows About Minko
He knows that she bakes great cupcakes. He also knows lots of assorted facts about her if he has checked out her blog. However, since he hasn’t seen her hands, I’m going to share one fact about her that she told me.
Groom 2.5 said in his Cupcake Love Connection questionnaire that he is “drawn to very smart, neurotic, Caucasian women.” Minko wrote me and said, “Hmmm… He said he likes Caucasians … I am Caucasian minus the Cauc.” I don’t think this will be a problem for Groom 2.5, but we shall see.
In the same email where Minko told me that she’s Asian, she said, “I never back down from a challenge.” Let’s see if that’s true!
Groom 2.5 is planning a trip with some friends to Hawaii in January (the 6th – 13th). Hawaii is sorta in between the continental U.S. and Australia. Groom 2.5 would like to invite her and her friends to join on this trip. If Minko says no, he’ll of course understand and alternate arrangements would need to be made. But, how cool would it be if she said yes?! Basically, that would mean that Jonathan and I would need to go as well – the meeting would need to be documented. We would also be on the lookout for any Hawaii bloggers out there to join in the festivities!
Again, I’m getting ahead of myself. :)
Minko, are you up for a trip to Hawaii?