Tea Time - Vanilla Cupcakes with Passion Fruit Cream Cheese Frosting

This past Sunday, I participated in Tristin and Tyler's fashion photo shoot for an upcoming issue in Babiekins Magazine, a children fashion and design magazine.  Tristin and Tyler are 7 year old twins who have their own web series called "Tristin and Tyler's Tales from the City!". They promote green living and teach other kids how to have fun in the big city.  The busy Eco twins also started modeling for children fashion; and for this photo shoot, one of the themes is a kids' tea party, so I provided cupcakes and finger sandwiches as the backdrop (and snack).

As you may know I am a novice baker and only started baking a few years ago.  Even though these cupcakes may serve as the backdrop of a photo shoot, I thought it would be better to make them from scratch.  Besides making cupcakes from scratch is really not that difficult, and these ingredients are usually in your pantry/fridge already.

My go-to cupcake recipe is from Alan Richardson and Karen Tack of Hello, Cupcakes.  I got the recipe from watching Karen Tack on one of my favorite food channels demonstrating her basic vanilla cupcakes recipe.  It looked so simple to make; so I made them and now it is one my favorite recipes.

The cupcakes are light and moist, and not too sweet.  As to the frosting, I adapted from a cream cheese buttercream frosting from Angie Dudley at Bakerella.com; another simple recipe that anyone could do.  But instead of using vanilla to flavor the frosting I came across some purple passion fruits and as a big fan of this flavorful fruit, I added some purple passion fruit juice to the frosting instead.  Result - delicious!

Basic Vanilla Cupcakes - Recipe by Alan Richardson and Karen Tack of Hello, Cupcakes (yield 18 cupcakes)

1 stick of butter (8 tbsp - softened, room temperature)
1 cup of sugar
3 eggs

Dry Ingredients
2 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 tsp of salt
2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda

Wet Ingredients
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup of milk
1 tsp of vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, set aside.  Then in another mixing bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients and set aside for later use.  In a standing mixer or use a hand mixer in medium speed, cream the room temperature butter and sugar together until smooth.  Then add one egg at a time until each is well incorporated before adding the second egg.  After the eggs are mixed, alternately add the dry ingredients (be sure to add the dry ingredients first), then the wet ingredients to the egg mixture.  Repeat the process until you end up with adding the dry ingredients last.  Pour the batter into a pastry bag to make it easier and less messy to pour into the lined cupcakes molds.  Dispense the batter 2/3 full into each cupcake mold and bake for at least 15 to 20 minutes.  Cool cupcakes on a rack before applying frosting.

Purple Passion fruit Cream Cheese Frosting - Adapted by Angie Dudley at Bakerella.com (make enough to top 18 cupcakes)

1 package of cream cheese (8 oz - softened, room temperature)
1 stick of butter (8 tbsp - softened, room temperature)
1 lb of confectioner's sugar
3 tbsp of fresh squeezed purple passion fruit juice (approximately 6 passion fruits) 

Cut the passion fruits in half, scoop the seeds and pulp with a spoon.  Strain the juice by pressing pulp with the spoon over the strainer.  While the juice is straining, cream the room temperature cream cheese and butter together in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle until the mixture is creamy.  Put the mixer on low, then slowly add the confectioner's sugar.  After the mixture is well incorporated, add the fresh passion fruit juice then increase the mixer speed to medium.  Mix the cream until it turns light and fluffy about a couple of minutes.  Once the frosting is finished, fit the pastry bag with a star piping tip.  Fill the bag with the frosting and hold it upright.  Start piping the frosting along the edge of the cupcake first. Then work your way into the center.  I also top my cupcakes with some fun store-bought decorations.

The photo shoot was a lot of fun, and here's a sneak peak with some of the shots I took.  I can't wait to see Nicole Taylor's pictures, so great to meet her and her story of how she became a professional photographer was inspiring.  I also loved meeting the antique shop owner Gregory Cole of Gregory Cole Antique Shop in Norwalk, CT.  If you're in the neighborhood, be sure to visit him.  He provided the furniture and space for the photo shoot.  I had an interesting conversation with him about blogging and social media.  I hope to see him add a blog to his store's website; and maybe even see him on the Twitterverse in the near future. Finally, I want to thank Props for Today for lending me the beautiful tea set that completed the tea time table!


  1. Beautiful cupcakes! Always a fan of cream cheese frosting, love the addition of passionfruit. Makes them extra special :)

  2. Tiffany's Toy BoxMay 4, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    You did an AHHHMAzing job on those cupcakes, and where ever did you get that amazing tea set! You're totally amazing at food/prop styling! KEEP IT UP!

  3. This is actually the first time I have heard of passionfruit in cream cheese frosting - it looks gorgeous :D
    A definite keeper, especially with those vanilla cupcakes!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Two Twix Fudgy "Whities"

  4. So delicious!!!
    I am loving this flavor:)
    Thanks for sharing

    Soy Yogurt-Yo MyGoodness

  5. This dessert looks so delectable and I am a fan of cupcakes. My daughter turn 6 recently and I hosted a DIY party for her at the domestic venues in Los Angeles. I also made beautiful frozen themed cupcakes for this bash. Everyone loved them a lot.


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