Art + Cooking Camp Recipe: Japanese Cupcakes

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Japanese steamed cupcakes (mushi-pan) cook in the rice cooker or on the stove top.

We had so much fun at my Japanese art + cooking camp! Each day we made a different recipe. We had a lot of fun making a special type of Japanese cake called mushi-pan: steamed cakes prepared in your rice cooker or on your stove top. Mushi-pan are soft, fluffy and moist, and can be prepared in just 15 minutes from start to finish.

We made two recipes: apricot mushi-pan and frosted Nutella mushi-pan.

Apricot Steamed Cupcakes (mushi-pan)
Makes 10-12
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 Tbsp. milk
  • 8 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping Tbsp. of apricot preserves

Equipment:

  • Rice cooker with steamer basket OR
  • Large frying pan with lid
  • Heat-proof Pyrex or Corning-Ware glass ramekins (I used 6 oz. Pyrex Clear Custard Cups)
  • paper cupcake liners

Instructions:

  • Fill rice cooker with water to depth of 2-3 inches. Turn on.

OR

  • Fill a large frying pan with water to 2/3 full and bring it to a boil (and turn off the heat if you are not ready yet)
  • Put a cupcake liner in each glass ramekin.
  • In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together the flour and baking powder combining well.
  • In a small bowl, combine egg, milk, sugar, and vegetable oil and whisk together.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix with a fork until smooth.
  • Add in the apricot preserves and stir to combine. You should still have chunks of preserved apricot visible even after stirring.
  • Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners. Fill each liner approx. 1/3 to 1/2 full. Don’t overfill as these cakes rise!
  • Place the ramekins directly in the rice cooker steamer basket or in the skillet with the boiling water. Cover and cook for 8 minutes.
  • Uncover and test a cake with a bamboo skewer. The cakes are done if the skewer comes out clean. If the cakes are not done, recover and steam for two more minutes. Don’t over cook!

CAUTION: the steam is very hot and can burn you. Parental supervision is recommended.

  • When cool, remove the cakes from the ramekins. They should pop out of the cups easily. If not, you can run a butter knife around the edges to loosen.
Kids prepare Japanese mushi-pan. Batter is spooned into paper lined glass ramekins, then steamed for 8 minutes.

Kids prepare Japanese mushi-pan. Batter is spooned into paper lined glass ramekins, then steamed for 8 minutes.

 

Frosted Nutella Steamed Cupcakes (mushi-pan)
I used the recipe from Magpies Recipe blog. . Click here for the recipe
We increased the sugar to 4 Tbsp./single batch, then frosted the cooled cupcakes with more Nutella.

 

These Nutella-flavored Japanese mushi-pan cupcakes cook in only 8 minutes on the stove top.

These Nutella-flavored Japanese mushi-pan cupcakes cook in only 8 minutes on the stove top.

Results:

The campers loved both varieties of mushi-pan cupcakes. You should try them!

Want more help? Check out this cooking lesson from the Japan Society.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=14giDBtMPvg

Enjoy!

Do you like cooking with kids?

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