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Strawberry Lychee Cupcakes

Strawberry and Lychee Cupcakes

July 2007

The countdown has begun for my trip to SE Asia. After reading several travel guides about the yummy and exotic fruits of the region I decided to try my hand at baking with one of them. The sweet, delicate flavor of lychee seemed like a perfect start for a summer cupcake. (What’s a lychee you ask? Click here. What did we do before wikipedia?) Since the flavor is so subtle I am kicking it up with strawberry juice, another one of my favorite summer fruits.

Lychees are kinda odd-looking- like they should be bland and slimy. But when you pop it in your mouth- delicious! Pour the can into a dish so you can reserve the juice & sugar syrup for making icing. (And/or use the leftovers in green tea or martinis.)


For these cupcakes start with white boxed cake mix. Use the standard measurements for eggs and oil, but in place of the 1 cup of water you should use roughly 2/3 of a cup of strawberry juice (i.e. most of a can of defrosted strawberry daiquiri mix) and 1/3 cup lychee juice/syrup. I also sliced up about 6 lychee fruits (after removing the paper-like inner shell) and added the fruit to the batter. They didn’t seem to make a huge impact in the finished product, but I like biting into the fruity bits of the cupcake.

They smelled wonderful in the oven and baked up golden brown. When they had about five minutes left I brushed the tops with the reserve lychee syrup for a little kick.


use a light frosting that won’t detract from the cake. I went with whipped topping mixed with additional confectioners sugar (for sweetness and consistency). I bet cream cheese icing would also be delicious, but slightly heavier. To decorate this batch I made a mixture of lychee juice, confectioners sugar and gel color. The juice-based glaze gives yet another flavor kick when you bite into a line or dot.

The chaotic pattern isn’t very zen, but it looks great and tastes even better. This recipe is a keeper.

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