Thursday, 21 November 2013

Tooth cupcake

Last week marked the end of 3rd year as a dental student. Three years of dentistry passes by so quickly. I still remembered my first day in clinic. How excited we all were in our brand new clinic coats. Feeling like a dentist, looking into our each others mouth with a hand mirror. Being very careful not to use the tip of the explorer when running it against the tooth. When infection control was drilled into us every single session. Practicing our finger rests, our patient-operator positioning. Where the most invasive thing we did was probing each other's gums. Ouch!

1st year was the year when we had to master tooth morphology. In the beginning, every tooth looked similar and it felt like an impossible task to name a tooth just by looking at it. It took many hours of practice, but eventually I was able to differentiate all 32 teeth. My favourite tooth? The 47 with the "hot cross bun" grooves/fissures that's instantly recognisable to any dental student.   

Now here I am, past the halfway mark. It's been a fun year and I've thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Spending 3hrs, twice a week in clinic. Seeing 24 different patients, each and every one with a different treatment plan. Doing my very best for each patient. Hoping that my fillings would last them for many years. Smiling from ear to ear under the mask when they comment what a good job you did. Being grateful for your life when you listen to their life stories. Trying oh so hard to empathise with them. It can get stressful at times, but I'm really lucky to have such great tutors to guide me. 

I have to admit that I did not come up with the idea of a tooth cupcake. I have to give credit to Erica's Sweet Tooth for the inspiration. Her idea is ingenious but I decided I could take it up a notch. Not only does it look like a tooth from the outside, it looks like one on the inside as well. Enamel, dentine, pulp. I've got it all covered. And why not add some amalgam filling as well. All you need is a spoon excavator to eat it with and you'll have the complete dental experience! Digging pass the tough enamel-fondant before reaching the dentine-vanilla layer and finally exposing the pulp-red velvet as you eat your way into the centre of the cupcake.

Tooth Cupcake
Adapted from Erica's Sweet Tooth & Hummingbird Bakery. Do take a look at Erica's site for detailed instructions on how to make the tooth cupcake


Red Velvet Cake
60g unsalted butter at room temperature
150g caster sugar
1 egg
20g cocoa powder
40ml red food colouring
½ tsp vanilla extract
120ml buttermilk
150g plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1½ tsp white vinegar
Vanilla Cake
105g plain flour
125g caster sugar
½ tbsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
35g unsalted butter, at room temperature
105ml whole milk
1 egg
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Cream cheese frosting
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold


Red Velvet Cake
Put the butter and the sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated

In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a very thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk.

Beat until well mixed, then add half the flour and beat until everything is well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until you have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low speed and add the bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated 170 degree celsius oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Cake
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a hand-held electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Make the frosting by beating the icing sugar the remaining 20g of the unsalted butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat it until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.

Assembling the tooth cupcake
Bake cupcakes and allow to cool completely.

For the cake ball mixture for the cusps, crumble up Vanilla cake and mix with a few tablespoons of frosting, until the consistency is malleable but not too wet.
Apply a thin coat of frosting to the tops of the red velvet cupcakes and start forming cusps out of the cake ball mixture using an offset spatula.

Refrigerate cupcakes 30 minutes to an hour to allow cake ball mixture to stabilize

Roll out fondant to 1/4″ thickness, using powdered sugar to prevent sticking.
Cut out circles slightly larger than the diameter of the cupcakes and drape over cusps.
Use a sharp knife to trim the edges and tuck the edges in with your fingers and an offset spatula.

I made these cupcakes for a classmate of mine who had a fairy-themed 21st. And yes, I was a tooth fairy that night. 


  1. this is soooooo lovely definitely inspired i have have to try themed cupcakes...Great Job!

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