Jinky's favorite flower to frost on a cupcake is the English rose. She mixes different hues of frosting to get the petals to look like real roses. You can request a specific flower and Jinky can customize a bouquet for you. Photo by Jinky Yamsuan
It all started with a birthday gift. Jinky Yamsuan, a home baker whose pastry outfit is called Amanda’s Oven, wanted to give her mom Peachy a gift for her birthday.
“She loves flowers. When I was growing up, we were required to spend every Sunday in the garden wor-king on her flowers with her,” said Yamsuan.
She thought about giving flowers, but didn’t like that they would wilt and would be thrown out in a few days. Flower pots would simply get lost in her mom’s massive collection and would leave no impact.
And then sweet inspiration struck. “What if I made cupcakes that looked like flowers? Everybody would be able to enjoy it,” she said.
Yamsuan is no stranger to baking. The former Abu Dhabi-based flight attendant enjoyed recreating desserts she had tried during her stopovers in Paris and Bangkok.
Her current bestseller, her own take on the buko pie, was born out of her balikbayan cravings.
“When we were still living abroad,” she recalled, “we’d come home and go to Tagaytay to look for buko pie. I found them too heavy on the cornstarch, so I made one that had no cornstarch.”
Each component of her version, called the Coco Cupcake Pie, was meticulously researched and put together until she ended up with a winner: coconut strips mixed with creamy custard cupped in a delicious, buttery shortbread crust, and topped with soft meringue frosting. It is light, sweet and something you’ll find yourself constantly craving.
The cupcake flower bouquet she gave her mom was such a huge hit that she began receiving orders from family and friends. Everyone who sees her real-looking bouquets are in awe of the intricate details.
And, yes, Yamsuan not only makes sure the cupcakes in the bouquet taste good, she also ensures that they look like real flowers, going as far as mixing three different shades of red frosting to create the perfect poinsettia rouge, or piping different pastel hues on her English rose frosting to get the right amount of color gradient on her su-gary petals.
Even the little frosting petals spilled over a basket of poinsettia cupcakes is deliberate.
“I want to mimic the imperfections of real flowers and how petals would rest over a basket’s edge,” she said.
She’s done different kinds of flower-inspired cupcakes: sunflowers, hydrangeas, poppies, poinsettias for the holidays, mums, daisies, and her personal favorite, the English rose.
Recreating the rose petals through frosting takes Yamsuan about five minutes per cupcake and is painstakingly piped by hand.
The self-taught baker also loves painting in her spare time, which explains the attention to detail and the fascination with making her creations as realistic as possible.
For a birthday party, a request was made for a cookies and cream cake. Yamsuan took it a step further and created a charming cake sculpture that looked like a cookie with milk caught in mid-pour from a carton of milk.
For the Christmas holidays, she recently experimented with a mini Christmas tree cupcake tier that took four hours to frost and put together.
You can choose which flavor cupcakes to use for your bouquet—her bestselling flavors are salted caramel and red velvet. If you’re worried about display longevity, Yamsuan has adjusted her frosting formula so that it can withstand the brutal Philippine humidity.
If you’re looking for a sweet conversation piece for your parties this Christmas, make sure to check out Jinky Yamsuan at Amanda’s Oven.
Visit facebook.com/amandasovenph. Follow on Instagram, @amandasovenph. To place orders, call or text 0977-7210084 or e-mail [email protected]