• Val Beattie


Where do I start when it comes to cupcakes...so many flavours of sponge, different kinds and flavours of frosting.....before we even get into the decoration!

I enjoy doing cupcakes but that is after a lot of practice...they can be as much work as a normal sized cake!

Here are my two favourite vanilla cupcake recipe- the first one is by good ole Mary Berry is easy and tastes great. The other one is from a book that I has blogged about before - Lola's Forever - the recipe is easy and tastes delicious too, richer than Mary Berry's ones and maybe lighter.

So here they are....

Mary Berry Vanilla Cupcakes. Makes 12 cupcakes.

175g Butter.

175g Self Raising Flour.

175g Caster Sugar.

1/2 tsp. Baking Powder.

1/2 tsp.Vanilla Extract.

3 Large Eggs.

Oven to 180 Celsius. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake or muffin cases. Put all ingredients in bowl and mix with a hand mixer. Spoon into 12 cupcake/muffin cases. Cook for 20-25 mins. They will be ready when they are golden in colour, spring to touch and if you are using a cake tester - it will come out clean. (Val's tip - if you have a stand mixer that's fine - just give the end mix a bit of a fold to get more air in - help them rise).

Lola's Vanilla Cupcake Recipe. Makes 12 cupcakes.

200g self raising flour.

1 teaspoon of baking powder.

175g butter.

250g caster sugar.

1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste ( I used vanilla extract).

3 eggs.

175ml soured cream.

Oven to 180 Celsius. Sift flour and baking powder. Put butter and sugar in stand of a stand mixer or in a big bowl with a hand mixer - beat on high speed for 1-2 mins till light and fluffy. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to make sure all the butter and sugar is incorporated. Slowly add the sifted flour and baking powder and mix at low speed till incorporated. Then ,at low speed at the eggs one at a time. Again scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure fully combined. You should have a smooth mixture then add soured cream - do not overmix (this is to ensure plenty air gets into them and they don't end up flat).

Using an ice cream scoop divide mix into 12 muffin cases - fill to 2/3rds full. Bake in oven till well risen and a skewer come out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

So two quite different recipes - I like them both - Mary Berry's is better if you are in a rush but Lola's is richer. I did read to put rice in the bottom of the tins before I put the cases in to help butter seepage/condensation but I didn't find it much help and a bit of added faff.

I tend to stick with a regular Buttercream Recipe-


140g Butter.

280g Sifted Icing Sugar.

2-3 tablespoons of milk.

Whisk butter till smooth - add sugar then milk till smooth consistency.

I use a Wilton 2D or 1M tip to pipe on a swirl. There are loads of tutorials on YouTube to show you how to do this. You can practice on greaseproof paper and just scoop it back into your piping bag to use again. When you are piping if it starts to come out quickly and messily put hhe piping bag in fridge for a few minutes to cool down. It is the heat of your hands that is causing it.

If you are trying to do 2 colours together in your piping bag I have found that the bigger the piping bag the better - put one colour in one side and the other(s) next to it then start piping. Don't put too many dark colours in or else this will overwhelm the other colours.

You can just put the buttercream on like spreading butter on toast too - that looks great too.

The possiblities are endless with decorations.....sprinkles, fruit, chocolate, fondant figures, small biscuits etc etc etc.

It would be great to see some of your cupcakes so please send me pics or comments to valbthebaker@gmail.com.

Happy Baking.

Val x

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