No party is complete without cupcakes these days. They’re quick and easy and are a great base to experiment with.
Nic made these chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with buttercream icing and they were perfectly light and fluffy. If you start with a basic vanilla cupcake recipe, you can add food colouring, different toppings or sprinkles depending on your theme. Try the recipe below and go red, white and blue for a Jubilee theme.
- 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 225g caster sugar, preferably golden
- 2 large eggs, free-range or organic
- 150g self-raising flour
- 125g plain flour
- 120ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1tsp good quality vanilla extract
For the vanilla buttercream icing:
- 115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 60ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
- 500g icing sugar, sifted
(optional – Few drops of food colouring)
For the chocolate buttercream icing
- 110g unsalted butter
-170g icing sugar
- 55g sifted cocoa powder
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 160 deg C
- Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until the mixture is pale and smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing briefly after each addition. This can take a few minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure the mixture stays well combined.
- Add the vanilla extract to the milk in a plastic measuring jug.
- Combine the two flours in a separate bowl.
- Add one-third of the flours to the combined butter and sugar mixture and beat well. Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk has been added.
- Carefully spoon the mixture evenly into the cupcakes cases. Bake in the centre of the oven for approx 25 minutes (regular size) or 15 minutes (mini size) until slightly raised and golden brown. Check with a cake skewer in the centre of one of the cakes to see that they are cooked.
Leave in their tins for 10 minutes or so and then place carefully on a wire rack to cool. When completely cool, you can ice these cupcakes with vanilla buttercream icing.
For the vanilla buttercream:
Beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and half the icing sugar until smooth. This will usually take a few minutes. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar to produce a buttercream of a creamy and smooth consistency.
If you want to colour your buttercream, always start with a drop of colouring and beat thoroughly. This will be all you need to create a very pale pastel shade. You can then add more drops and beat after each addition to build up to your desired shade.
For the chocolate buttercream, follow the above method but mix the icing sugar and cocoa powder together first and then gradually add to the wet mixture.
Pipe or spread the icing with a knife over your cupcakes and decorate however you like.
(The buttercream can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. Before re-using beat well.)