These light and fluffy vanilla cupcakes are suitable for any occasion and a perfect recipe for anyone new to baking!
Vanilla cupcakes are something that I’ve been baking with my mum ever since I first stepped into the kitchen, they’re one of the basics and a pretty important recipe for any baker to have in their repertoire.
The recipe is pretty basic so I’d be impressed if anyone managed to go drastically wrong making these cupcakes, however, I’ve put together a few top tips to ensure that a perfect bake is achieved every time:
- Make sure to cream the butter and sugar for at least 5 minutes to ensure that your mixture is really pale and airy with no big lumps of hard butter.
- Always bake with room temperature eggs. I never refrigerate my baking eggs, so they are always ready to go.
- Remove the butter/ margarine from the fridge a couple of hours before baking to take the chill off it. When baking margarine and eggs that are at room temperature should combine without curdling.
- Remember to sift your flour – to avoid lumps of flour in your cupcake batter.
- Always fold your dry ingredients into the mixture, this will stop you knocking any air out of the batter.
For the cupcakes
6oz caster sugar
6oz butter or margarine
60z self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
For the butter icing
250g salted block butter
500g icing sugar
2 tbsp mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (c) and fill a cupcake or muffin tray with cases and set aside. It should make 12-16 cupcakes depending on the size of cases you use. I tend to make 12 large cupcakes using the larger muffin cases and a muffin tray.
- Beat the butter/ margarine, sugar and vanilla essence together in a medium bowl until light and fluffy.
- Gradually beat in the eggs one at a time, adding 1-2 tbsp of flour each time to avoid the mixture curdling.
- Fold in the remaining flour and baking powder and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Spoon in to the prepared cases and bake in the oven for around 15-20 minutes, or until they are golden brown in colour and a skewer comes out clean.*NOTE* Baking times will vary depending on your oven, so don’t be afraid to leave them in for longer or take them out earlier than I’ve recommended.
- Once the cupcakes are baked transfer to a wire rack to cool down before icing.
- To make the icing, start by cutting the block of butter into slices and microwave in a bowl for 20-30 seconds to soften (or leave out at room temperate overnight).
- Transfer the softened butter into a larger bowl, add then add the mascarpone, vanilla essence and 1/4 of the icing sugar. Beat well.
- Slowly add the rest of the icing sugar mixing well after each addition until the butter icing is pale in colour, light and fluffy. Make sure you stop the mixer halfway through creaming and using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing. *You may not need to use all of the icing sugar, just keep tasting the icing until it’s sufficiently sweet.
- Fit a large disposable piping bag with your favourite nozzle – I use the star shaped tip for cupcakes. Fill the piping bag with the butter icing and then pipe even swirls on the top of each cupcake.
- Decorate the cupcakes as you wish, the base flavour is vanilla so it’ll go with pretty much anything! I’ve chosen to top my cupcakes with strawberry sauce and fresh strawberries, but raspberries, blueberries or any other fruit would work well!
*Add a little cinnamon to the cake mixture and top the cupcakes with fresh blackberries.
*Top the vanilla cupcakes with vanilla icing, raspberry or strawberry sauce and a flake to look like the 99 ice creams you get from ice cream vans in summer.