A favourite of every child everywhere, vanilla cupcakes are the epitome of home baking. I’ve used this recipe for years, and it’s so easy that even my young children can make them without any help from dad – although he still hovers nervously in the background!
If you’ve never baked before, start here.
- 125 g self-raising flour
- 125 g caster sugar
- 125 g unsalted butter (softened)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk
- 85 g egg whites
- 165 g caster sugar
- 250 g unsalted butter
- A splash of vanilla extract
- Food colouring (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 170c/150c fan
- Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cupcake cases.
- Place all the ingredients, except the milk, into the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Turn the speed up to medium/high, and beat until no lumps of butter remain.
- Add the milk, and mix on medium/high speed for 30 seconds.
- Distribute the batter evenly between the paper cases.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden brown, and firm on top
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place the egg whites and sugar into a heatproof bowl, and set over a bain-marie.I use the bowl of a stand mixer, to make everything cleaner and easier.
- Stir gently over a medium heat until the sugar has all dissolved.
- Whisk the meringue mixture for about 7 minutes, until cool and thick.
- Add the butter, a little at a time, and continue whisking until the buttercream is smooth.
- Once all the butter is incorporated, add the vanilla extract, and beat again to combine.
- Colour your buttercream as desired, then transfer into a bag fitted with a large star piping tip.
- Pipe in a continuous line, around the outside of each cupcake, spiralling inward.
- When you reach the middle/top, stop moving, stop squeezing, and pull the piping bag directly upwards.
- Store in an airtight container.