I have had many questions over the months about how to bake and ice the perfect cupcake so I thought I would share the recipes that I use to make basic, fuss free cupcakes along with my buttercream frosting... yum! This is a great go-to recipe when you need to whip some up quickly as the ingredients involved are generally ones you always have in your pantry and fridge and they are just SO simple to make. Now, as for my secrets, well it's pretty simple... get to know your oven and don't be scared to use your better judgement! Whilst cooking times are essential (especially for those who are new to cooking or baking) I don't always believe in following a recipe and it's cooking time exactly. I have lived in several different homes now and have found that even if each oven was set to the exact same temperature, they don't necessarily cook the same. When baking cakes and cupcakes there is a very fine line between being undercooked and overcooked. For example, this recipe suggest cooking the cupcake for 15 minutes. I would suggest you check them with a skewer from the 13 minute mark. If they still seem really runny in the middle don't be fooled as they turn very quickly. Check them again in another minute or so and you will often find that they are almost done. Another thing you need to remember is that they will continue to cook slightly once you remove them from the oven and often this is where the overcooking occurs, resulting in dry cupcakes! As for piping the icing, I'm planning on sharing a video tutorial once we are settled in our new place in Chicago but if you are desperate for some tips in the mean time I'm sure there are plenty already available on youtube ;)
Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
125g (4 oz) butter, softened
½ cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plain (all purpose) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup (2 fl oz) milk
Paper patty cases
125g butter, lightly softened (I usually take it out of the fridge half an hour before I plan on using it)
2 1/4 cups icing sugar (I always use CSR 'Pure Icing Sugar' as it is for hard setting icing)
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Preheat the oven to 180°c.
- Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy.
- Gradually add the eggs and beat well after each addition.
- Add the flour, baking powder and milk and beat well.
- Spoon the mixture into x12 ½ cup capacity muffin tins lined with paper patty cases and bake for 15 minutes (10 minutes when using miniature patty cases) or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Set aside to cool (I like to cover mine with a clean tea towel to keep them nice and moist).
- Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for roughly six minutes or until light and creamy.
- Add in icing sugar a half cup at a time and add vanilla half way through (food colouring is optional).
- Beat until well combined at at piping consistency (approximately 5 minutes, you should be able to tell when it's done).
- Ice cupcakes as desired.