On Friday I baked cupcakes for an event I had been working on since September. I was a mentor on the Takeover Film Weekend and Friday was our premiere. We screened Parked and had Colin Morgan from BBC's Merlin as our special guest (he is lovely!). I thought I'd take this opportunity to share my favourite vanilla cupcake recipe with you all since I get a lot of emails asking me what it is! It's from the Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery book, which is my most loved baking book and the only one where recipes actually make the amount they say they do! I recommend it over all others.
I hand cut the decorations out of fondant icing and painted on the colours with edible luster dust and glitter. The pearly sheen on the icing was achieved using Dr Oetker silver shimmer spray.
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
1. Preheat oven to 160deg C (fan)/180 deg C/350 deg F/gas mark 4.
2. 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.
3. Add the vanilla extract to the milk in a plastic measuring jug.
4. Combine the two flours in a separate bowl.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
The cupcakes can be stored in airtight containers for up to 3 days at room temperature.
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
60ml semi-skimmed milk
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
500g icing sugar, sifted
Few drops of food colouring (optional)
1. 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.
2. 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.
The buttercream can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature. Before re-using beat well.