This is a basic cupcake recipe. You can change the ingredients slightly to make different-flavoured cakes, or add all sorts of icings and decorations so every cake is a mini masterpiece!
Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F / Gas 4. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
Put the butter and sugar in a bowl; and beat until pale and fluffy.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl.
Beat the eggs and vanilla and add to the bowl. Beat until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until risen, golden and firm to the touch.
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 12 cupcakes
Fillings and Flavours
Add a filling to the cupcake by cutting a cone from the middle of each cake with a serrated knife. Fill the hole with jam, lemon curd or one of these fabulous fillings:
Raspberry and Chocolate Cupcakes: Fill each cake with 1 tsp seedless raspberry jam and ice with chocolate buttercream.
Lemon Cupcakes: Fill each with 1 tsp lemon curd. Ice with lemon buttercream.
Caramel Cupcakes: Fill each with 1 tsp dulche de leche, ice with a single quantity of vanilla buttercream and top with sliced banana
Chocolate Cream Cupcakes: Mix 75g mascarpone with 2 tbsp double ceam and quarter tsp vanilla. Put 1 tsp of this in the centre of each cupcake. Ice with chocolate buttercream.
Then...ice the cake with buttercream icing.
It’s the icing that makes them special. Swirl it on using a piping bag and nozzle – but practise on a plate first
For plain buttercream, beat 110g (4 oz) butter until soft, then beat in 110g (4oz) icing sugar, a tablespoon at a time.
For vanilla buttercream, add half teaspoon vanilla extract and beat to combine.
For lemon buttercream, beat in 1 tbsp lemon juice - add 1 tsp at a time and taste after each addition.
For chocolate buttercream, beat in quarter tsp vanilla, 60g (2oz) melted and cooled milk chocolate and 2 tbsp cocoa powder