• 100g (4 oz) soft margarine
  • 100g (4 oz) caster sugar
  • 100g (4 oz) self-raising flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla essence

Chocolate Orange Variation

  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 50g (2 oz) plain chocolate chips
  • Grated rind of half an orange (optional)


  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 1/2 to 4 tbsp warm water
  • Red and blue food colouring
  • Mini white sugar stars or pip white icing stars


  1. Put all the ingredients for the cakes into a bowl or food processor and beat together until smooth. 
  2. Line a mini muffin tin with paper cases and fill each case about two thirds full with the mixture.
  3. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 180C/350F for 10 to 12 minutes until well risen and the cakes spring back when you press them with your fingertips.
  4. Mix the icing sugar with the warm water until a good spreadable consistency but not runny. You may need to add a little extra water.
  5. Remove one and and a half tablespoons of the icing and colour it blue. Remove two thirds of the remaining mixture and colour it red. 
  6. Ice 6 of the cupcakes blue, 15 of the cupcakes red and 9 of the cupcakes white. 
  7. Stick white sugar stars on the blue iced cupcakes and arrange the mini cupcakes in the design of the American Flag.
  8. VARIATION: Sift together the flour and cocoa powder, then continue with step one as above. Stir in the chocolate chips and orange zest (if using).
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