Yep, that’s right. I’m still going through my “cupcake mad” phase. Though I’m proud to say that I have learnt a lot since I started! Later in the post I will share with you some top tips on cupcake making. For now, it’s back to my new favourite recipe book: Cox Cookies & Cake.
I wanted to get the basics right this time so opted for a simple vanilla sponge with vanilla frosting. Although as it’s Jubilee week I thought I’ve got to get some red, white and blue in there somewhere! Thought I’d have a bash at triple striped frosting.
Here is what you will need to make 12 cupcakes.
- 175g Golden Caster Sugar
- 175g Butter (Room Temp!)
- 3 Eggs
- 175g Self Raising Flour
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 250g Butter (Room Temp!)
- 500g Icing Sugar, sieved
- 2 tbsp Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Red Food Colouring Gel
- Blue Food Colouring Gel
Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C and line a cupcake tin with cases.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar together with an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy. This stage is more important than you’d think. Don’t just mix until its combined, keep going until its light in colour and really fluffy. It will help your cakes rise well and achieve a great texture. Be cautious not to overdo it though as you can cause the mixture to split.
Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat with a wooden spoon until incorporated.
Add the vanilla extract and fold in the flour.
It’s worth mentioning at this point that using a good quality vanilla extract really does make a HUGE difference to the taste of your cupcakes. I recently treated myself to Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla extract and boy oh boy the difference is amazing! Well worth the extra few pounds.
Divide the mixture evenly between the cases. I actually got 13 out of this mix but it depends on the size of your tin/cases.
Cook in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes turning half way to ensure an even bake. Check with a skewer at 15 minutes. If it comes out clean, they are done. If there is cake mix on it, they need a little longer.
Leave for 5 minutes in the tin then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
To make the vanilla buttercream frosting, cream the butter in a large bowl with an electric hand whisk until softened.
Add the sieved icing sugar a quarter at a time and beat until blended. Add the milk and vanilla extract and continue to mix until smooth, light & fluffy.
Split the frosting between 3 bowls. Add a small amount of red colouring gel to one bowl and mix well. Repeat in another bowl with the blue colouring. Leave the last as it is. If you are using normal liquid colour as opposed to gel, be very careful as they can effect the consistency of your frosting.
Load up 3 small piping bags with the 3 coloured frostings, snip the ends and carefully put into a larger piping bag prepared with a Large Open Star Nozzle.
Test first to make sure all three colours come through, you may need to do a bit of shuffling. Then pipe in swirls on the tops of the cupcakes.
If you are picky like me, you can slice the tops of the cakes to make a nice flat surface to pipe onto. This also creates a Brucey “Bakers Rights” Bonus! Pop them in a bowl and top with whatever left over frosting you have. Nom! Go on, no one will ever know…
And there you have it. Delicious vanilla Jubilee Cupcakes!
So now the basics have been mastered (ish!) I will share some of my top tips with you.
1. Use foil cases as opposed to paper cases. Foil cases help to keep your cakes moist for longer and paper cases do not. They will also stop butter from seeping out whereas paper cases will become very greasy.
2. Use unrefined golden caster sugar instead of white caster sugar wherever possible. This will give a better overall flavour to your cakes.
3. Use all ingredients at room temperature. If you add cold, wet ingredients to room temperature ingredients, it can cause the butter to curdle. (This will create holes in your sponge)
4. Find the hot spots in your oven. These can be the death of 2 or 3 cupcakes per batch if you don’t figure out where you will get the most “even bake” in your oven.
5. Use food colouring gels as opposed to liquid food colours. Liquid colouring can easily alter the consistency of your frostings or sponge mixes, gel colours won’t. You will also get deeper colours from the gels as they are more concentrated.
I hope my top tips will help you in your baking adventures. And I hope they help prevent you learning some things the hard way like I did!
Have a brilliant Jubilee bank holiday weekend guys.