Easy vanilla cupcakes

Easy vanilla cupcakes

This is the easy vanilla cupcake recipe we turn to for bake sales and school functions. It’s quick and easy and fairly foolproof. Get creative with the sprinkles or add a few drops of food colouring to brighten them up.

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For the cupcakes

For the buttercream icing


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with 12 paper cases.

  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar using an electric mixer until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing until the egg is completely incorporated into the batter before adding the next. Add a tablespoon of flour if the mixture curdles.

  3. Mix in the vanilla extract and fold in the flour using a large metal spoon until no traces of flour are visible. Gently stir in the milk to loosen the mixture.

  4. Spoon the mixture equally between the cases, about 55g/2oz each. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when the centre is pressed gently with a finger.

  5. Remove from the oven and take the cakes out of the tin after about 5 minutes. Place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

  6. To make the buttercream icing, sift half the icing sugar into a bowl with the softened butter and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the remaining icing sugar then beat in the vanilla extract and milk.

  7. Using a palette knife or spatula, spread about a tablespoon of icing onto each cake. This buttercream makes enough for a modest swirl if you want to use a piping bag.

Recipe Tips

These cupcakes freeze brilliantly, uniced, for up to three months. Just make sure they're well wrapped up.