Iced Vanilla Cupcakes

Small cakes made from the lightest of sponges, topped with a layer of whipped buttercream icing and decorated with fresh raspberries, make perfectly elegant treats.

Makes 12 regular, 24 mini cupcakes

Ingredients:

for the Cupcakes

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g castor sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 125g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 2 tbsp semi-skimmed or whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

for the Buttercream Icing

  • 75g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp semi-skimmed or whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g icing sugar, sifted
  • food colouring, optional
  • raspberries to decorate

Method:

Making the Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  • In a large bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Whisk in the beaten eggs, a little at a time, adding a spoonful of the measured flour to prevent the mixture curdling.
  • Use a metal spoon to gently fold in the remaining flour and then add the milk and vanilla extract.
  • Stand the cupcake cases in a bun tin or on a large baking tray and divide the mixture equally between them.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until well risen and golden.
  • Remove and cool on a wire tray.

Icing the Cupcakes

  • In a large bowl, beat the butter until completely soft.  Tip in the milk and vanilla extract, add half the sifted icing sugar and beat for several minutes.  Add the remaining sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.  If you are adding food colouring, put it in drop by drop until you get the shade you want.
  • Take a good dollop of icing onto an angled palette knife and spread it from the top to one side of the cake.
  • Repeat for the other side until the cake is covered in a good layer.
  • Finally, working from the centre outwards, move the palette knife anti-clockwise to create a decorative swirl.  If you don’t achieve perfection, pretty decorations or fresh berries cover a multitude of sins!  Apply straight after icing before the topping sets.
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