Basic vanilla cupcakes

Here’s a useful recipe for basic vanilla cupcakes. You can use these as a base for all sorts of other cupcakes and decorate them however you like. Serve them simply with some glace icing or pipe a big swirl of fluffy buttercream ontop or use fondant to jazz them up for a special celebration. You can get cupcake cases in all sorts of patterns and styles so the possibilities are endless! They also freeze very well so you can make them in advance and store them in the freezer until you need them. This recipe makes 12-15 cupcakes, depending on how large you want them to be. Ingredients:

  • 6oz soft margarine or butter
  • 6oz caster sugar
  • 6oz self raising flour, sieved
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Mixing bowl and electric hand mixer or an electric stand mixer.
  • Cupcake tray or baking tray.
  • 12-15 paper cupcake cases or baking cups.
  • Wire cooling rack.

Method: 1) Pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees centigrade (fan oven) and place your paper cases into the cupcake tray. 2) Put all the cupcake ingredients into your bowl. Starting on a low speed, begin to mix them all together. Increase the speed to medium and beat for a couple of minutes until you have a light, fluffy batter.

Cupcake batter.

Cupcake batter.

3) Divide the mixture between your paper cases. If you fill the cases just over half way, you will get about 15 cupcakes that have a flat top. For domed cupcakes, fill the cases about 3/4 way up and you will get about 12 cakes.

Cupcake batter in cases.

Cupcake batter in cases.

4) Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes. The cakes are ready when they spring back if you lightly press them with your finger. If you insert a cocktail stick or skewer into the cupcake, it will come out clean.

Cupcakes cooling.

Cupcakes cooling.

5) Leave the cupcakes in the tray for about 5 minutes then remove them onto a wire rack to cool completely. If you wish to freeze the cupcakes, place them in a sealable food bag or a plastic box with tight fitting lid. Store them flat in the freezer. They do not take long to de-frost so remove them from the freezer about 30 minutes before you want to ice and decorate them.


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