Would you believe I’ve never made cupcakes before? (Edit: I mean the stereotypical cupcake, with frosting and the works.) In all my years of baking, I never really bothered with cupcakes because they’re the very antithesis of my baking philosophy. I mean, why bother frosting a dozen mini cakes when you can just frost one large cake? Cupcakes are too fiddly, especially since I consider myself quite ham-fisted at times. And there’s always way too much icing on cupcakes anyway.
Nonetheless, I love a baking challenge. So I started with the most basic: the vanilla cupcake.
Fortunately, most of the cake-baking principles hold true for cupcakes. You still have to cream your butter and sugar properly. (I’ve got a great post explaining why you need to do this.) You’ll need to line your pan properly, although it’s infinitely simpler for cupcakes since there are individual cases. In fact, I daresay if I dumped this cupcake batter in a cake tin, I’d get a pretty decent cake. But focus – we’re making cupcakes.
- 125g butter, softened
- 200g caster sugar (Use vanilla sugar if you have it.)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 200g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup yoghurt
Makes a dozen cupcakes.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F). Line your tins with cupcake cases.
Step 2: Cream the butter, sugar, and salt together until light and fluffy. Mix in about a tablespoon of the flour to prevent curdling. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
Step 3: Sift in the flour and baking powder. Add in the yoghurt and vanilla extract, and mix to combine.
Step 4: Fill each cupcake case about halfway. That’s roughly three tablespoons of batter per case, but aim to distribute all your batter equally among the twelve cases.
Step 5: Bake for 16 minutes. Cool and ice.
Decorating the cupcakes turned out to be more fun than I’d expected. I used my basic buttercream frosting recipe dyed pink. Then with a piping bag topped with a large star tip, I went to work piping out simple designs on the cupcakes and topping them off with all manner of sprinkles and sparkles. Not too shabby for a first attempt, right?