The Humble Cupcake
Having given prior warning of frivolity and silliness, here is my first post. And, may I add, is there anything better than the cupcake? The goddess of all baked goods, she reigns supreme as my ultimate simple pleasure.
Perfect for a drizzly day when friends are coming but you know that secretly no one wants to get out of bed. Reward them for their effort with these sweet delights. So here’s a quick recipe for you budding bakers:
Makes 18 cupcakes
- 225g butter (room temperature)
- 225g self-raising flour
- 225g caster sugar
- 1tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence (adds a scrumptious something to the modest cupcake)
For the Icing:
- 125g of icing sugar
- 15ml of water
Contrary to popular opinion (aka Mary Berry’s opinion) I just throw it all in together. So here goes:
- Preheat the oven to 175⁰C (350⁰F/Gas mark 4). Then put 18 cupcake cases in muffin tins.
Sometimes I like to use mini muffin tins so they’re all cute and you have an excuse to eat more. If you do this, be careful to check then after 15 mins – don’t want them to burn!
- Weigh out the flour and sugar then sieve into a large bowl.
- Add a teaspoon of baking powder.
- Weigh out the softened butter and chop into cubes. Add to the bowl.
- Crack the eggs in a mug to avoid getting shell in the mixture (pick the cheeky shell bits out with a teaspoon). Then add to the bowl.
- Pour in a dash of vanilla essence and hey presto!
- Grab an electric whisk (or for those hard-core bakers, utilise the guns) and whip the mixture into a light, fluffy batter. This should take a couple of minutes, or until the colour lightens slightly and the consistency is smooth and light.
- Use two desert spoons to fill the cupcake cases, one desert spoon to scoop up the mix, one to scrape it into the case.
Try to work quickly – you want the batter into the oven before it deflates!
- Gently place the tins into the preheated oven and bake for twenty minutes
Resist the urge to open the oven door as this may cause the cupcakes to sink.
- The cakes are done when they are golden in colour and springy to touch. You could test them by poking a skewer into one. If the skewer comes out clean – they’re done!
- Whilst the cupcakes are cooling down, prepare a sweet icing by sieving 125g icing sugar into a bowl and slowly pouring in 15ml of water. Add enough water to make the icing smooth but not runny. Mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a lump-less icing.
- Once the cakes have cooled, use a teaspoon to dollop icing onto each cake then smooth to the edges with a knife. Dip the knife is water to spread the icing more easily.
The icing will set within an hour. Finally, pop them on a pretty plate, hand napkins out to friends and tuck in!