Vanilla Cupcakes

Getting ready for my baking and my *Morphy Richards Mixer is my old reliable friend!
Spring has sprung and I have been frantically busy and in need of some down time. So, I thought what better way to relax then with a little baking! Here is a simple Mary Berry Vanilla Cupcake recipe I found on line.

Ingredients (for the cake mix) :
175g butter, cut into large pieces
175g self-raising flour
175g caster sugar
½ tsp baking powder
3 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract

What to do!

Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas mark 4. 
Get a 12-hole muffin tin with either paper cupcake or muffin cases (I used the silicone kinds) 
Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk or a wooden spoon until smooth and are evenly mixed (I used my electric mixer for most of it as I find it needs a lot of beating to get a smooth consistency & and then I finish it off with a bit of hand whisk beating!)
Divide the mixture evenly between the cases (make sure you leave some space at the top as they will rise!)
Bake for approximately 20- 25 minutes or until the cakes are well risen and firm on top.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Icing Time!

175g butter, cut into large pieces
½ tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp milk
350g icing sugar, sifted 
Pink edible food coloring
Edible pink hearts or sprinkles for decoration

What to do! 
Put the butter, vanilla extract, two tablespoons of the milk, and half the sifted icing sugar in a large bowl and beat until smooth. 
Beat in the remaining icing sugar, and pour in the rest of the milk if needed to make the icing the right consistency. (the first time I made this, I did exactly as stated here, but today, I just put it all in at the same time and the end result was the same!)
Put half of the icing into another bowl and color it pale pink with the edible coloring. Carefully spoon this down one side of a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle, then spoon the non-colored icing down the other side of the bag. Twist the end of the bag to seal the icing in.
Pipe swirls of the icing on top of each cupcake. Scatter with the edible pink hearts, or other sprinkles, to decorate. (Again, I did the above the first time I tried out this recipe, but today, I tried all kinds of icing colors and even marzipan, just to demonstrate how much fun one can have decorating a cupcake!)

*disclaimer - I have not been endorsed by Morphy Richards- I just love my mixer and thought it's about time to mention it as it's been my friend throughout a lot of my cooking!

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