Cupcake batter

  • 100g softened butter
  • 2.5ml vanilla paste or 5ml vanilla essence
  • 115g castor sugar
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 160g self-raising flour
  • 30ml milk

Vanilla butter icing

  • 150g butter
  • 300g icing sugar, sifted
  • 45ml tepid milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and deseeded


1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cases.
To make the batter
1. Place all the ingredients into a cake mixer and beat until soft and fluffy. Spoon the batter into the paper cases.
Baking and icing
1. Bake for 12–15 minutes or until a metal skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. While the cupcakes are baking, make the icing.
2. Beat the butter until soft.
3. Slowly mix in the icing sugar and, when the mixture starts to thicken, add the milk.
4. Add the vanilla seeds and beat until thick and fluffy.
5. Remove the cupcakes from the oven, place on a wire rack and ice when cool.

Cook’s tip: Pipe on the icing. Use a piping bag with a star nozzle and decorate simply. A simple cupcake can look so elegant with a clean touch.

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes