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vanilla cupcake recipe

The understated vanilla cupcake is where it all begins. It’s a blank canvas to the supremos; the mother of the cupcake. I have spent years mastering the basic vanilla cupcake, and finally I’ve got it figured out. Here’s the easy fool-proof recipe. These little beauties rise well, are light, and would even make Mary Berry proud.


  • 125g softened butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla essence (try natural extract essence)
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking flour
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 125ml milk


Beat the butter and sugar together until it becomes creamy, then add the eggs and vanilla essence and beat well.

Sift in the flour (to avoid lumps), salt and baking powder. As the batter thickens slowly add the milk.

Pour into cupcake cases (lined up in muffin tins) and fill about one third of way up.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 15 minutes.

Buttercream icing

  • 125g softened butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tbsp milk


Cream the butter and sugar together until creamy and then add the vanilla essence. Add milk as necessary if the mixture becomes too thick.