Try these delicious vanilla cupcakes if you want to impress friends


175 g butter (at room temperature), cut into large pieces

175 g self-raising flour

175 g caster sugar

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

large eggs

175 g butter, room temperature

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. milk

350 g icing sugar, sifted

drops of pink edible colouring

edible pink hearts or other sprinkles, to decorate


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cupcake or muffin cases.
  2. Put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk or a wooden spoon until smooth and evenly mixed. Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases.
  3.  Meanwhile, make the icing. Put the butter, vanilla extract, two tablespoons of the milk, and half the 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.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and firm on top. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  5. Put half of the icing into another bowl and colour it pale pink with the edible colouring (two tablespoons may be enough so add slowly). Carefully spoon this down one side of a piping bag fitted with a number eight star nozzle, then spoon the non-coloured icing down the other side of the bag. Twist the end of the bag to seal the icing in.
  6. Pipe swirls of the icing on top of each cupcake. Scatter with the edible pink hearts or other sprinkles, to decorate.