Vanilla Cupcakes

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(Makes 12 large cupcakes or 24 small cupcakes)

These vanilla cupcakes are brilliant. They’re super soft and dense, and go perfectly with a pillowy buttercream icing. And they pass the ultimate kids’ party test – these cupcakes actually get eaten along with the icing!

You will need:

125g salted butter (softened) *

1 cup of caster sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)

1 1/2 cup of plain flour **

1 tsp baking powder

125ml milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C (160C in a fan-forced oven). Line a muffin tray with cupcake wrappers (this will help them keep their shape while baking) or place them on a baking tray.

Cube the butter and either let soften to room temperature, or warm up in the microwave for a few seconds. Try not to melt it, you want it to give body to your cupcakes.

Using an electric mixer, cake beaters or a wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugar for a few minutes until it is pale and fluffy. This makes an incredible difference to the cupcakes, so don’t rush it.

Add the eggs one at a time, and make sure they are properly mixed in before adding the next one. Then beat in the vanilla paste (or extract).

Add 1 cup of flour and the baking powder to the mix and gently stir it through until it is all combined. Add the other 1/2 cup of flour and milk and gently fold through. The cupcake mix should be thick and fluffy. (Note: The mixture is quite different to a cupcake mix out of a box, which is usually a lot thinner and runnier).

Scoop the cupcake mix into the cupcake liners, filling them two-thirds full.

Bake for 10-15min (small cupcakes) to 20-25min (muffin-sized cupcakes). Test with a skewer to see if they are cooked. But best to be slightly undercooked than overcooked.

Once they are cooked, leave them to cool completely before icing and decorating.

(original recipe from kidspot)

* I use salted butter, but you could use unsalted and add a pinch of salt

** I always use plain flour, but of course you could use self-raising and omit the baking powder

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