A tray of fundraising cupcakes, some mine, some not. I used Nigella's cupcake recipe and the Magnolia Bakery buttercream icing (Recipes below).
I made a double quantity of what was listed as Nigella's cupcake recipe here.
(note: I used Australian cup measures)
Ingredients (single quantity):
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 125g self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Beat butter with sugar until creamy. Add milk a tablespoon at a time and in between add a bit of flour. Add the eggs - still gradually putting in flour. When you've put all the flour in, add the vanilla extract. Bake for 15-20 mins until cooked and golden on top.
That's the recipe - here are my notes.
- I doubled the recipe and used a muffin tin. Lined it with double cases, inner paper, outer silver foil.
- It was interesting to do things in a different order to the usual for sponge cakes, where the flour is more likely to be last added. Note that you spin out the flour to last through adding all the milk and eggs - I ran out after the milk, but didn't have trouble with curdling (I was using an electric mixer).
- I only heated the oven to 180degC (350degC) and 16 minutes was plenty - at a higher temperature I'd be checking after about 10-12. I baked one trayful at 180degC/20min and they were more 'high baked'/brown than I liked - not burned, but it felt like a little long. If I was using a little cupcake tin I'd cook them a shorter time too.
- While I used good quality vanilla extract, it could be nice to tweak the cupcake flavour with a little lemon rind, finely grated, (or maybe lime or orange), or perhaps a tiny bit of salt (or use salted butter).
- While I used Australian cup/spoon measures and metric, I don't think it would be that hard to shift into imperial or US measures. 125g approx equals 4oz, self-raising flour has raising agents already mixed in (see info here) and a large egg is neither small nor extra-large (average weight is 59g, and I'm sure you can google up a translator for that if you need to).
- The batter was good to eat - you may have competition for the beaters and bowl...
I wanted to ice them with the fanciful icing you see in pretty cupcake pictures, and my perusal of American country living magazines came in handy - I recognised the name, Magnolia Bakery. This is my adaptation of the recipe found here. The quantities I give are half theirs, and quite honestly this amount lavishly dealt with a double batch of Nigella's cupcakes with icing to spare. Standard buttercreams can be a bit sugar-crunchy, a bit granular on the tongue. This was smooth and luscious and could be piped.
- 125g (1 stick for the North Americans) unsalted butter, softened
- 3 to 4 cups icing sugar/confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Given that there's still some leftover buttercream icing, I wonder if I need to make just one more batch of cupcakes????!
I was going to take more photos of the cupcakes, but they were out the door and sold before I could (is that another argument for making more?).