Mastering the Buttercream


So, for my cousin’s girls christening I was asked if I might like to make some cupcakes. Of course, I jumped at the chance and I stuck to neutral chocolate and vanilla cupcakes. I didn’t think this was the time to experiement with alcohol or beetroot based cupcakes.

However, I misread the message from my cousin when she said eighty people were coming and I made near to seventy cupcakes. Then I saw the shock on her face when I arrived with, not just one plate, lots of armfuls of cupcakes. As it turns out, she had told me that about eighty people were coming so just bring one (yes one..) plate of cupcakes as other people were making deserts too. Umm.. I managed to find some space on the tables and was delighted when there was only six left at the end of the day. Yet, I don’t think some of the parents would have been quite as delighted as a few children, who I had spotted with my cupcakes an hour before, became very hyper. Maybe I put too much sugar in them?

It was a great day for all the family and the girls looked beautiful. I was also pleased that I have finally made proper buttercream and not a mixture of gloopy icing! I also got to make the other half’s lovely mum her birthday cupcakes at the same time. Perfect!

Vanilla Cupcakes and Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients
240g plain flour (add cocoa)
280g caster sugar
3 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
80g unsalted butter at room temperature
240ml milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (leave out for chocolate)

Frosting

250g icing sugar sifted
80g unsalted butter at room temperature
25ml milk
A couple of drops of vanilla extract (leave out for chocolate and add cocoa)

1. Line muffin tray with paper cases and preheat oven to 180C.

2. Cream the sugar and butter then mix in the flour, baking powder and salt until combined.

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3. Gradually pour in half the milk.

4. Beat the eggs, vanilla and remaining milk together in a separate bowl and then pour into the flour mixture and continue mixing for a couple of minutes until the mixture is smooth.

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5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases but only fill them two thirds full. Bake in the oven for 25 mins or until slightly golden and then cool on a wire rack.

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6. Beat the icing sugar and butter together until well mixed.

7. In a separate bowl combine the milk, vanilla extract , then add to the butter mixture gradually. Continue to beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.

8. Decorate the cupcakes with the frosting once cool.

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