Monday, June 29, 2009

Not-So-Secret Recipe

After a hectic weekend of baking, and much admiration of my cupcakes, I realised that I haven't posted the recipe I use every week! It's a very straightforward Vanilla Cupcake recipe, modified from the famous Magnolia Bakery of SATC fame, that came to me from Laura, a friend and fellow baker based in Limerick, and the recipe is as follows:

Vanilla Cupcakes (á la Magnolia Bakery & courtesy of Laura Boland!)

To make 1 Dozen Cupcakes:

110g butter, at room temperature
200g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
90g plain flour
110g self-raising flour
115ml of milk, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (the real stuff!)

Buttercream Icing:
75g butter (ideally unsalted but "normal" butter can be used instead, at room temperature)
200g icing sugar, sifted
30ml milk, at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

*In case it wasn't clear already, the ingredients need to be at ROOM TEMPERATURE! I cannot stress this enough. Not only does it make it easier to do, the mix won't curdle this way. (Try and beat refrigerated butter then come back to me!)*

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases... this is easier said than done though, I have to get my "standard" sized cupcake cases on eBay! The bun cases in the shops here are just too small, though a way around this is to use the silicone muffin trays as they are slightly smaller than the metal tins.

2. Sift the two flours together into a bowl and set aside. Stir the vanilla into the milk and set aside.

3. Using a hand mixer, or if you're lucky enough a Stand Mixer, cream the butter in a large bowl until soft, usually around a minute. Then add 1/3 of the sugar and mix again for a minute or two. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary with a rubber spatula and add the remaining sugar in two more stages, beating until very light and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between, and ensuring they are fully incorporated.

*This is where you have to be careful not to overmix:

5. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add 1/3 of the flour mixture, gently beating until just mixed. Then add half of the vanilla-milk, don't worry about the curdles appearance, just gently beat it. Add the next 1/3 of the flour, then alternate with the milk and finish with the flour. It's very easy to overmix and produce tough cupcakes so be very careful, ideally using a spatula to fold in the last of the flour. You should be left with a glossy, creamy (delicious!) mixture that falls easily off the spatula.

6. Scoop the batter into the prepared cases (I use an ice-cream scoop for this for uniformity but two spoons will work just as well, just be sure not to over fill the cases), and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, the cupcakes should be golden and springy to the touch once done. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 mins, then move to a wire rack until completely cool and safe to cover with icing. (Do NOT try to rush this or your pretty icing will melt all over your cakes!)

7. Make the icing: Beat the butter on its own in a medium sized bowl until creamy and fluffy, then sift in half of the icing sugar and beat until fully incorporated. Reduce the speed and add the rest of the icing sugar along with the vanilla & milk, beating until light and fluffy and at the right consistency to ice your cupcakes. I use a Wilton 1M piping tip to produce the ice-cream-like swirls on the top of my cakes, but you can just spread it on thickly with a knife and it will taste just as good! Top with sprinkles/sugar pearls/sweets/whatever you fancy! :)


  1. Hi Siobhan
    Great to see you are baking and selling. These are the best cupcakes ever, pure heaven in a tiny place
    Hope to sample your goodies soon

  2. Hi Val, Thanks a million for stopping by! If my cupcakes are anything like Laura's heavenly delights then I'll gladly share the pride in them! :) Will have to arrange a swap of Cakes for Cordial some day! :)