The Ultimate Cupcake & An Icing Disaster

This has to be the ultimate cupcake recipe. It always gives a light moist sponge. Sadly, I had another slight baking disaster this week – I’d just popped a nozzle into a disposable piping bag, which I’ve done plenty of times before, but this time after decorating 2 cakes the nozzle popped out the bottom! To make matters worse I was down to my last piping bag, so I just had to do with piping splodges!IMG-20121124-01153


Unsalted Butter – 4oz/115g (softened)

Golden castor sugar – 4oz/115g

Eggs – 2 large

Self-raising flour – 3oz/85g

Ground almonds – 1oz/30g

Baking powder – 1 teaspoon

Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon

Equipment: Stand mixer (or a bowl and hand mixer) with K-beater and whisk attachments, spatula, bun tin lined with 12 cupcake cases


  1. Preheat oven at 160°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3.
  2. Add the sugar and butter to the mixing bowl and using the K beater cream the mixture, starting on minimum and increasing until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs and beat in for a couple of seconds before adding the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and vanilla extract. Beat again until the mixture is light and airy. You may need to scrape down the sides from time to time.
  4. Divide into cupcake cases and bake on the middle shelf for 15-20 minutes until the top is firm to the touch.
  5. Remove from oven, remove from tray, and place on a wire rack to cool.

Buttercream Ingredients:

Unsalted butter – 6oz/170g (softened)

Icing sugar – 12oz/340g (sifted)

Milk – 1-2 tablespoons

Food colouring – a few drops

Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon

Equipment: Stand mixer with k-beater or large mixing bowl and hand mixer (or wooden spoon), sieve, spatula, reusable piping bag, piping nozzles (I used the Wilton star tips 1M)


  1. Add the butter to the mixing bowl and beat until soft and paler.
  2. Sift in half the icing sugar, and continue to beat until smooth, scraping the sides down with the spatula.
  3. Add the rest of the icing sugar and the milk and beat until smooth and light.
  4. Stir in the food colouring and almond extract until the colour is even.
  5. Put the nozzle in the piping bag, scoop in the icing, and you’re ready to go!

Icing Techniques:

  • Swirls: Start on the outer edge of the cake and in a circular direction work your way into the centre of the cake.
  • Rosettes: Start at the centre and in a circular direction work your way outwards.
  • Raised Stars: Hold the nozzle a few millimeters above the surface of the cake, squeeze out the icing, slowly pulling away from the cake until you have the desired effect/height, stop squeezing and pull away.
  • Flat Stars: Hold the nozzle on the cake and squeeze until you have the desired effect.

4 comments on “The Ultimate Cupcake & An Icing Disaster

  1. One can never have too many awesome cupcake recipes, especially when there’s a 5 year old in the house with sweetooth! Thanks.

  2. I’d love to have a cupcake recipe in my pocket, but i’m a horrible baker. Should pass this recipe onto those in my life who can bake and get free cupcakes!

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