Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hello World and Welcome to my Blog!

I love to make and bake lovely things and so I thought a blog would be a great way to share my creations. I want to challenge myself to make or bake something new every week and record my results. I suppose it is also a little mission to expand my range of recipes and force myself to learn something new and lovely every week.

So, here goes my first blogging baking creation!

Although I have to admit this isn't a new one; I have baked these lovely things before...but just to get me started in the blogosphere I baked them again today, and so... I give you the loveliest of things: vanilla cupcakes!

First off, what you will need to make the cupcakes:
  • 110g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 2 free range or organic eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour (sifted)
  • 125g plain flour (sifted)
  • 120ml semi-skimmed milk (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
To make:

Preheat the oven to around 165C (fan) 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake or muffin tray with cupcake cases.

In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, which should take 3-5 minutes using an electric hand mixer. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition.

Combine the two flours in a separate bowl. Put the milk in a jug and add the vanilla extract to it.

Add one-third of the flours to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one-third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.

Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two-thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until slightly raised and golden brown. To check they are cooked, insert a skewer in the centre of the cakes - it should come out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave the cakes in their tins for about 10 minutes before carefully placing on a wire rack to cool.

Now for the best part... the vanilla buttercream icing!

You will need:
  • 110g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 60ml semi-skimmed milk (also at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
  • 500g icing sugar (sifted)
  • Any decorative toppings that you may want to add!
To make:

In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and half the icing sugar until smooth- this can take several minutes with an electric hand mixer. Then gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.

That's pretty much it then, all that's left to do is ice the cupcake. First of all I scoop a good bit of icing and dollop it on top of the cupcake. Then with a palette knife I spread it around to completely cover the cupcake. Then I usually add some more buttercream and swirl it around making a central peak. And I add whatever I think might be nice on top!

Lovely with a nice cup of tea!

Oh and just to note this isn't an original recipe by Clare - it is actually from the Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery cookbook - which is one of the best baking books I have ever come across.


  1. The cupcake looks so yummy. I'd like to learn how to bake. My cooking skill has been improved since I've been living in Dublin but baking is still difficult for me. I think I can learn more about baking from your blog.

  2. Thanks Seunghwa! You should definitely start baking - and once you start you can only get better :-)