I’ve always struggled to find vanilla cupcakes that I really love. There is a great Women’s Weekly recipe that’s basically perfect – light, fluffy, great vanilla flavour – and the best thing about them is they are super easy to make. The catch, however, is that because of the way you make them, they only have a one-day shelf life. This is fine for any in-house baking or any last-minute baking that I do. But for any other bakes, cupcakes need to have a shelf life of at least 2 days, and three is preferable. So on my most recent bake, I couldn’t use that recipe, so I kept looking and thought about the best cupcakes possible…
What do you love in a cupcake? I think the key for me is two things:
- Light and fluffy texture – dense cupcakes are not much fun, unless perhaps they are mud cakes, but even then I think part of the appeal of cupcakes is their light texture.
- Easy to bake – and by this I mean cupcakes that aren’t temperamental and prone to explosions or deep caverns!
I guess I also look for recipes with basic ingredients. As much as working with exotic ingredients can be fun, for the everyday it can become tiresome, not to mention expensive!
Nigella Lawson’s cupcakes (of course that’s the first place I look!) look divine, and I’m fairly sure that they would be! But alas, when I made cupcakes most recently, I didn’t have time to trial any recipes – I had one shot and had to make it work!
(Ps. I met Nigella Lawson recently. She’s so beautiful and elegant!)
Such a fun way to spend a summer day! With @ksugars and the rest of the family! I even said hi to @nigellalawson!!!! @garymehigan @gcalombaris @mattscravat @masterchefau #masterchef #nigellalawson #garymehigan #georgecalombaris #mattpreston #lovemattsstyle #summer #melbourne #lovesummer #summerinmelbourne
So instead, I used a recipe I’ve used successfully before – Jennifer Graham’s Vanilla Cupcakes from the Crabapple Bakery Recipe Book.
The recipe is fairly straightforward, and there are no surprises like explosions…take a look below.
Vanilla Cupcakes (From The Crabapple Bakery)
1 3/4 cups caster sugar
1 cup milk
2 3/4 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 170C fan-forced and line 2 muffin trays – these make about 24 large cupcakes and about 36 smallish cupcakes, and probably about 50 thousand mini cupcakes!
- Cream butter for 2 minutes then add sugar gradually. Make sure the butter is light in colour and the sugar is almost dissolved.
- Add the eggs one at a time beating so they are fully incorporated before adding the next one. Then and the vanilla.
- Add the milk and flour alternately, beating slowly on a low speed. Beat until just incorporated – if you beat too much the mixture will stiffen
- Spoon into patty pans and bake for 18-20 minutes or until they look cooked, a skewer comes out clean and they bounce back with lightly pressed. Then cool on a wire rack.
- These last for about 2 days, or they can be frozen (un-iced) for a few months.