Quantities make 12 cakes using Wilton baking cups in a 12-hoIe muffin tray.
For domed cakes
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
150g self raising flour
1-2 tablespoons milk
For slightly domed cakes
125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar 125g self-raising Hour 2 medium eggs
2 tablespoons milk
For flat cakes which don’t fill the cases: (if you want to flood icing over the top)
100g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
100g self-raising flour
2 medium eggs
1 tablespoon milk
Set the oven to 190°C/Gas 5.
Method Beat together the butter and caster sugar until mixture is light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour with each egg.
Beat in the remaining flour and milk.
Divide the mixture between the 12 paper cases and bake in the centre of the oven.
(I usually have the oven shelf just below the centre of the oven so the cakes are central in the oven).
The domed cakes take 15-20 minutes, the slightly domed cakes take 15-18 minutes and the flat cakes take 12-15 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
Variations Vanilla: Add a few drops of vanilla extract to the mixture
Lemon: Add some finely grated lemon rind and substitute lemon juice for the milk
Chocolate: Substitute 20g flour for cocoa powder
Cupcake Buttercream 3 tbsp plain flour
4 fl. oz/120mIs milk (semi skimmed gives the best results)
4 oz butter (I use unsalted)
4 oz caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk together the flour and milk and cook in a small saucepan over medium heat until thick
This will only take few minutes. Stir continuously to prevent the mixture from clumping and do not bring all the way to a boil. When thickened (consistency will be that of thick custard), strain into a small bowl in case any lumps remain.
Cover with cling film and leave to cool completely to room temperature.
When the milk mixture is cool, using the beater attachment (K-beater on a Kenwood, or equivalent), cream the butter and sugar together as you would for a cake.
Add in the milk/flour mixture and the flavouring and beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 7 minutes (use the beater attachment, not the whisk), until light and fluffy (don’t worry lf It curdles initially when you add the milk, it will re-combine!).
This is very creamy and not too sweet, so will take all sorts of flavours really well.
For mint buttercream, add 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp peppermint extract. For caramel i have some powdered caramel coffee-creamer from the USA that I used ( 1/2 tsp was plenty), but you could mix in any flavourinq you like. To make chocolate buttercream, melt 4 oz of plain chocolate (I used Callebaut 53%) and add to the butter and sugar (make sure its not too warm or it will melt the butter), before adding the milk and flour mixture. Also add 1/4 tsp of vanilla at this stage.
200g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
400g plain flour
Flavourings (if required):
1 tsp vanilla extract, or the seeds from one pod finely grated
Zest of 1 lemon finely grated
Zest of 1 orange
Cream the butter and sugar and add any flavouring, until well mixed.
Beat in the egg and add the flour until a dough forms. Gather it into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least one hour. Place the dough on a floured working surface and knead briefly.
Roll into an even thickness.
Use cutters to cut out the desired shapes, and using a palette knife, lay these on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper. Chill again for about half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and bake for 6-10 minutes, depending on size, until golden brown at the edges.
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Wrapped in foil or clingfilm, they will keep well in a cool dry place for up to a month.