Iced vanilla cupcakes

Dreamed up by British celeb chef, Rachel Allen, these pretty little cupcakes come out of the oven flat on top. For extra decoration, top them with a little crystallised flower, sugared almond or other edible decoration. The cakes are very light as the eggs are whisked for about 10 minutes until they are full of air, plus they only use a tiny quantity of butter.

Serves: 12

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15-20 minutes


75ml milk
25g butter
75g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g castor sugar
100g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp single cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
crystallised flowers, sugared almonds or other edible decorations of your choice, to decorate


Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Place 12 paper bun cases in a bun tray.

2Heat the milk in a saucepan until it almost comes to the boil, then take it off the heat. Add the butter and stir to melt, then set aside.

Sift the flour with the baking powder and add a pinch of salt. In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla extract with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 10 mins. Gradually beat in the sugar until thick and mousse-like. Turn the speed down and blend in the flour, then the buttery milk. Stop beating as soon as it’s all mixed in.

Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake for 15 mins or until golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before moving to a wire rack.

To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with 1 tbsp cream and the vanilla extract; if it’s not a good spreading consistency, add a little more cream. To ice the cupcakes, dip a table knife into boiling water, then spread the icing over each cake with the warm knife. Decorate to your taste.

Recipe from Rachel’s Food For Living by Rachel Allen (R190, Collins)

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