This vanilla cupcake recipe is easy to follow. It makes softly textured sponge cakes that look very pretty as either full-sized cupcakes, or as small cupcakes. If you use a hand-held mixer or a food processor, these cupcakes can be whipped up in just five minutes, and they cook and cool quickly making them ideal store cupboard goodies for unexpected guests.
We use vanilla extract for flavour, but if you use vanilla sugar in this recipe then the vanilla flavour comes through really beautifully. Vanilla sugar takes a couple of weeks to become fully flavoured, so we usually have a couple of jars on the go - one that we are using and one that is in the making. We don't use it in all baking - just where the vanilla flavour really needs to come through.
To make vanilla sugar, take a vanilla pod, slice it down the side and scrape out the seeds into a jar containing around six cups of sugar. Stir the seeds and pod thoroughly through the sugar and leave the jar for a couple of weeks.
Vanilla cupcakes are definitely a favourite in our family and we often serve them in the afternoon along with a sandwich, piece of fruit and cup of tea for a nice filling snack if we've been out for the day.
Cupcakes look really pretty on tiered cake stands with other treats like finger sandwiches and little cookies. I love this cake stand. It's absolutely beautiful.
Time: 45 minutes
including cooking and cooling
Makes 12 small cupcakes
60g plain flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
Fluffy frosting (our personal favourite) is vanilla flavoured and works beautifully with this vanilla cupcake recipe. If you want something a little more robust, try the pile it high chocolate cream cheese frosting or for something really pretty, you can try the powdered sugar frosting, using different colours to top the cakes.
Vanilla cupcakes are delicious for afternoon tea with a few slices of apple and a sandwich.
As part of an afternoon tea spread, vanilla cupcakes look lovely on a cake stand with other small treats - cucumber sandwiches, ham sandwiches, meringues and little chocolate eclairs would be lovely served with earl grey tea or mint tea.