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Basic cupcake recipe

(885 ratings)
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  • Serves: 24

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

    plus cooling time
  • Costs: Cheap as chips

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Child friendly
  • Freezable
  • Romantic
  • Editor's pick
  • Make in advance

This cupcake recipe will show you how to make cupcakes from scratch that come out perfectly every time - and you can decorate them however you like! These easy cupcakes can be decorated with our perfect cupcake buttercream to create beautiful cupcakes for any occasion. With our handy step-by-step video, we show you how to make cupcakes from scratch in a very simple way, so even baking beginners will be able to make them easily. This is GoodtoKnow's most popular cupcake recipe and you’ll see why – this basic cupcake makes fluffy cakes that are versatile and can be decorated for birthdays or other special occasions, or even just for a special Sunday afternoon treat. We also have handy variations so you can pick which cupcake recipe you prefer, and you can see how to make cupcakes in other flavours – it’s easy to turn this basic cupcake recipe into chocolate cupcakes, rose cupcakes, lemon cupcakes or even coffee cupcakes; just check on the method below. This basic cupcake recipe makes a batch of 24 cupcakes, so you have plenty of cakes to decorate. To make your cupcakes even, use an ice cream scoop to fill the cupcake cases with mixture. This will make sure you have an even amount of mixture in each cupcake case and that they should rise to the same height. These cupcakes are ideal for making with children and can be decorated with icing, buttercream or drizzled in chocolate. They’ll love using their imagination to decorate these delicious cupcakes but beware, it might get messy!

Sue says: 'Using a traditional-style ice-cream scoop is a quick way of filling the paper cases when you're making lots of cakes.'

Ingredients

  • 250g (8oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g (8oz) caster sugar
  • 250g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • Ice-cream scoop (optional)
  • 2 x 12-hole muffin tins, lined with paper cases

Method

  1. Set the oven to 190C, gas 5.
  2. Tip the butter into a bowl and beat it until softened. Add the sugar, flour, salt, eggs and milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Use a traditional-style ice-cream scoop, or spoon, to divide the mixture between all the paper cases.
  4. Place both muffin tins in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then swap over the position of the tins over and bake for a further 3-7 minutes, until both trays of cupcakes are a light golden colour.
  5. Remove the tins from the oven. Leave the cupcakes to cool in the tins for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
Freezing: The cakes are best eaten on the day that they're baked, but if necessary, once cooled, they can be wrapped in freezer bags and frozen for up to 1 month. They will defrost in about 1 hour.

Flavour variations: To give these plain cupcakes a little extra flavour, try one these ideas:

Lemon:
Add finely zested rind of 2 lemons to the mixture, and use 4 tablespoons of lemon juice in place of the milk.
Chocolate:
Use 2 level tablespoons less flour, and add 2 level tablespoons cocoa powder.
Rose:
Use 1-2 tablespoon less milk and replace with 1-2 tablespoons rose water.
Coffee:
Omit the milk and instead, use 2 tablespoons instant coffee, dissolved in 4 tablespoons hot water.

Nutritional information per portion

  • Low
  • Med
  • High
  • Calories 376(kcal)
  • Fat 27.0g
  • Saturates 17.0g

This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

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