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Basic cupcake recipe

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Everyone needs a good basic cupcake recipe to create the perfect cupcakes. These plain cupcakes can be decorated with our perfect cupcake buttercream to create beautiful cupcakes perfect for any occasion - it's one of goodtoknow's top cupcake recipes!

(413 ratings)
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  • Serves: 24

  • Prep time: 15 mins

  • Cooking time: 25 mins

    (plus cooling time)
  • Total time: 40 mins

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

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

That's goodtoknow

cartoon image of chef

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
These plain cupcakes can be decorated with our perfect cupcake buttercream to create delicious celebration cakes.

Method

  1. Set the oven to 190C or Gas Mark 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 cold, they can be wrapped in freezer bags and frozen for up to 1 month. They will defrost in about 1hour. They can be decorated with the buttercream topping while they are still frozen, which will help to keep them as fresh as possible before serving.
Flavour variations
: If you don't want plain cupcakes, then try one of these flavours:
  • 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
  • Rose: Use 1-2 tablespoon less milk and replace with 1-2 tablespoons rose water
  • Coffee: Omit the milk and, in its place, use 2 tablespoons instant coffee, dissolved in 4 tablespoons hot water
Now watch our video recipe for the perfect buttercream to go on top!
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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.

Your rating

Average rating

  • 4
(413 ratings)

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Your comments

EmmaHarrisonX

My mum LOVES this recipe, i usually eat more of the mixture than the cakes, cause im a weirdo :) , the mixture was disgusting, but the cakes are pretty good :D

EmmaHarrisonX

You are a weird person == !

ralph stark

wow! these cakes are simply scruptious! will definatly use the recipe again as we thought it was one of the best. As a keen baker myself, i have attempted many recipes over the years and this has been one of the best so far. The cakes are light but thick, spongy but soft and oh so tastey. I took them to my work christmas do and everyone wanted more!!! thankyou so much.

sexy sami

i hated the recipe

Sarah-Jane Bonner

Excellent & quick recipe. Wanted something fast and foolproof to make a big batch of to take to my partners family when we stay over New Year as the house will be full of children! Very easy. Made 3 lots of the recipe, lots of cakes and all will be frozen until I am ready to decorate them and take them with us. Thanks!

witney

i made them today and they came out quite well but the middle wouldnt cook, no matter how long i cooked them for :(

Crissy...x

Very tasty when I fnally ate them but when I was mixing it was incredibly lumpy and even whe I spooned it into the cases it was the same although I mixed with a very powerful mixer for about 4 mins??!! was it just me?

Deniz

This is just delicious!The flavour variations bit was very useful!I'm only 11 and mum was surprised when I made Chocolate Cupcakes by myself!And she even enjoyed them!Thanks for the easy recipe!

Robyn-helen

these are absaloutely amazing! me and my mum made them for my brothers party and they are so good!!!

karen jackson

Thanks for such a good tasty but simple instructions. Ive made 24 as a trial for my silver wedding anniversary. My daughter is going to make 164 of them on a 7 tier cup cake holder.

andy barker

hi i am a man and if i can do it then any one can lol made these cakes and they were super evey one who had them at my 50s rnr event loved them!!!

Kim

Yummy!!!xxx I madethem by myself and I am only 10!thanks!!!

cakeking

omg they were so goood!!!!!!!

Fanny

these were absolutely wonderful i like to eat them while watching countdown it really makes it more enjoyable. i make these for my daughter for her pack lunch everyday, she eats them by the bucket ful. i give them to my friends as birthday presents and they really appreciate them. These cupcakes have helped me feel happier when i'm sad and got me through some really difficult times

Abbi Gibson

i think it is a very good resipy and i will gladly use it again

M

they are delicious i have never made anything yummyier x THANKS X

caroline

I just made these and they are so light in texture, simply delicious

MMacritchie

This recipe is not just really easy but it is a really nice cupcake recipe! yummy :P

sara

I truly love them! I make some for nearly every occasion and the kids find them absolutely delicious!!! Fantastic Recepe

amy

wow! the cakes were delicious, I made them for my mum for mothers day, and she loved them! Im nine, and i made them on my own!

sebastian

just mafe them, the icing is a bit sickly but otherwise very good!

sebastian

just starting to make the cakes...

zoe

this recipe is great the cakes came out really well and im only 11

jane ehiane

pls can u send recipies of some of the cakes to me?

elizabeth

hi. i have a mini oven which gets to hot if set at temperature indicated. they burn at the bottom. so i set at 130/140 and they take about i hour!. they taste nice but dont rise. help!

Yi Ying

Milk is what type of milk?

Cally

So easy and really cheap for all the ingreedents 🍰 my daughter and her friends loved decorating them and eating them :3

me

:3 i love it i made it and it was awsome i put chocolat on it :3

will burwood

use it every time

will burwood

great works a treat

Jen

Hi, I tried this recipe yesterday. seems 4tablespoons of milk is not enough. the mixture seems very dry, so I add another 8 tablespoons of milk, the result is very soft and fluffy. Also I reduced the amount of sugar and replaced with Splenda. Could you tell me is it possible to use part vegetable oil to replace butter? 250g butter is a lot of butter. thank you.

Stupid idiot

This is soo hard to understand and was highly Unusable!!!

Jenny

I baked them and it was quite lumpy. Unfortunately our ovens stopped working so w're having to bake them in the microwave oven if we knew e were on the right settings. They're doing okay so far however

Jeanne Naila Anstyadi

Can I replace self-raising flour with yeast?

Jeanne Naila Anstyadi

They're the same thing

lucy

would it be fine to use icing sugar instead of caster sugar??

iPad mini

I am making my own recipe so I had to see the plain recipe then add my other stuff to make my recipe thanks glad someone made this site!i am looking at perfect buttercream next:)

786786786000

thank u works very helpfulxx

Caroline Beecham

Hi Jesse. I have a few ideas that might help you, though I know what you mean about the mini volcanoes, and I don't have a solution to that! At least volcanoes usually taste light and fluffy- just put lots of icing to hide the funny shape! 1. Don't ever beat the mixture after adding SR flour (like this recipe says). It makes it tough and the cakes will be small and dense. It's best to stir carefully half the flour, then liquid, then the rest of the flour. We call it "folding"- carefully twist the spoon as you stir to mix it in. The less you move the spoon, the better. If you do beat like this recipe says, stop as soon as it's mixed. 2. They are cooked when you press on the top and the cake springs back up. Take straight out. They get dry if you overcook them. If the cake pushed down and stays down, it's not cooked enough yet. 3. I always use 180 degrees for cakes- moderate oven. 160 is too cold and they won't rise properly. Fan-forced, don't go over 180. 4. Do you use the muffin tray like this recipe says? I think it keeps the cakes a little moister, but them my Mum cooks the best cupcakes ever and she often just puts the patty pans on a flat baking tray. 5. Leaving out ingredients will always change a recipe. I would either search for a low-sugar recipe, or follow this recipe exactly until you get it to work, then mess around with the sugar. You should be able to reduce the sugar, but I'd always get the recipe to work first before I tried to change anything. 6. I'm living in Malaysia now, and I find that the ingredients are a little different to the ones I got in Australia. The sugar is finer, the eggs are different, I can't get my favourite cocoa brand. I don't know where you are, but remember that things are different in different places. Margarine is also very different to butter. Egg size and quality can change a cake's finish (cage eggs, free-range, colour of the yolk, chicken feed, etc). Cake flours work better than all-purpose flour. Just keep experimenting and I hope you make some nice cakes soon! Today I am going to make cupcake versions of an Australian cake called a lamington. I have to make them Halal too, so my husband's workmates can eat them. That makes it challenging!

Lou-Lou Sykes

Really Yummy and easy too make, although really only wanted to make 12. so as there was a lot of mix left over added it too a cake Tray and baked it and adding Icing and Looks Yummy, Cupcakes Look Lush cooking atm!

Colette Leonard

I ave just made these very easy to make and what can. Say they were absolutely delicious and light

Jesse Teh Yen Theng

I have tried baking for 4 different recipes for cupcakes and they all not rise properly and some even rise like a mini volcano. The texture of the cakes is dense and the surface is very dry and hard if I bake longer.... What really goes wrong? I would like to try for this recipe but would like to get some advises from other experience baker... I always reduced the portion of sugar as I find that the sugar quantity is way too sweet for me if I follow the same, can I just reduced the amount of sugar? Will this affected my cakes? I'm using conventional oven and with dark colors muffins pan so I turn it to 160C for 25mins. Please anyone can help?

Catherine Loosemore

I love this recipe; I am not very good at baking but the recipe is so easy. It appears to be very think and looks like it will taste heavy but it doesn't; it is so light and tasty :-)

Abigail Wall

im only 12 and this recipe was really easy and fun to make i made 16 chocolate ones yesterday and today i will make normal ones. this recipe was really helpful and the cakes where sooo tasty :) and so was the buttercream frosting.

home baker teen 16

this recipe is the BEST cupcake recipe i have ever used (and i've tryed a lot!) it mixture was light and fluffy and the cake were sweet and so yummy :) i make 4 batches for a charity fair - so quick and easy to do = one very happy baker :D

recipes at random

These look really lovely. Check out the chocolate cupcakes with white chocolate frosting I made yesterday http://recipesatrandom.com/2011/12/04/chocolate-cupcakes-with-white-chocolate-frosting/

ElianeSweety Cupcakes

EXCELLENT!!! I love this recipe!!

Fordyy

Best basic cupcake recipe by far! x

EmmaH

These were so tasty with vanilla buttercream icing, they went down a storm at my friend's bday BBQ!

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