Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting Recipe
The cupcake craze went ballistic a few years ago. Nowadays trendy food culture has moved away from cupcakes towards macarons, cronuts and even franken-milkshakes. But the humble vanilla cupcake with a smear or splash of buttercream frosting is a classic. This vanilla cupcake recipe is easy to make, and perfect for anything from kids parties, to bake sales and afternoon tea. Just change the colour of the frosting and decorations to suit the event and you’re done. Easy.


Makes: 12 cupcakes       Difficulty: Easy


·      12-hole Muffin Tray

·      Cupcake Cases

·      Rubber spatula

·      Wire rack

·      Stand mixer / electric mixer

·      Oven thermometer

·      Kitchen scales

·      Kitchen timer

·      Piping bag with 1cm star nozzle



·      200g (7 oz) Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature

·      200g (7 oz) Caster Sugar, softened to room temperature

·      1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

·      4 large eggs, lightly beaten

·      200g (7 oz) Plain Flour

·      1 pinch Salt

·      2 teaspoons Baking Powder

·      2 teaspoons Milk

Buttercream Frosting

·      170g (6 oz) Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature

·      370g (13 oz) Icing Sugar Mixture

·      1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

·      A few drops of food colouring of choice

·      Sprinkles (to decorate)


  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (140 fan-forced; 320F). Line a 12-hole muffin tray with patty cases.
  • To the bowl of an electric mixer add the soft butter and caster sugar. Cream together until they become pale and fluffy. Pour in the vanilla and slowly pour in the eggs with the beaters on. Mix until evenly combined. Don’t worry if the batter looks odd and curdled at this stage.
  • Sift in the flour and baking powder, and add a pinch of salt and the milk. Fold the ingredients together gently with a spatula until just combined.
  • Transfer the batter to each patty case with a spoon. Fill each one almost to the top.
  • Check the oven has reached the correct temperature. Set the kitchen timer for 25 minutes. Place the cupcake tray on the middle rack of the oven. The cupcakes are ready when the tops are light golden brown and spring back when lightly touched.
  • Remove cupcakes from the oven, take them out of the pan and let them cool on a wire rack.
  • Prepare the frosting: add the softened butter, vanilla and icing sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat together until the frosting becomes pale and fluffy. At first, it might look really dry and even thump around the mixer, but as the butter distributes it will turn soft. It will take at least 5 minutes.
  • Split the frosting into different bowls for each colour you’ll make. Use just one or two drops of colouring to tint the buttercream. Stir together until the colouring is evenly mixed.
  • When the cupcakes are completely cool, fill a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle with frosting and pipe onto the cupcakes. Top with some sprinkles.

Recipe adapted from Baking Made Easy by Lorraine Pascale



  • These cupcakes will keep for 1-2 days at room temperature in an airtight container.
  • If you feel the buttercream is too thick, beat more softened butter into the frosting.
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