Vanilla cupcakes are perhaps the easiest things to bake, yet you can still go wrong. So I am going to run you through the basic steps to get it right.
First you must put the oven on to 180°C (or 160°C for fan assisted ovens) . Once you have done that you need to get a cupcake tin out and put 12 cupcake cases into each gap. Then, if you have one, get the mixer out and put the bowl onto some scales. If you don’t have a mixer then just get a medium sized bowl out and put it on the scales – but that does mean you have to do all the hard work by hand, or with an electric hand mixer. Personally, I have found making them in my Mum’s trusty Kenwood mixer produces the best results. I have also experimented with the mixer attachments to check out results – but we’ll come back to that at another time.
I am going to share my favourite recipe for cupcakes, which is based on The Great British Bake Off How to Bake book.
Put 125g of margarine or butter (I usually use marg and am happy with the results, as I find it less greasy)
Now add 175g of caster sugar and mix.
In a separate small bowl whisk 2 large eggs and ½ a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix until combined before adding in sections to the dry mixture.
Now, in a separate bowl, sift 175g self-raising flour (and if you want a pinch of salt too!) into the bowl. Then add 1/3 of the flour into the mixture. After mixing in the flour so you cannot see it any more, (TheBakerKid tip: Do not mix flour into the mixture quickly because otherwise you will knock all the air out of the mixture causing it to become heavy – which you don’t want!), then add a tablespoon of milk.
Once you’ve done that repeat the process, twice more, adding a third of the flour at a time.
You should by now have put all of the flour into the mixture and 3 tablespoons of milk. Once you are happy you have added all the ingredients, then you can put the mixture into the cases. (If you are a child, I advise you to get help from your mum or dad!). Once all the cupcake cases have mixture in them you need to even them all out so that they are all the same size before putting them in the oven – again get help here to avoid getting burnt.
Bake for 18 minutes before checking to see if they are cooked properly. Cooking time does vary dependent on the type of oven you have. We have a fan assisted oven which tends to be pretty hot, so I tend to cook a bit cooler and for slightly less time. You will need to test this out for your oven to get the best results.
To test if they are done or not, lightly press your finger on it and take it back off again. If it springs back then they are done. If not then they need to go back in the oven for, at max, another 5 minutes, but check after 2 minutes – you don’t want them to overcook.
In the next post I am going to cover what I do to finish off the cupcakes ready for eating!