Recipe #21 – Easy Peasy Fuss Free Vanilla Cupcakes

I don’t think there is much in life that a vanilla cupcake, or any sort of cupcake, can’t make a little bit better.

When it comes to making cupcakes, I’m not the most patient of people. If I screw up the method or the icing I throw a bitch fit and don’t want to finish them, but when I give them the time and attention they deserve, they always come out decent.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Unfortunately, I can’t really eat these as they’re not gluten free, but if you substitute the flour for a GF alternative you can eat away!


For the cupcakes (makes 12):

6oz Self-Raising Flour

6oz Unsalted (room temperature) Butter

6oz Caster Sugar

3 Medium Eggs

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

For the cupcake filling:

1 Tbsp Raspberry Jam

For the icing:

675g Icing Sugar

300g Unsalted (room temperature) Butter

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Gel Icing Colouring


  • Cupcake Tin
  • 12 x Cupcake Cases
  • Oven
  • Teaspoon
  • Tablespoon
  • Ice Cream Scoop
  • Cooling Rack
  • Piping Bag
  • Piping Nozzle
  • Cake Mixer/ Hand Mixer
  • Cupcake Corer
  • Bowl
  • Sieve
  • Scales (electronic or manual)
  • Spatula

Cupcake Method

Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. Preheat your oven to 180degrees, line your cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
  2. Measure out your butter and add it to the cake mixer. You need to beat this at a medium temperature for at least five minutes.
  3. Whilst the butter is beating, weigh out your sugar. I like to sieve my sugar into my scales so I can add it straight in. Once the five minutes is over, reduce speed to low and gradually add your sugar.
  4. Once the sugar is added, beat for a further three minutes at a medium to light speed. The butter/ sugar mix should be a pale cream, almost white colour.
  5. Sieve and measure out your self-raising flour, then add this to the mixing bowl, along with a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  6. When the flour is combined, keep the speed on low and crack in one egg at a time. After all three eggs are added, move up to a medium speed and beat for a further three minutes.
  7. When the three minutes is over, use your spatula to scrape down the sides and beat for a further minute.
  8. Using your ice cream scoop, add one level scoop of cake batter into each cupcake case. This should be enough to fill the cases by approximately two thirds. You don’t want it to be any higher than this otherwise the cake will rise above the cases.
  9. Pop into your pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. It may take longer than this, but after 20 minutes the cakes need to be watched minute by minute so they don’t burn. The batch above took 23 minutes to be precise. As a baking tip, if you gently push the top of one of the cupcakes and it springs back, it’s cooked, if it doesn’t, and it leaves a small dent, it needs more time. The colour should be golden all over.
  10. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack, or whatever you have spare, so they can cool down.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Jam Method

This is a cute addition to make your ‘fuss free’ cupcakes look super fancy, with no effort whatsoever.

Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. Take a bowl and add a tablespoon of whatever jam you fancy, I used raspberry. Using a teaspoon, beat the jam so it goes into a runny consistency.
  2. Using your cupcake corer (you can buy one here), remove the middles of each cupcake, but keep these to one side (I actually keep mine next to the cupcake it came from as I like them to fit perfectly).
  3. Add half a teaspoon of raspberry jam to the centre of each cupcake, you might need your finger to push the mixture in (my hands are washed here, people!), then pop your cupcake ‘lid’ back on top of the jam.

Icing Method

Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. You know the drill by now, weigh out your butter, add to the mixture and beat it for a minimum of five minutes, until it’s light and fluffy.
  2. Weigh out your icing sugar. There is A LOT, so you might need to do this in two 300g, and 375g stages.
  3. Turn your mixer down very, very low. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. If it’s fast you will get a cloud of icing sugar everywhere.
  4. Add your icing sugar bit by bit, when it’s all added, whack the speed up and give it a whizz for three minutes.
  5. Turn the speed down low, add a teaspoon of vanilla and a small amount of your food colouring. When you use gel colouring it’s much more concentrated than liquid, so you only need a tiny amount.
  6. Mix until the colour is even all over.
  7. Take your icing bag, cut the tip off (if needed) and add your nozzle. Fill your bag with about three tablespoons or mixture (this is just how I like to work), squeeze all the air out and pipe onto your cupcakes.
  8. Your icing method will affect how much icing you have left. I did swirls, and had about a third icing left over (which I ate), but you might have less/ more. If you have a decent amount left over, pop it into a Tupperware pot and it’ll keep for up to a week.

I added some edible glitter to the top of mine to make them look fancy, and voila! You have super easy, impressive cupcakes which require minimal effort.

As always, let me know if you try it!

Thanks for reading,

S x

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