Friday, 8 July 2011

How to: bake the easiest cupcakes in the world


Here are the easiest cupcakes in the world. I've not baked in ages, but I wanted to make a wee treat for my team at work as we've done so well lately & have been hitting targets like pros (well done team!). So I made some. This is how you do it.

First, oven on! Turn it up to 150 degrees. Sensible people preheat their ovens. I can't be bothered, and assume it'll be fine by the time the cake mix is ready. Now! Get your ingredients. You'll need the following:
  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g self raising flour
  • Bit of vanilla essence
Bung the butter and sugar into a bowl/your lovely food processor. It helps if the butter is softish at this point (i.e you can poke it easily, but it isn't runny). You want to mix the butter & sugar to a really lovely smooth consistency. 
Add the eggs and flour. I don't ever bother to sieve flour, life is too short! Just stick it all in and mix together.
You want to mix it so it is smooth without massive lumps, but not so runny that you've knocked all the air out of it. See how it is ever so slowly sliding off the spoon above? That's a nice consistency to aim for. 
Once it's mixed, spoon it into baking cases as soon as you can. You want to aim to fill the cases between 1/2 - 2/3s full, just try and keep them even. This recipe makes about 15 normal cupcakes (or 12 massive muffin style cupcakes if you can't be bothered using two trays!). 

Depending on your oven, the cakes should take about 15 - 18 minutes to make. DO NOT OPEN YOUR OVEN DURING THIS TIME. Opening your oven too early is declaring to your cakes that you do not love them, and they should sink in sadness (they will). Cold air is a rising cupcake's enemy. You have been warned. 

Once 15 minutes have passed, start looking (through the closed oven door!) to judge the colour of your cakes. If they are starting to look golden, then (and only then) can you open the oven and try one of these tests to see if they are ready.

1 - Poking
When you poke it (gently) does it rise back to the touch? Then it's probably ready. Does your finger leave an obvious dent? Back in the oven!

2 - Stabbing
Stick a sharp knife in your cake, and see what it looks like when it comes out. If the knife is clean, the cake is ready. If there's still a bit of gunk then it'll need another five minutes or so.

When you are happy that your cakes are baked through, pop them on a baking rack to cool down and leave them alone for around 30 minutes before thinking of decorating them. If you try to ice a cake too early and it's still hot then the icing will melt and not look pretty. Go have a cup of tea or something. 

Okay! When they are almost cool, make your icing. I used the Best Buttercream Recipe in the World (2 parts icing sugar to 1 part butter) which makes lovely smooth icing. Number one tip for making buttercream - make sure that your butter is extremely soft! It'll make everything easier. When that's done, get a piping bag and start decorating!
Here's a really professional gif (haha, sorry!)
(By the way, if I can pipe with one hand whilst taking photos with the other, then ANYONE can neatly pipe buttercream!).

Cupcakes are lovely to decorate because you can do anything with them, and be as simple or creative as you'd like. I just put glitter on everything.


Tada! So there you have it! Cupcake success. Happy baking.

5 comments:

  1. I miss cake time at work...it is my birthday soon!! Those lovely whoopie pies from last year pop in to my mind often! xx

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  2. first things first, stop putting glitter on EVERYTHING! it's not clever and it's not cool!

    But more importantly, really good blog :) I LOVED your cupcakes, i really wish you'd bring Ever So Sweet back :(

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  3. Aimi - aww, wee pal! That was an ace day. Did you hear Adam is leaving? I might make a *secret cake*, you should come down next week & join in the celebrations! xx

    Matt - ha, no! They look GOOD with glitter on them! & aww, that's really sweet. I'm just too busy to do it properly, but at least I am baking again. x

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  4. YUMMY! They look so good - thank you for posting this. Awesome photos too x

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  5. Thanks! Let me know how you get on if you give it a go x

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Thank you so much for commenting, it is lovely and really makes my day!

If you have any questions I will do my best to answer them quickly, or you can also tweet me @eversojuliet

Ta!