A selection of iced cupcakes

Cupcake recipe

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(97 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 12

Bake these easy vanilla cupcakes in just 35 minutes. Perfect for birthdays, picnics or whenever you fancy a sweet treat, they're sure to be a crowd-pleaser

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen without the icing
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per cupcake

  • kcal350
  • fat19g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs41g
  • sugars34g
  • fibre0.4g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 110g softened butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 110g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g self-raising flour

For the buttercream

  • 150g softened butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • food colouring paste of your choice (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and fill a 12 cupcake tray with cases.

  2. Using an electric whisk beat 110g softened butter and 110g golden caster sugar together until pale and fluffy then whisk in 2 large eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.

  3. Add ½ tsp vanilla extract, 110g self-raising flour and a pinch of salt, whisk until just combined then spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases.

  4. Bake for 15 mins until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

  5. To make the buttercream, whisk 150g softened butter until super soft then add 300g icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

  6. Whisk together until smooth (start off slowly to avoid an icing sugar cloud) then beat in 3 tbsp milk.

  7. If wanting to colour, stir in the food colouring now. Spoon or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.

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Comments, questions and tips

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David Stamp's picture
David Stamp
2nd Feb, 2020
Cupcake recipe is great, look elsewhere for the buttercream though
Bells the cat's picture
Bells the cat
18th Jan, 2020
I’m 11 and this recipe is so simple but absolutely delicious. Really good for little kids birthdays.
20th Aug, 2019
as a thirteen year old that spends most of her time making extravagant bakes and meals, it was refreshing to introduce my five year old sister to the world of baking. This recipe is extremely easy to make as my sister made the cakes almost single handedly with me only as a supervisor. the cakes were extremely light and fluffy however for us the mixture only made eight cakes. we didn’t use buttercream and instead made butterfly cakes to make it easier for my sister which worked just as well. all of my previous bakes have come from this website and i’m thoroughly impressed by the positive outcomes from each bake. it’s a great website with trustworthy and easy recipes that turn out great every single time!
Black Cat's picture
Black Cat
7th Aug, 2019
Turned out really nice and fluffy! And not to dry at all.
Preeti Bhambra's picture
Preeti Bhambra
20th Jun, 2019
Highly recommend this recipe. I’m someone who is not a very experienced baker and was baking for a fun day at my son’s nursery and the recipe was perfect and easy to follow. I didn’t use the milk for the icing as it wasn’t needed. The cupcakes taste delicious! I will definitely use this recipe again!
Lillian Goodwin's picture
Lillian Goodwin
19th May, 2019
Turn them around occasionally and they will cook better. They are AMAZING!!!! You will LOVE them!!!!!
TSH the cook
4th May, 2019
BEST EVER cupcakes. Taste so good, it makes you want more! If you want the best buttercream go to Tesco. I am only 10 and I did it all by myself. It was my first time baking by myself without any help!
Lillian Goodwin's picture
Lillian Goodwin
19th May, 2019
Well done!!!
Tony0695's picture
6th Apr, 2019
Both recipes are horrible one of the worst things I've ever done. Makes me never want to bake again.
3rd Mar, 2019
These were really lovely, light and fluffy and worked out really well. I was pleased as normally I don't much luck with cupcakes/muffins. Will defiantly make these again.


Lily Dunne's picture
Lily Dunne
17th Nov, 2019
Is there a difference if you use normal caster sugar rather than golden caster sugar???????
Lilymae Reilly's picture
Lilymae Reilly
13th Oct, 2019
Hi, I’m trying to make vanilla cupcakes and they have been in the oven for 20 minutes now and when I put the skewer in, they were almost watery, I don’t know what to do or what I’ve done wrong, any tips?
goodfoodteam's picture
15th Oct, 2019
We're sorry to hear you had a problem with your cupcakes. They should definitely not have been 'watery' after 20 mins. Is it possible the ingredients weren't weighed accurately?
30th Sep, 2019
Hi, Can this be used to make a two-tiered cake? Thanks Ani
goodfoodteam's picture
3rd Oct, 2019
Thanks for your question, the quantities and cooking times are not sufficient for a two-tiered cake. We'd suggest checking out our celebration cake recipe collection for ideas on alternatives: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/celebration-cake
21st May, 2019
Hi, novice question - for both the cupcakes and buttercream, you mention using softened butter. Is this unsalted butter or salted please? Thank you
goodfoodteam's picture
24th May, 2019
Thanks for your question. You can use either, according to your preference. We chose to use salted.
6th Aug, 2018
What size cake cases should I use to get 12 of these - fairy cake or muffin cases?
Lillian Goodwin's picture
Lillian Goodwin
19th May, 2019
Muffin cases. That is what I used and it worked well.
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Aug, 2018
Thanks for your question. We used standard cupcake cases.


31st Aug, 2019
lovely recipe however, make sure the butter is Definately room temperature as if not you may get lumps in the mixture and it makes it hard to cream the butter and sugar x
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