Vanilla cupcakes served on a cake stand

Vanilla cupcakes

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(70 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 6 - 12

Decorate these easy vanilla cupcakes with buttercream and the topping of your choice. They're super-simple to make and taste divine – great as a teatime treat

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving (12)

  • kcal287
  • fat16g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs34g
  • sugars27g
  • fibre0.4g
  • protein2g
  • salt0.44g
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    For the cupcake mixture

    • 120g butter, softened



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

    • 120g caster sugar
    • 1 egg



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

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 120g self-raising flour

    For the buttercream icing

    • 140g butter, softened



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

    • 275g icing sugar
    • 1-2 tbsp milk



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

    • A few drops of food colouring (optional)


    1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.

    2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and mix into the butter mixture along with the vanilla extract.

    3. Fold in the flour, adding a little milk until the mixture is of a dropping consistency. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are three quarters full.

    4. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes. Then place on a wire rack.

    5. For the buttercream icing, beat the butter until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth.

    6. Add the remaining icing sugar with 1 tbsp milk, adding more milk if necessary, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add food colouring (optional) and mix well.

    7. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag and add a nozzle of your choice. Pipe in a swirl motion and then enjoy!

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    Katie Andrew's picture
    Katie Andrew
    19th Jun, 2020
    Just made these...thought they mixture was thick. They’re already in the oven and can already tell they won’t work out! Recipe was definitely wrong and 2 eggs are needed.
    13th Jun, 2020
    I wish i had read the comments before i tried making these twice today before giving up and going back to a tried and tested recipe. I would have to agree with the other comments that 1 Egg is wrong and it needs 2. Wasted a lot of ingredient today trying this recipe.
    Melanie Irving's picture
    Melanie Irving
    29th May, 2020
    This recipe is missing an egg! I've used the bbc easy vanilla cupcake recipe maybe 50 times and they come out perfect every time, so just use two eggs, I sometimes make chocolate versions took by adding 50 gram's off cocoa powder to the flour.
    27th May, 2020
    This recipe is awful . I am a serial baker and made these yesterday and they sank in the middle. I made again today, certain that I must have overbeaten as they sank in the oven and they did exactly the same again. 2 lots of wasted ingredients, i am not happy at all
    Mick J's picture
    Mick J
    10th May, 2020
    I made these after reading the reviews and wished I hadn't gone ahead. They sunk in the middle and due to the much longer time required to cook them, they were hard on the top. I would not ever use this recipe again
    Clare Underdown's picture
    Clare Underdown
    9th May, 2020
    As others have said, not the best recipe. Sunk in the middle, took longer to cook than stated and, although they tasted okay, the consistency wasn't quite right.
    Connie Oliver's picture
    Connie Oliver
    26th Apr, 2020
    The cupcakes didn’t rise I wouldn’t recommend
    Vanessa Cooper's picture
    Vanessa Cooper
    18th Apr, 2020
    Not the best recipe, never had as many problems with a cupcake recipe before. I tried to make 3 batches of these and they all went wrong! They sank in the middle and the cooking time is off. Wouldn't recommend.
    5th Apr, 2020
    Made these anyway after reading the mixed reviews. They turned out OK. Can see why people had issues with them being raw or sank in the middle as took at least 5 mins extra for these to cook resulting in them being quite crisp on top. Wouldn’t recommend.
    Lily Hogan's picture
    Lily Hogan
    28th Mar, 2020
    I was very excited about baking these, but when they came out they where raw and stodgy. also, the icing was to sweet so they where a bit sickly. I would recommend them to people who like sweet cupcakes but I would personally say not to leave them in the oven for the amount of time that good food suggests, maybe a little less sugar and more time would make them perfect.


    1st Jun, 2020
    Can you freeze the icing?
    Emma Knight's picture
    Emma Knight
    27th Apr, 2020
    Leave the cakes in the oven for about 10-30 mins longer.
    Lily Hogan's picture
    Lily Hogan
    28th Mar, 2020
    put the cakes in for longer , i dont want anyone in the raw mess i was in.also for the icing i would personally say less sugar.
    27th May, 2019
    I think this recipe should say 2 eggs for the amount of flour, sugar and butter then works perfectly!
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