Vanilla Cupcakes

Vanilla Cupcakes

A friend put me onto The Crabapple Bakery cupcakes awhile ago and they are indeed superb.  I have churned out so many cupcakes since having children and for the bulk of those years the cupcakes I have made have just been OK.  This recipe makes lovely light, spongy cupcakes and I’ve been so pleased to see that the entire cupcake gets eaten, not just the icing!

So for a good year now, these have been my go to recipe when cupcakes are needed.  The recipe is from The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook which has lots of yummy icing recipes and simple decorating ideas too.

I have Essie’s birthday sneaking up on me just a bit too quickly and we are in the process of deciding what birthday cake she will have.  It is a serious business!

American Hotdog

In other news, I had my first, and no doubt last, American hotdog the other day.  Not my finest culinary experience but one I felt I should try.  We all headed up to San Francisco for a family day out with Joel’s work at The Exploratorium and hotdogs were put on for the kids lunch.  Thankfully there were plenty more food options plus wine and ice-cream stations.  All while looking over the bay and the kids having a brilliant time checking out all the exhibits.

Lunch with a view

The weather was overcast, gloomy and surprisingly lovely.  There is only so much Californian sunshine that one can take!  It made me think of Australia and how, no doubt, everyone is rugged up and cooking stews, soups and warm curries.  The amount of times I have been told that it just does not rain here all spring and summer… But I am happy to see some rain.

Summer rain in San Francisco

vanilla cupcakes 

(from The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook by Jennifer Graham)

200g unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups castor sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk

vanilla icing

200g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 cups icing sugar
food colouring (optional)

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C (340 degree F). Line 2 cupcake trays with cupcake papers.

In a mixer, cream the butter for a few minutes until pale and light.  Add the sugar, a third at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Continue to mix until the sugar has almost dissolved. Add one egg at a time mixing well after each addition.  Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.

Sift the flour and baking powder together and add a third to the butter mixture.  Mix on slow and then add half the milk and beat to combine.  Then repeat.  Add the final third of flour and mix together.  It is important not to over mix.

Fill the cupcake papers about 3/4 full with the batter and bake for 18-20 minutes.  When cooked remove the cakes from the tray and leave to cool on a wire rack.

To make the icing, cream the butter in a mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the milk, vanilla and half the icing sugar and mix together for several minutes.  Add remaining icing sugar and beat well until it is a nice spreadable consistency.  If you want to have coloured icing then add a drop of food colouring at a time and beat well, adding more if needed, to achieve the desired colour.

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7 Responses to Vanilla Cupcakes

  1. Rachel Hockey says:

    I’m not a fan at all of hot dogs. I so do not understand most Americans fascination with them. There are so many better choices out there! Can’t wait to try this cupcake recipe. I’m going to be making a Tres Leches Cake for Del’s birthday this weekend. At least I’m going to attempt it. We are at the farm and the kitchen here is a little scarce, not to mention converting the recipe to Australian terms. Wish me luck!

    • natalie says:

      It is hard to work everything out in a new country, a new kitchen and the different cup measurements. I have both American and Australian measuring cups and spoons in my kitchen but the American ones rarely get used. Can’t wait to hear how the cake turned out!

  2. Kathy says:

    Hi there,
    Just wondering with the cupcakes, did you use US cups and 15ml tablespoon? Many thanks, they look lovely 🙂
    Cheers, Kathy

  3. Beth says:

    I too haven’t quite found just the right cupcake recipe so I’m looking forward to trying this one. We have school holiday fortnight coming up so a great time to fill the freezer with a few goodies. Thanks.

  4. Astrid says:

    Excellent recipe, cupcakes are exactly as I remember. Thanks for posting. I went and did her cupcakes course and found she had some good tips of the trade. I used 7 cups of icing mixture for the icing but found that it actually might have needed the whole 8, it seems rather runny, but the weather is warm so chilling it in the fridge before icing the cupcakes may prove effective enough!

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