Vanilla Cupcake

Vanilla Cupcake

This is something a teeny bit frivolous. Cupcakes – a rage that took over the baking world for years on end with super cool innovations, flavours and styles. However I am a bit of a classic. I never took to the fancy creations and exotic colourings, including the red velvet or the recent unicorn phase! The only cupcake I will ever have are vanilla or chocolate, with a bit of glaze or real chocolate frosting – and coloured sprinkles are a must. There is a very fond childhood memory behind this.

When I was young, my mother forced me to go to ballet class(!) and the only motivation for me to slip into a ridiculous pink leotard was the little bakery attached to the dance school serving gorgeous vanilla cupcakes, with a dab of white icing and coloured sprinkles. These were moist, soft, crumbly, not too sweet, yet just perfect and instantly melt in your mouth. I have compared every cupcake I’ve had in my life thereon to these humble simple ones. There is truth, comfort and faith in simplicity.

Today, I am recreating these gorgeous bites with a little help from Nigella’s cupcake recipe – the only one I use and refuse to even experiment with. I’ve used up a bit of leftover mascarpone frosting, but you can use a simple glaze of icing sugar, vanilla and milk.

I use regular sized cupcake liners, not the overly huge ones, nor the tiny miniscule ones, just normal, regular sized – what it should be.

Make these, and do as I do – hide them in your room to have them all by yourself.

Cupcake recipe from: Nigella Lawson

The Recipe
Serves 12


  • 1/2 cup butter, soft
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • sprinkles for garnish


  • Heat the oven to 200°C and prepare the muffin pan; place 12 cupcake liners.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy in a big bowl.
  • Add the eggs into the batter one at a time, followed by the vanilla essence.
  • Add the baking soda, salt and flour and whisk to just combine.
  • Add the milk while beating make a smooth batter.
  • Place 2 mini scoops into each cupcake liner.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • Whisk all the frosting ingredients together until you have a thick consistency of frosting. Add some milk to loosen if required.
  • Spread a tablespoon of frosting over each cupcake and add some sprinkles for garnish.

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.