Vanilla Cupcakes

Colored buttercream icing and simple decorations transform these humble cupcakes into treats fit for a celebration.

Recipe courtesy of "The Illustrated Kitchen Bible: 1,000 Family Recipes from Around the World" by Victoria Blashford-Snell, copyright 2008. Used by permission of Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved.

Vanilla Cupcakes

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    2 cups all-purpose flour 8 tablespoons butter, at room temperature (for icing)
    2 tsp baking powder 3 tablespoons whole milk, as needed (for icing)
    1 1/4 cups butter, softened 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (for icing)
    1 1/2 cups sugar 3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar (for icing)
    6 large eggs Metallic or colored dragees, for garnish (optional)
    1/3 cup milk 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


    Prep: 15 min Total:
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    • 1

      Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

    • 2

      Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and milk. Beat with an electric mixer for 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Divide among the muffin cups. Bake 25–30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    • 3

      Pipe a swirl of frosting on top of each cupcake and decorate with the dragees, if using.


    To make frosting:

    Beat the butter, 2 Tb milk, and the vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.

    With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the confectioner's sugar, beating until the frosting is spreadable. If the frosting is too stiff, add the remaining milk.

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