Madagascan Vanilla Cupcake with Buttercream Icing Recipe

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This is a classic cupcake that could be a reliable base for any topping—and we all have a day when a good simple vanilla cupcake does the trick! The buttercream frosting can be tinted using natural food coloring. I prefer to use an edible paste coloring rather than a liquid because it doesn’t affect the consistency of the frosting.
Get the how-to for the holly leaf Christmas cupcake toppers.

Makes 12 cupcakes
Madagascan Vanilla Cupcakes
- 2  sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups superfine sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract, preferably Madagascan
- 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 quantity Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (see below)
- Sugar cake decorations, to decorate
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 2  sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400°F, and line a cupcake pan with paper baking cups.

Step 2

Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Sift the flours together then fold them in, a little at a time, alternating with some of the milk. 
Stir until smooth.

Step 3

Divide the mixture between the paper baking cups and bake for 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Step 4

Pipe Vanilla Buttercream Frosting or Cream Cheese Frosting on top, and scatter with sugar decorations to finish.

Step 5

To Mix Frosting
In a large bowl, cream the butter, ideally using an electric hand mixer on medium speed. Blend in the sugar, one-quarter of it at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk and vanilla extract, and continue mixing until light and fluffy.

Step 6

Keep the frosting covered until you are ready to use it.

Step 7

Smooth the frosting onto the cupcakes using a small metal spatula. You can also create small spikes by quickly touching the frosting with the flat blade of the metal spatula.

Step 8

This vanilla cupcake and buttercream frosting recipe is excerpted with permission from "Cox Cookies & Cake" by Patrick Cox and Eric Lanlard, and published by Mitchell Beazley (Octopus Publishing Group).

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