<b>Cupcakes</b> Preheat the oven to 400°F, and line a cupcake pan with paper baking cups.
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.
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.
Pipe Vanilla Buttercream Frosting or Cream Cheese Frosting on top, and scatter with sugar decorations to finish.
<b>To Mix Frosting</b> 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.
Keep the frosting covered until you are ready to use it.
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.
This vanilla cupcake and buttercream frosting recipe is excerpted with permission from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1845337158/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1845337158&linkCode=as2&tag=craftfocom-20">"Cox Cookies & Cake"</a> by Patrick Cox and Eric Lanlard, and published by Mitchell Beazley (Octopus Publishing Group).