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More Nigella recipes

Cupcakes

by . Featured in HOW TO BE A DOMESTIC GODDESS
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Introduction

At about the time I started getting into top cupcake mode, ostensibly for children, I noticed that the people who really seemed to get excited by them were the children's parents.

Instant Royal Icing can be tricky to find in the US, in which case you can make your own Royal Icing by mixing a 1lb box of confectioners' sugar with 3 tablespoons of meringue powder. Add 6 tablespoons of warm water and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the icing has thickened and forms soft peaks.

At about the time I started getting into top cupcake mode, ostensibly for children, I noticed that the people who really seemed to get excited by them were the children's parents.

Instant Royal Icing can be tricky to find in the US, in which case you can make your own Royal Icing by mixing a 1lb box of confectioners' sugar with 3 tablespoons of meringue powder. Add 6 tablespoons of warm water and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the icing has thickened and forms soft peaks.

Cupcakes
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Makes: 12 cupcakes

Metric Cups
  • 125 grams self-raising flour
  • 125 grams caster sugar
  • 125 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 packet instant royal icing
  • food colouring (for preference colour pastes)
  • cake decorations (wafer roses, sugar flowers, sprinkles, or your favourite sweets/candies)
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • ⅔ cup superfine sugar
  • 9 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 packet instant royal icing
  • food colouring (for preference colour pastes)
  • cake decorations (wafer roses, sugar flowers, sprinkles, or your favourite sweets/candies)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF and line the tin with the muffin cases.
  2. It couldn't be simpler to make cup cakes: just put all the ingredients except for the milk in the processor and then blitz till smooth.
  3. Pulse while adding milk, to make for a soft, dropping consistency, down the funnel. Or using a bowl and wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugar, beat in the eggs one at a time with a little of the flour.
  4. Then add the vanilla extract and fold in the rest of the flour, adding the milk to get the dropping consistency as before.
  5. I know it looks as if you'll never make this scant mixture fit 12 bun cases, but you will. I promise you this mixture is exactly right to make the 12 cup cakes, so just spoon and scrape the stuff in, trying to fill each case equally, judging by eye only of course.
  6. Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cup cakes are cooked and golden on top. As soon as bearable, take the cup cakes in their cases out of the tin and let cool, right way up, on a wire rack.
  7. Once they're cool, make up a big, uncoloured batch of royal icing, and then remove a few spoonfuls at a time to small bowls.
  8. Using a bamboo skewer, add small dots of colours from the paste-tubs, stirring with a teaspoon and then adding more colouring, very slowly, very cautiously (pastel works best here, whatever your everyday aesthetic) until you get the colour you want.
  9. Use teaspoons to coat the cupcakes with icing and leave each a moment to dry only slightly, on the surface, before sticking on a rose, daisy or whole stash of decorations.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF and line the tin with the muffin cases.
  2. It couldn't be simpler to make cup cakes: just put all the ingredients except for the milk in the processor and then blitz till smooth.
  3. Pulse while adding milk, to make for a soft, dropping consistency, down the funnel. Or using a bowl and wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugar, beat in the eggs one at a time with a little of the flour.
  4. Then add the vanilla extract and fold in the rest of the flour, adding the milk to get the dropping consistency as before.
  5. I know it looks as if you'll never make this scant mixture fit 12 bun cases, but you will. I promise you this mixture is exactly right to make the 12 cup cakes, so just spoon and scrape the stuff in, trying to fill each case equally, judging by eye only of course.
  6. Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cup cakes are cooked and golden on top. As soon as bearable, take the cup cakes in their cases out of the tin and let cool, right way up, on a wire rack.
  7. Once they're cool, make up a big, uncoloured batch of royal icing, and then remove a few spoonfuls at a time to small bowls.
  8. Using a bamboo skewer, add small dots of colours from the paste-tubs, stirring with a teaspoon and then adding more colouring, very slowly, very cautiously (pastel works best here, whatever your everyday aesthetic) until you get the colour you want.
  9. Use teaspoons to coat the cupcakes with icing and leave each a moment to dry only slightly, on the surface, before sticking on a rose, daisy or whole stash of decorations.

Tell us what you think

What 20 Others have said

  • Just made these and they are so much nicer than recipes I've tried previously. This one is going in my recipe 'bible' right now and will be my go to for cup cakes every time. Made my own icing using 75g icing sugar, few drops of vanilla extract and a little water to mix. Perfect, fluffy, comforting cup cakes. Thanks Nigella, you're mint!

    Posted by squashypig on 30th April 2016
  • Made these yesterday for a last minute order I had and I definitely will be sticking to this recipe, they came out perfect!!

    Posted by Sais_Treats on 10th April 2016
  • Nigella, you are an angel. Don't ask me how but I've been absolutely annihilating cupcake recipes for years. Just never could quite get the hang of it. I tried your recipe and the very first time, they were bang on! I was so pleased I did a little kitchen dance. Thanks for bringing cupcake joy to our home at long last!

    Posted by Siafree on 6th June 2015
  • This is one of the simplest yet the most delicious cupcakes I have ever made or tasted.....I had put up these cupcakes for small function at my home and everyone simply loved it....thank you so much and hope to see more recipes from you.....

    Posted by sangeethanair on 13th August 2015
  • I have been making same at my home and my both son and daughter love this,and they feel proud on their mom. Thanks for sharing this beautiful recipe of cupcake....your cupcakes are looking so yummy...http://bit.ly/1L4g7Wb

    Posted by Nesha on 10th September 2015
  • Is the cake batter recipe adequately sweet, in case I dont wish to use the icing?

    Posted by im_priyanka on 5th November 2012
  • Made these cupcakes today, different recipe from my usual and I must say this will be my go to recipe from now on. They are so light and fluffy - delicious, hubby even commented on how nice they were, thanks Nigella.

    Posted by Bella14 on 4th January 2015
  • This looks like the same recipe I have for your lemon cupcakes which I usually make with vanilla instead anyway. I double the mixture and make larger cupcakes than photographed. Oh I am always so impressed with the colour when I tear open and the taste is simply heavenly. Ideal to bake and freeze.

    Posted by Miseve on 24th July 2014
  • I love love love these cupcakes!! Thank you Nigella!! You are the best! <3

    Posted by moonlight63 on 8th February 2014
  • Baked these gorgeous cup cakes tonight hubby loved them thanks for the recipe nigella, will definitely be making them again.

    Posted by Mezzy on 26th January 2014
  • This is the best cupcake recipe ever!! Soooo easy to make and remember. I have passed the recipe onto several of my friends as I always get wonderful comments on how great they taste. I can't resist bragging about how easy they are to make and of course I always let on that they are a Nigella recipe! They are an extremely light cupcake and super delicious. My 10yr old daughter also loves making them!

    Posted by foodhopper on 24th July 2013
  • So... My best friend had her nineteenth birthday on a pink limo, we were ten girls dressed as disney princesses, it was a lot of fun! I decided to make her a surprise, so I took this recipe and added lots of food colouring: I made rainbow cupcakes! They were divine! It requires a lot of patience but it is totally worth it! Once the batter is ready, divide it in six equal parts and add one colour in each bowl: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple! Add a layer of each colour in the liners and bake normally! The result is beautiful!

    Posted by ninahofmeister on 13th May 2012
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