Friday, 8 February 2013

RECIPE: Simple vanilla and raspberry cupcakes

Simple vanilla cupcakes are always a winner. They're so easy and quick to make, and can be whipped up pretty spontaneously as they require such basic ingredients. I decided to make mine a smidge more exciting by throwing in some frozen raspberries. Yup, I'm something of a maverick.

Raspberry and vanilla are lovely complementary flavours and hark back to childhood memories of raspberry ripple ice cream. Yum. I used frozen raspberries in these cakes as they're a kajillion times cheaper than fresh, and you can't tell the difference at all once baked. Of course, you could use fresh though. I was coming to the end of the packet so it was more like raspberry crumbs, but this actually worked really well in the cakes. Sort of like chocolate chips. But raspberries. Speaking of, white chocolate chips would be a scrummy addition to these cupcakes.

Cheeky overflow, but still deeelish
You could top the cakes with buttercream or glacé icing, but I decided to leave my plain, as I think they're delicious just as they are (particularly when gobbled up warm from the oven.) Sometimes, warm, moist, un-iced cake just can't be beaten. (Eh, baking pun there, anyone? Have I been watching too much GBBO?)

I'd been feeling somewhat uncharacteristically angry earlier, but venting all my frustration through whipping up a batch of these babies (and then, of course, eating them) made me feel a hundred times better. I truly believe there are few things in life that can't be improved by cake. And don't they look pretty in the pink cases?

This recipe makes around eight BIG cupcakes (more the size of muffins the way I made them!), but if you're planning on icing them, it would probably be wiser to fill each case a bit less and thus make more. They rise a lot in the oven, and come out with a delightfully springy texture. For basic vanilla cupcakes, just leave out the raspberries. Don't forget to take your eggs and butter out of the fridge in advance!

Before baking


100g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
100g self-raising white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp milk
1 handful raspberries, frozen or fresh


1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a muffin tin with paper cases.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl using a handheld electric whisk until you have a smooth, pale, creamy mixture (give it a few mins.) Sift in the flour and baking powder, add the vanilla, eggs and milk and mix until all incorporated. Stir in the raspberries. Spoon the batter into the cake cases.

3. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean and the cakes are springy to the touch. Leave in the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Or not, as the case may be. #hungrystudents

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