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Posted on May 23, 2012 by Francesca Lanni

Whilst expecting my first child, I came across a cake decorating book and soon got enthralled with the endless and colourful universe around what I so far considered a pure and simple “loaf”. It took me a second maternity to effectively be caught into the desire of cake making and decorating (no worries, no Postnatal Stress to get through!). The opportunity came when my old boy turned 3. I wanted to make a super astonishing birthday cake for him and that’s how I got involved in learning more and more about cake decorating. I attended several classes inItalyand inUK. I just LOVED it! My first sugar production was, then, a Nemo cake and I couldn’t believe how it looked like a real fish. And when I made a flower petal? Oh… I was hooked! From that very moment, I can’t help making cakes for  friends and family. And now that I’ve been bitten by the ‘cake decorating bug’ I just can’t stop..

This is sooo simple, that once you’ve tried this recipe you’ll be asking yourself why you hadn’t used it earlier. and of course, there are countless ways to tailor this little gem of a recipe to suit your own taste.

Makes 12 cupcakes


  • 100g butter or margarine
  • 100g  caster sugar
  • 100g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
  • 75g  butter
  • 175g  icing sugar
  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4, (Fan oven160°C) and place 12 paper cases into a muffin tin.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating each one in well before adding the next. Add the vanilla essence if using.
  4. Carefully fold in the flour.
  5. Alternatively, you can mix the ingredients together using a food processor. Use the pulse button to mix together in between adding the ingredients in the order above.
  6. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 – 20 minutes. After 15 minutes, check to see if the cupcakes are ready by inserting a cocktail stick into one of the cupcakes. If it comes out dry then the cupcakes are done. If not, place the cupcakes back in the oven for a few minutes more. Don’t overcook the cupcakes otherwise they will dry out.
  7. Remove the cupcakes from the muffin tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Decoration with Buttercream Icing

It’s the icing that makes them special. Swirl it on using a piping bag and nozzle – but  practise on a plate first 

For plain buttercream, beat 110g  butter until soft, then beat in 110g  icing sugar, a tablespoon at a time.

For vanilla buttercream, add half teaspoon vanilla extract and beat to combine.

For lemon buttercream, beat in 1 tbsp lemon juice – add 1 tsp at a time and taste after each addition.

For chocolate buttercream, beat in quarter tsp vanilla, 60g  melted and cooled milk chocolate and 2 tbsp cocoa powder

For maximum enjoyment eat these cupcakes on the day they are made.