Sometimes in life there are times when you need an emergency cupcake (ladies, you know what I’m talking about) and sometimes in life there are times when you really don’t feel like leaving the house to get said cupcake. There are also times in life when you feel like baking, but you don’t have time to whip up a 5 tiered chocolate layer cake, and the thought of the excessive washing up makes you want to crawl into a ball and eat cooking chocolate straight out of the packet.
Today was one of those days. Not for any reason in particular, it just didn’t go to plan and while my boyfriend slept off what was an unexpected night shift last night, I needed something to distract myself from what was meant to be a very productive Christmas shopping day. Plus it was the afternoon and I was hungry.
Introducing the easy, ever so basic, no fail cupcake recipe all the way from my trusty “My First Baking Book” circa 1991. I’ve been baking these cupcakes since I was little and funnily enough it’s only now that I’ve moved into my own house that I feel like I’ve perfected them. My thoughts are that it’s partly to do with the different oven, but mostly to do with my bench mixer that I got for Christmas last year. The recipe says beat with a wooden spoon, but how many kids know how to do that properly without getting bored and eating the mixture… ok, so I still don’t know how to do that properly at the age of 30 but I digress.
Anyway, lets get to it.. the recipe is as follows
100g butter or margarine (room temp)
100g caster sugar
100g sifted self raising flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
All you do is mix the ingredients together using a bench mixer (or by hand if you’re really good) remembering to add the chocolate chips at the end, pop them into cupcake cases and cook them for about 8-10 minutes at 180°C. Done! I personally add the butter and sugar first just so I can eat the mixture, and then I add the rest.. no judgement.. this is a safe space here.
A couple of tips:
Don’t overdo it on the chocolate chips. If there’s too many they all fall to the bottom and its all mushy.. delicious, but mushy. Also, like I was saying, the bench mixer is great because it makes it sooo much fluffier if you can properly mix it for 2-3 minutes on medium.
What I like about this recipe is that it’s adaptable. I’ve added all sorts of things before like raspberries (the recipe actually says cherries) and they’re still amazing. I’ve even just baked it as a full cake and it’s worked out fine. The recipe doesn’t make a lot of cupcakes, but if I made any more it would just be a waste.
Last but not least, lets not forget about the icing. Like the cupcakes, the icing can be whatever you want it to be. I’ve made lemon, orange, chocolate, vanilla, all sorts of things depending on what I feel like. I don’t have an official recipe for it I just see how I go each time, but it’s based on about half a cup of butter/margarine and about 2 cups of icing sugar and a little bit of milk. I try to under do it and then add bits as I go to make a semi decent consistency… remember I’m not making a display cake. I want to eat these in like 2 sittings (let’s be honest, probably 1)
This time around I made chocolate so I added 2 tablespoons of cocoa. Once I’m done I just either pop it on top of the cupcake with a spoon or if I’ve got time I use my piping bag to get some practice.
So there you have it, a lazy girls guide to home made cupcakes. Let me know in the comments if you have a ‘go-to’ recipe that you always use. I would love to expand my repertoire.