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Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients

Cake
225g of good quality butter
225g of castor sugar
4 medium eggs
225g of self raising flour
½ Tbsp of natural vanilla extract

Simply Creamy Frosting
This can be used as a base for adding flavours or just delicious on its own.
200g full-fat cream cheese at room temperature
100g soft unsalted butter
600g sieved icing sugar

Directions

Cake
Separate the cake cases on to your work top.
Put the castor sugar, chopped up butter and vanilla into a food processor. Then add the sieved flour.
Mix it all together for about 1 minute until all the ingredients are combined. A hand held whisk can also be used to do this.
Then add the eggs one at a time and slowly mix until soft and creamy.
Cook the cupcakes for approximately 8 minutes or until they feel spongy and firm.
Repeat the process until all the mixture is used.

Alternative Flavours
Chocolate cupcakes: Use the Vanilla cupcake recipe but instead use 195g of flour and 30g of good quality cocoa powder.
Coffee cupcakes: Use the vanilla cupcake recipe and add 1 tbsp of instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp of warm milk.
Marbled cupcakes: Make equal amounts of vanilla and chocolate mixture and fill the piping bag with both. Squeeze into the cases in a circular motion to create swirls.
Lemon cupcakes: Substitute vanilla extract with lemon extract or alternatively the zest of 1 lemon.

Simply Creamy Frosting
It's important to sieve the icing sugar first in order to produce a smooth frosting.
Add all the ingredients into a food processor and mix for about 1minute until creamy and smooth.
For a creamier result leave mixture to rest in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

Tip
In order to produce a thicker mixture for producing swirls and shapes, slowly add a little more icing sugar and mix until it's at the desired consistency. Alternatively you can add less to make is runnier.

Alternative Flavours
Vanilla: Add 1 tsp of natural vanilla extract whilst mixing.
Chocolate: Melt 100g of good quality chocolate (preferably 72% cocoa). Allow the chocolate to cool slightly and then slowly add to frosting mixture using a slow speed setting on your processor.
Chocolate orange: Melt 100g of chocolate orange. Allow it to cool slightly and then slowly mix it into the frosting mixture. You can also stir in some orange zest if you want a stronger flavour.
Coffee: Mix in 1 tbsp of instant coffee that has been dissolved in 1 tbsp of warm milk.
Strawberry: Sieve 3 tbsp of strawberry jam and mix well into the frosting. You can add 1 drop of pink food colouring if desired.
Zesty Orange: Add the grated zest of one orange and mix.
Zesty Lemon: Add the grated zest of 1 lemon and mix.
Smooth orange or lemon: Substitute the fruit zest with either orange or lemon essences.

Tip
If you are decorating using a piping bag try to avoid frostings with zest or bits in them for a smoother swirl.