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Blend the dry ingredients with the butter in a mixer, using the paddle. (If doing this by hand, rub the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture is sandy).
Separately stir together the wet ingredients and slowly pour in with the mixer running until everything's combined and smooth.
Spoon into cupcake cases and bake at 170C for 15-20 minutes or until risen and springy. Fill the cases 3/4 full so they rise to a domed shape.
Allow to cool completely before icing.
QUICK VANILLA BUTTERCREAM
Beat together 250g icing sugar with 75g butter. Mix together 2 tablespoons of milk with a teaspoon of vanilla extract and add drop by drop until smooth (you'll need about 30ml in total). Turn up to high speed and whip for at least five minutes until very fluffy.
NB: Drape a tea towel over the mixer when you do the initial beating together of butter and dry ingredients. Prevents "smoke clouds" and sugar-clogged noses.