When I was in primary school, many moons ago, my school put together a cookbook. It’s nothing fancy – black and white, no images, bound together with your standard ring binder. Nothing at all like Crown Street Cooks, the uber-professional-available-in-bookstores cookbook by Crown Street Public School. My primary school book is special though and contains the only recipe I’ll ever use for vanilla cupcakes.
I don’t know where the recipe originated from (so fingers crossed I’m not infringing upon anyone’s intellectual property) but Patti Cake* (*name has been changed) submitted this wonderful recipe that creates simple yet delicious vanilla cupcakes.
For our Christmas in July Baking Day, (I know, I know – it’s September. Better late than never though, right?) I made these vanilla cupcakes and decorated them to look like snowflakes. It was simple but effective – and people actually said “Ohhh, they look like snow!”
That was the idea.
Keep these up your sleeves for Christmas, next year’s Christmas in July or just any old time. They are delicious. And very easy.
Vanilla Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting
125 grams of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2/3 cups of caster sugar
1 and 1/3 cup of self-raising flour
1/4 cup of milk
Prepare a cupcake baking tin by spraying with canola oil (or whatever you use in your household) and lining with patty cake cases. To create the Christmas-y effect, use silver cupcake cakes.
Cream together the butter, vanilla and sugar.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
Sift in the flour and milk, alternately.
Beat until smooth.
Spoon the mixture into the patty cases.
The quantity and cooking time will depend on the size of your cupcake tins. If you use a typical muffin sized tin, you will make about 12 cupcakes and they will take 15 – 20 minutes in a moderate oven (180 degrees).
If your cupcake cases are smaller, you will obviously make more and your cooking time will be less. You can tell whether your cupcakes are cooked by looking at the colour of the mixture. Once the tops are golden, chances are they are done. You can also test with a cake skewer-thing or by pressing down on the tops of the cupcakes. If they bounce back, they are cooked.
When they are done, set your cupcakes aside on a cooling rack to cool. (Don’t ice while hot!)
White Chocolate Frosting
Melt 80 grams of white chocolate.
Using a hand mixer or a electric mixer/mix-master, beat together about 125 grams of butter and 3/4 of a cup of icing sugar.
Add in the melted white chocolate and continue to beat. The longer you beat, the fluffier (and more delicious) your frosting will be.
Taste-test your frosting to make sure you have the balance of butter and sugar just right. If needed, add in extra butter or sugar.
When your frosting is light, fluffy and pale, it’s done.
Ice each cupcake using a spatula.
Cover the icing with dessicated coconut to create the “snow” effect.
Would I make again? Of course.