Tiny Vanilla Cupcakes

Tiny Vanilla Cupcakes

Tiny birthday cupcakes for tiny preschool friends to share. Kids seem to go mental for this kind of thing. A proper little treat. (It’s a birthday – there will be cake with flour and butter and sugar.)

The recipe for these came from Sweetapolita – who’s blog I discovered a few years ago – it’s a happy explosion of pastels and sprinkles and has inspired a number of birthday cakes for my little people.

I’ve always just made hand mixed, one bowl style cakes. They’ve always been nice, homely. I’ve never been a big fan of icing, especially sugary colourful icing. Too sickly, and sometimes strangely artificial. (Apart from when I was a small child I’d peel off and eat that thick layer of pink or chocolate or lemon icing from Mr Kipling cupcakes, and chuck the cake).

But when I saw those recipes for the mega layer cakes and whipped icing – I borrowed a mixer and followed the detailed instructions. My eyes widened when I found the consistency of the cake mix before it went into the pan – amazing – a great whipped, fluffy, billowing cloud of cake mix, as if made by The Care Bears. This was followed by excitement and intense anticipation – because you know the cake is going to be great if the mixture is that good. The excessive whipping applies to the icing too, and I’ve never known icing like it. I’m now a total convert and am considering having more children to bake birthday cakes for.

Tiny Vanilla Cupcakes

Makes about 60 tiny cupcakes.

Recipe only slightly adapted from Sweetapolita, which was adapted from Magnolia Bakery.

For the cupcakes:
  • 2 – 3/4 cups (350 g) plain flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 227 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups (400 g) white sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (237 ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla paste
For the icing:
  • 345 g unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 5 cups (625 g) icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) milk
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla paste
  • pinch of salt


For the cupcakes:
    1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line muffin tray with paper liners.
    2. In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder very well and set aside.
    3. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each one.
    4. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
    5. Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners and bake until tops turn golden brown and chopstick inserted into centre comes out just clean (about 15 minutes)
    6. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely before icing.
For the icing:
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer whip butter until very pale & creamy. (about 5 minutes on medium speed)
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low for 1 minute, then on medium for another 5 minutes, until very light, creamy, and fluffy.
  3. Add a drop of food colour, and mix until blended.
  4. Ice the cooled cupcakes however you damn like

Orange Butter Cake with Raspberry Icing

Orange Butter Cake with Raspberry Icing

Beautifully scented with orange & raspberry this cake is fresh and bright and perfect for a summer birthday . This is not a wet, dense or syrupy orange cake, it’s a delicious fluffy butter cake with just a squeak of orange, spread with a generous layer of icing made with pure raspberry puree which is both sweet & tart. This recipe makes 1x 8 inch single layer, but I think it would be a wonderful layer cake. Next time.

Orange Butter Cake Recipe

Ingredients for the cake:

    • 1 & 1/2 cups of plain flour
    • 125 grams soft butter
    • 1 cup of raw sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
    • ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange (or about a third of 1 large orange)
    • ¼ cup of milk
    • Rind of 1 large orange (either finely grated, or peeled then chopped if you can’t find your mini grater. Where is it?)

Ingredients for the Raspberry Icing

    • 175 grams of soft unsalted butter
    • 1 ½ cups of sifted icing sugar
    • Small pinch of salt
    • 3 or 4 tablespoons of raspberry puree (made from blending a handful of defrosted frozen raspberries, sieved)

Instructions for the cake:

  1. Preheat Oven 160C & grease cake tin
  2. Cream butter & sugar until light and fluffy, (med/high speed about 5 mins) then add vanilla and mix through
  3. Add eggs one by one, incorporating each one before adding the next
  4. Mix in orange juice & rind (it might look curdled, no worries)
  5. On low speed, add the flour & baking powder and mix till just incorporated
  6. Add the milk, mix through
  7. Pour into cake tin and bake for approx 25 mins or until a skewer comes out clean
  8. Cool in the pan, turn out and cool completely before icing

Instructions for the icing:

  1. Mix butter on high speed until very light and fluffy (about 7 mins)
  2. Add icing sugar & salt and continue to mix on high for another 5 minutes
  3. Add raspberry puree and watch in wonder as it turns intense pink. Continue on medium for 3 minutes

Trim the cooled cake so that its even on the top, gently flip it upside down so the flat base is now the top, and spread over the icing, smoothing and turning in a trance like state….