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Tamara Jane's vanilla cupcakes recipe - 27 August

Decorated vanilla cupcakes.

Cupcake decorated like a cat.

Iced cupcakes baked inside icecream cones.

Vanilla Cupcake

Makes 30

415g plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
230g unsalted butter, softened
330g sugar
15ml vanilla essence
4 eggs
250ml milk

- Preheat oven to 170degC.
- Line two-and-a-half 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake papers.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl to aerate and combine. Set aside until required.
- In a large bowl use an electric mixer on medium-high speed to beat butter for about 2 minutes until creamy.
- Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl once or twice. This will take about 3 minutes.
- Beat in vanilla essence. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl and beating after each addition.
- Add the flour mixture in 4 additions, alternately with the milk. Begin and end with the flour mixture, and beat briefly until smooth on low speed after each addition.
- Divide batter evenly between the cupcake papers.
- Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centres shows a few moist crumbs. (The centres should also spring back when lightly pressed.) The cupcakes might colour a bit around the edges, but they will not brown.
- Cool cupcakes in the muffin trays for 5 minutes before removing the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Frosting

200g unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
8 cups icing sugar, sifted

- Cream the butter for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the milk, vanilla and half the icing sugar.
- Beat for at least 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the remaining icing sugar and beat for a further 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy and of a spreadable consistency.
- If the mixture is too dry add extra milk and if the mixture is too wet add extra icing sugar.
- If you wish to colour and/or flavour the buttercream then this is the time to do it. Add a drop at a time until you reach the desired colour and/or flavour.

Other things you'll need
Flaked coconut
M & Ms
Assorted lollies such as jelly beans and mint leaves
Food colourings