When Mummy Bear spent the evening baking with some friends, they suggested that she made a post about basic cupcakes (Or Bear-y cakes as we call them. Because they’re like fairy cakes, but more…. butch). I’m not entirely sure why said friends feel they need this, because every single one of them is very capable of reading a cook book. Secretly I think it’s because they know that if even I can follow the recipe and it turns out ok, then they should ace it!
I have tried countless vanilla sponge cupcake recipes, ones which use plain flour, self raising, ones where you weigh the eggs, or add the eggs one by one. Ones that bake at 190C ones that bake at 150C. Trust me, I have tried them ALL. It was a hard job, but some one had to do it. Anyway, the best one I have found (so far) is the Hummingbird Bakery Vanilla cupcake recipe… with a few alterations in the ingredients.
Basic Vanilla Cupcakes
80g Stork (Instead of unsalted butter. I prefer stork because it’s cheaper, and it is softer when you get it out of the fridge, so easier to mix! Also the book says to use 1/4 tsp of salt, but because the stork is slightly salted I get to leave this out!)
280g Golden Caster Sugar (The book just says caster sugar, but I prefer the golden colour in my jars on the shelf. Yes, I am that shallow.)
240g Self Raising flour (The book says to use Plain flour and add 1 tbsp baking powder, but that is a tincy bit more effort, so I just use self raising flour.)
240ml Whole milk (This is the same as the book!)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence (And this – see I can read)
2 large eggs (We always use free range. It probably makes absolutely no difference to the cakes, but at least your conscience will be clearer – right?)
Preheat the oven to 170C. the book says 190C but my oven runs a little hot, and this way you get flatter cake tops.
In a large bowl beat together the Stork, flour and sugar using an electric mixer until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. In a measuring jug measuring out the milk, add the two eggs and vanilla essence to it, and then beat until combined with a hand whisk.
Add half the milk mixture to the bowl of ‘breadcrumbs’ and beat with the electric mixer on a low spread until combined. Then add the rest of the milk mixture and beat on a low speed again. The batter is quite pale and runny and will drip freely off the beaters.
Use an icecream scoop to measure equal amounts of batter into the muffin cases. To get a flatter top like in the pictures, fill the cases about 2/3rds full. My Bears like BIG Bear-y cakes though, so I make only 12 cakes with this mix and fill the cases nearly to the top.
Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until the tops start to turn golden and are springy when you touch them. Whatever you do, don’t open the oven in the first 10/15 minutes of baking because it will ruin the cakes. Always. To test if they are definitely cooked through use a toothpick and insert it into the palest cake. If it comes out clean with no crumbs, it’s cooked!
Leave them to cool in the muffin trays. I know it takes longer, but it should stop the cakes shrinking too much. If you’re really impatient like me, pop them outside to cool faster.
And that’s it. Simples!
Mummy Bear x