Finally! I’ve been able to bake 🙂 It has been a long time coming – between a tiny kitchen in our previous house, lots of my baking supplies being in storage and a simple lack of many critical baking supplies (eg electric beaters!) – baking has not been feasible for me!

But now I’m sorted and I haven’t wasted any time:-) Went shopping yesterday for ingredients – 3 shops later & I had what I needed to make my vanilla cupcakes.

I’d spent a fair amount of time looking at different recipes, all with small differences, and eventually decided on using a recipe from Cakes to celebrate love and life using the batter from one recipe and the icing from another.

The recipe was really easy to follow and I think the cupcakes turned out really well…I was chuffed:-) Plus they tasted great! But…I think for me and my personal taste there’s too much butter, in both the cupcake and the buttercream icing. The cupcake liners ended up being pretty oily, which suggests to me that maybe the butter could be reduced somewhat. what I loved though was the colour of the cake and the fluffly, aerated texture of the cake – thanks to the eggs I think?!

The buttercream icing was also too buttery for my taste and I actually ended up adding cocoa powder to disguise the buttery taste!

I’ve gone back to the other recipes I had read and found that Dine Bennett’s recipe on Spatula (The Science of Baking series) has a quite different butter to other ingredients ratio, with less butter…so I’ll be trying her recipe next. She also has a recipe on her blog for buttercream icing where the butter to icing sugar ratio is less. Being a scientist at heart a scientifically determined recipe appeals to me!

But, I’m still completely in love with Callie Maritz and Mari-Louis Guy’s recipe books and can’t wait to try their other recipes:-) It’s just a personal preference thing…

Vanilla cupcakes


  • 125 g butter, softened
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Drop of vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Prepare a muffin pan with 12 paper cups.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale in colour.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.  Then add the vanilla extract.
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk to the butter mixture, starting and ending with flour. Blend well.
  5. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes. Leave to cool completely before icing.

Buttercream icing

  • 1.5 c icing sugar, sifted
  • 125 g butter, softened
  • drop of vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp milk


  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until pale in colour and creamy.
  2. Add the icing sugar, cocoa and half of the milk.
  3. Mix well, then add the vanilla extract.
  4. If the mixture is too firm, add the rest of the milk and beat until it reaches your desired consistency.

Here are some pics of my attempt, don’t judge me on the icing…I’ve got a long way to go 😉

20111005-105605.jpgFresh out of the oven…smelling divine 😉


Leftover icing in the fridge is dangerous….must control will power, must control will power. Sigh…

Can’t wait for the next attempt…watch this space 🙂