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Recipe – Valentine Cupcakes

sarah-horner-valentines-cupcakes1

This Valentine’s day, whether you have a special someone or plan on spending the day with best friends, whip up a batch of these delicious, simple little cakes. They are sure to win praise and bring a smile. Decorate them however you wish, perhaps covered in sweeties or hearts cut from fondant icing. The picture shows some of my own that I made earlier, which I hope can be of some inspiration!

INGREDIENTS

For the cupcakes:

115g unsalted butter at room temperature

115g caster sugar

2 eggs

115g self raising flour

1tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp milk

For the buttercream:

250g icing sugar

80g unsalted butter at room temperature

1tbsp milk

1tsp vanilla extract

Few drops of red food colouring if you want to make the icing pink

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a 12 hole cupcake tin with paper muffin cases.
Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy with a wooden spoon, or, ideally, an electric hand whisk.
Beat in the eggs one at a time along with a spoonful of the flour.
Sift the rest of the flour into the mixture and then fold in with a spoon or spatula until combined.
Stir in the vanilla extract and milk.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, dividing it as evenly as possible.
Bake in the preheated oven for 17 minutes until golden and well risen. You should be able to press the top of the cake down lightly and it spring back when ready. To be sure insert a skewer or knife into the centre, it should come out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack to leave to cool before decorating. Don’t worry if they shrink back a little while cooling.
To make the buttercream, first soften the butter and gradually sift in the icing sugar, mixing well.
Finally add the milk and vanilla essence to make the buttercream soft and smooth ready to apply to the cakes as you wish.

Sarah Horner

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