These Vanilla Cupcakes have a sweet and slightly sour cream cheese frosting. I promise that if you make them they are always going to be a big hit. The hardest thing to do is trying to figure out how not to eat them all before you take them to whoever you have made them for! They make the perfect Christmas baking kriss kindle present!


– 175g (6oz) butter, softened
– 175g (6oz) light muscovado sugar
– 4 eggs
– 3 tbsp buttermilk or sour cream
– seeds of ½ vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 225g (8oz) self-raising flour
– ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Cream Cheese Frosting

– 500g (18oz) icing sugar
– 175g (6oz) butter, softened
– 100g (4oz) cream cheese
– seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4). Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
2. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat well. The best way to do this is with a hand-held electric whisk. The mixture should become a little lighter in colour.
3. Add two of the eggs along with buttermilk or sour cream, vanilla and half of the flour and beat well to just combine. Add the other two eggs and the rest of the flour along with the bicarbonate of soda.
4. Mix so that everything is just combined. Overmixing at this stage can result in tough cupcakes, so easy does it.
5. Divide the batter between the paper cases. I like to use an ice cream scoop to do this, but if you don’t have one, then use two large spoons.
6. Place the tin in the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 25–30 minutes, until the cupcakes are cooked. To test, insert a skewer into the centre of a cupcake and it should come out clean. The cupcakes will also smell cooked and be springy to the touch.
7. Remove them from the oven and leave them to cool completely on a wire rack. The cupcakes must be completely cool before you ice them, otherwise the icing will melt.
8. While the cupcakes are cooling down, put the icing sugar, butter, cream cheese and vanilla in a bowl and mix together just enough to combine.
9. Mix this with as few ‘stirs’ as possible because if the cream cheese is overmixed the frosting can become thin in consistency.
10. Spoon or pipe the cream cheese frosting over the cooled cupcakes to serve.

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