Create these basic cupcakes and then change the ingredients to make different flavoured cakes.

Easy Cupcakes recipe from ‘You Can Cook’ book DK

Buttercream Cupcakes by Annabel Karmel


Makes 12 cupcakes

  • 110g butter at room temperature
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 110g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Quarter tsp salt
  • 2 eggs (medium)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F / Gas 4. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.

  2. Put the butter and sugar in a bowl; and beat until pale and fluffy.

  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl. 

  4. Beat the eggs and vanilla and add to the bowl. Beat until just combined.

  5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.

  6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until risen, golden and firm to the touch.

  7. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Fillings and flavours

Add a filling to the cupcake by cutting a cone from the middle of each cake with a serrated knife. Fill the hole with jam, lemon curd or one of these fabulous fillings:

Raspberry and chocolate cupcakes: Fill each cake with 1 tsp seedless raspberry jam and ice with chocolate buttercream.

Lemon cupcakes: Fill each with 1 tsp lemon curd. Ice with lemon buttercream.

Caramel cupcakes: Fill each with 1 tsp dulche de leche, ice with a single quantity of vanilla buttercream and top with sliced banana

Chocolate cream cupcakes: Mix 75g mascarpone with 2 tbsp double ceam and quarter tsp vanilla. Put 1 tsp of this in the centre of each cupcake. Ice with chocolate buttercream. the cake with buttercream icing.

Buttercream icing

It’s the icing that makes them special. Swirl it on using a piping bag and nozzle – but  practise on a plate first 

For plain buttercream: beat 110g (4 oz) butter until soft, then beat in 110g (4oz) icing sugar, a tablespoon at a time.

For vanilla buttercream: add half teaspoon vanilla extract and beat to combine.

For lemon buttercream: beat in 1 tbsp lemon juice - add 1 tsp at a  time and taste after each addition.

For chocolate buttercream:  beat in quarter tsp vanilla, 60g (2oz) melted and cooled milk chocolate and 2 tbsp cocoa powder.