There are dozens of recipes for cupcakes but we use the basic sponge mixture of 120g butter, 120g caster sugar, 120g self-raising flour and 2 eggs. This will produce 12 cakes that don’t overfill the cases leaving room for the icing.

We make the sponge in the “traditional” way rather than by the “all-in-one method”. We feel that the process of making a cake should be as enjoyable as the end product so why rush it. In any case we think that the sponge is lighter in texture when made by the traditional way.

So….cream the butter (we use Stork Margarine) and sugar until it is pale in colour and fluffy. A wooden spoon is just fine for this small amount. Crack the eggs into a jug and loosen with a fork. Add the eggs SLOWLY to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. If the mixture looks as though it might curdle (or split) add a teaspoon of the flour. Now, lose the wooden spoon and pick up a large metal spoon or a flexible spatula. Sieve the flour over the mixture and FOLD in until you cannot see any dry bits of flour. Folding means cutting through the mixture and lifting it over on top of itself. If you beat instead of folding you will develop the gluten in the flour which will make the cake chewy.

Divide equally between the cases (an ice-cream scoop makes the job really easy) and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the cakes are risen and golden brown. Pop a cocktail stick into the centre of one and, if it comes out clean, they are done! Remove from the tin and cool on a rack before icing.

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