140g caster sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 quantity vanilla frosting
Hundreds and thousands or other edible sprinkles, to decorate
A 12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a hand-held electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20–25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched.
A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the vanilla frosting (see next recipe) on top and decorate with hundreds and thousands.
Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes.
250g icing sugar, sifted
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
25ml whole milk
A couple of drops of vanilla extract
Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a hand-held electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.
Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time.
Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed.
Beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.