Vanilla Cupcakes

I have tried many a vanilla cupcake recipe, and I still haven’t found one that beats this one from Hummingbird Bakery!


I was initially a bit dubious when I came across this recipe, as it is unlike any standard creaming or all in one method of making a sponge – the recipe calls for the butter to be mixed with the dry ingredients, as if you were making a crumble topping (v. strange…) The wet ingredients then go in next, which produces the loveliest fluffy, light sponge which is extremely moist and full of flavour

I completed my vanilla cupcakes with a rainbow vanilla buttercream, to give the cupcakes a pop of colour – I will be explaining how to produce the rainbow effect below 🙂

Enjoy! p.s this recipe is courtesy of the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook 🙂

Ingredients:  – Makes 12 cupcakes (or 8-10 Sofia sized cupcakes)

  • 120g plain flour
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 40g butter, softened
  • 120ml whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 140g butter, softened
  • 280g icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • food colouring gels – I used pink, yellow and green (this is completely optional)!


Pre heat your oven to 170°C, and line a standard muffin tin tray with cupcake cases.

Add your flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter to a large mixing bowl. With your fingertips, crumble together your butter and dry ingredients until you get a mixture that looks a bit like sand! Add half of your milk to the mixing bowl slowly, and gently stir until the milk is incorporated.


Add the remaining milk, the egg and the vanilla into a small bowl and beat with a fork until uniform. Add this to the cake mix and beat well.

Pour your mixture into your cupcakes cases, roughly 2/3 full (there may not be enough for 12 cupcakes depending on how big your cases are – I use muffin cases. Pop your cupcakes in the oven for 20-25 mins until golden brown and springy to the touch. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes should come out clean!

Whilst your cakes are cooling, start making your buttercream. The easiest way to make buttercream I find, is to place your softened butter in a free-standing mixer on a medium speed, whilst slowly adding all of your icing sugar. Finally, add your vanilla and 1-2 tbsp of milk, To give a smoother consistency that is easier to pipe – sometimes I add 3-4 tbsp of milk, depending on the consistency of buttercream 🙂


In order to get a rainbow effect, split your buttercream into 4 smaller bowls and add food colouring gel to three of them. I absolutely hate using liquid food colourings, they tend to have a horrible taste and a weaker colour! Add your food colouring gels to the bowls of buttercream and mix.

Place a star-nozzle into a piping bag. In order to get a striped effect, open your piping bag and scrape a large spoonful of coloured buttercream against one edge of the bag, scrape another spoonful against another side of the piping bag – as if it has 4 edges like a square. Repeat with your final colour and then finally add a spoonful of your plain buttercream to the last remaining gap in your piping bag. Holding your piping bag with two hands, shake the bag sharply up and down, so the buttercream moves down towards the nozzle end.


Now, when you pipe your buttercream in swirls on your cupcakes, you should get a striped effect, yay! However, sometimes it takes a couple of practise pipes in order to see the full effect of the striped colours, depending on how evenly the colours slide down towards the nozzle!

Pipe your buttercream onto your cupcakes, working from the outside to the inside of the cakes 🙂 I also finished my cakes with a sprinkle of freeze dried strawberry pieces!

EAT!! Mmmmm, I hope you enjoy these!

Love, Sofia



3 thoughts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s