Recipes and Ruminations of a Freelance Eater

Recipes and Ruminations of a Freelance Eater


We all know and love them, but in all honesty how many are really THAT good?

My husband would say, ‘They’re all good’ but I have tried recipes in the past and not been completely satisfied with the result. Too dry. Too fluffy. Too something….can’t quite put my finger on it.

I have eaten the cupcakes at many cafes and find them to be a bit blergh. The icing is always good, but how can you mess up butter and icing sugar right?  It’s always the cake bit. I am yet to say WOW about any café cupcake.

They make a great gift idea. VC ordered a home delivery of cupcakes instead of flowers for her best friend’s birthday this year. OR or in the UK try The Little Cupcake Company and The Cupcake Factory or in the US try Bradford’s  and Foiled Cupcakes

Let’s be honest. In a pinch, a packet mix  always makes a good and easy cupcake. My  sister (let’s call her VC) works in child  care and swears by No Frills butter cake  mix. She has witnessed many versions of the humble cupcake and says the kids (and adults) always love the No Frills variety.

But, if you like to bake, try this recipe.

It’s moist and light and tastes great every time. These ones taste homemade, there’s something about the size of the bubbles and texture of the cake, you just know it’s the real deal.

Cupcake Recipe


¾ cup SR flour

½ plain flour

110g butter

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

½ cup OJ

½ tsp vanilla (throw this into the OJ for ease)

Oven at 180C (375F)


Cream the butter until smooth.

Add sugar and beat till fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Alternating between flours and OJ, add the remaining ingredients in three parts. (This means bit of flour, bit of OJ, bit of flour, bit of OJ etc).

Mix until combined. Do NOT over mix.

Pour into your cupcake papers.

Baking time is estimated at about 20 minutes. But I always go by smell, and by look. Cook until they spring up when touched and/or are  lightly browned.

Cool before icing.

Makes about 7-9 mid-sized cupcakes. Recipe doubles well for more.


Because of my ‘easy’ rule, I just use butter icing. That is cream some butter (how much is actually up to you…obviously the less you use, the more low fat the icing is and less creamy too).

OK, so use about 100g…I guess…

And buy Icing Mixture, not icing sugar. Icing mixture is cut with a bit of cornflower and doesn’t form those unbreakable little rocks of hardened sugar. And of course, No Frills is my brand of choice; only the best for my family.

Beat in icing sugar and a tiny bit of milk until you get the desired amount and consistency.

Add food colouring while beating for even distribution. Duh.

Decorate as you wish. The boys like to help with this part, and with the licking of icing utensils.

♦♦♦♦♦Please feel free to share your best cupcake recipe. ♦♦♦♦♦

Notes on the recipe:

The OJ may be substituted for milk. I did it the other day when I had no juice in the house, and I didn’t think it lost anything. I have also used apple juice in a pinch – you know for those emergency bake offs – and it makes it a little sweeter, but perfectly acceptable.

Also, just be aware the juice doesn’t actually flavour the cupcake, it’s not an orange flavour…so you can relax.

Some great decorating ideas can be found at CupCake Decorating Ideas , Easy Cupcake Decorating Ideas at Good Housekeeping, and Martha Stewart and don’t forget those adorable Christmas Cupcakes at Feeding Time Blog

7 thoughts on “Cupcakes”

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