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How to make cupcakes for beginners and beyond

Updated on April 8, 2015

Whether you’re just taking your first tentative few steps with baking or are setting out for a fun and rather mess filled morning baking with the kids, cupcakes are the perfect answer. What’s more given that they taste great when relatively plain and can equally be subject to some of the most inventive toppings, this form of baking is super versatile. This guide covers the basics of How to make cupcakes as well as a few inventive twists for those ready to move onto the next baking stages.

These cupcakes are a perfect example of just how inventive you can be when making cupcakes.
These cupcakes are a perfect example of just how inventive you can be when making cupcakes. | Source
5 stars from 1 rating of Easy to follow cupcake recipe
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 12 Cupcakes

How to make cupcakes: The ingredients

  • 100g Butter (left out to warm to room temperature)
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 100g Plain flour
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • ¼ Tablespoon salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

How to make cupcakes: The (simple) instructions

  1. Preheat your oven up to 180C/ 350F / Gas 4 - Be sure to have heated your oven for at least ten minutes so that you know it to be up to the specific heat, otherwise your cakes may take longer to bake than anticipated.
  2. Mix your butter and sugar - Place your butter and sugar in a bowl and mix them together until you have a light and creamy consistency.
  3. Sift through your flour, baking powder and salt - This will ensure that your mixture stays light and fluffy.
  4. Beat your eggs and vanilla - Pour this mixture gradually into the bowl and continue to beat the mixture until all of the ingredients are completely mixed.
  5. Spoon your mixture out - Now it’s time to get baking. Pour your mixture out equally into the 12 paper cases that you’ve laid out.
  6. Bake! - Bake your cupcakes until they rise and turn slightly golden. they should become firm to the touch and to check whether your cupcakes are indeed ready you can test the with a toothpick by inserting this into the centre of ne of the cakes. Once you remove the toothpick you should find no mixture stuck to the pick; if this is the case then your cakes are ready.

Plain cupcake nutritional informational

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: One cupcake
Calories 93
Calories from Fat27
% Daily Value *
Fat 3 g5%
Saturated fat 1 g5%
Unsaturated fat 1 g
Carbohydrates 16 g5%
Sugar 9 g
Fiber 4 g16%
Protein 1 g2%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 413 mg17%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

How to make incredible icing for your cupcakes

You can make cupcakes with or without icing, however if you do want to finish off your cupcakes with a super smooth finish then buttercream icing may just be the way to go.


  • 100g Butter
  • 100g Icing sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon vanilla (if you want vanilla icing)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (if you want lemon icing)
  • 50g (2oz) Milk chocolate and 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (if you want buttercream chocolate icing)


Beat the butter until it becomes soft and pliable, then add in the icing sugar bit by bit.

Vanilla buttercream

For vanilla buttercream add in the ½ tablespoon of vanilla extract once the butter and sugar are mixed together.

Lemon buttercream

For lemon flavoured buttercream add in the tablespoon of lemon juice once the butter and sugar are mixed. If you want a stronger flavour continue to add the juice half tablespoon by half tablespoon.

Chocolate buttercream

For chocolate flavour icing you should add in a ¼ tablespoon of vanilla extract, followed by 50g (approx 2 oz) of pre-melted and then cooled chocolate; finish the icing with 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.

How to make healthy cupcakes: A visual guide

How to make cupcakes with an inventive twist

Wondering how to make cup cakes with an inventive twist? Here are five ideas to get you started!

Raspberry and white chocolate cupcakes

Add into your final cup cake mix a tablespoon of raspberry jam; you can finish off your raspberry cupcakes with chocolate icing.

Zesty lemon cupcakes

Add into your cupcake mix a tablespoon of lemon curd, finishing off you cakes with either lemon buttercream icing or chocolate buttercream icing.

Creamy dairy milk and white chocolate cupcakes

Dairy milk and white chocolate cupcakes merely require a handful of white and dairy milk chocolate chips sprinkled into the cake mixture prior to separating them into the various casings.

Trial various extracts and cupcake flavourings

Trial different flavourings such as chilli, orange, lemon or lime. With each you should start with around a tablespoon of the extract (or juice) or a good sprinkling of peel gratings and work your way up from there so you know that you’re not overpowering the mixture.

Caramel and chocolate chunk cupcakes

Prepare a mixture of dulce de leche (which is created by the slow heating of milk which is then mixed with sugar, vanilla extract and bicarbonate soda). Mix this with vanilla buttercream and top with a caramelized slice of banana.

How to build a cupcake tree stand fit for a wedding


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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i love to try cupcakes with raisins and choc chips. This recipe looks easy

    • ShelleyHeath profile image

      Shelley Heath 3 years ago from Birmingham

      Thanks! I myself am just getting started with baking so thought the relative basics would be a good place to start. I must admit that it's still a bit of trial and error however! :)

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I love cupcakes. I especially liked your ideas for frosting. I'm always a little at a loss for the frosting.