Today George is 12 and tomorrow Nathan is 13. They are both part of the ‘regular’ kid gang on the site so I thought I would make some cakes for us all to eat. I used Dan Lepard’s vanilla cupcake recipe (193) from Short and Sweet: the best of home baking and topped it with his meringue buttercream icing (327)
Vanilla cupcakes: 125g caster sugar, 125g butter, 2 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 150g plain flour, 1tsp baking powder. In a food mixer beat the sugar, eggs , vanilla and butter for 3 minutes on a high speed until light and fluffy. Sift the flour and baking powder about three times, then beat in for 30 seconds. Put the mix into paper cases and leave for 30 minutes. Then cook for 20-25 minutes at 180C. This amount makes 8 cakes – who wants 8 cakes? I tripled it – 24 cupcakes is a far better number.
Icing: 4 egg whites, 225g caster sugar, 325g softened butter, 2 tsp vanilla extract. Put the sugar and egg whites in a saucepan and gently warm up until hot and the sugar has dissolved. Whisk for 5 minutes in a food mixer until stiff. Gradually add the butter a little at a time until it is all incorporated, then add the vanilla extract. If it starts to look as if it is separating or looking a little lumpy, put it in the microwave and zap on medium in short bursts for maybe a 20-30 secs a few times until warm and then whisk again. This happened to me and the microwave trick solved it. Then pipe it onto the cakes. I used a plastic bag with the corner cut out and a piping nozzle. Of course, the person who makes the cakes and icing gets to scrape the bowl clean! This amount of icing will ice 24 cupcakes with some leftover for the person who made it!