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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.39 / 5 (2181 votes)

Prep time:
30 min
Cook time:
20 min
Makes 12 cupcakes

The best cupcake recipe is a simple cupcake recipe. Try Celia Plender's no-fuss cupcakes and you can personalise them with your own flavours

See more cupcake recipes


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy and pale.

3. Gradually mix in the beaten egg alternating with the flour to stop the mix from curdling. Finally, stir through the vanilla extract and milk.

4. Place 12 paper cupcake cases into a muffin tin and divide the mixture between them.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

6. For the frosting: In a mixing bowl beat the butter with a spoon or spatular until smooth, then start to sift in the icing sugar, stirring regularly. Add the vanilla extract and milk. The frosting should be light and creamy.

7. Mix your chosen food colouring colours into the icing to give an even colour.

8. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, spoon or pipe the icing onto your cupcakes and finish with your chosen decorations. Then allow to set for at least 30 minutes.

Love making cupcakes? For more recipes and how to frost cupcakes, visit our cupcake recipe collection


  • 150 g butter, softened
  • 150 g sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 150 g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk

For the frosting:

  • 75 g butter, at room temperature
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a selection of food colouring, choose your favourite colours

To decorate:

  • crystallised flower petals, (optional), See Cook's note
  • sprinkles, (optional)
  • silver balls, (optional)
  • hundreds and thousands, (optional)
  • sweets, (optional)

Tips and suggestions

Crystallised flower petals are simple to prepare. Brush organic, pesticide-free edible flower petals such as roses, lavender and pansies with a little egg white, then sprinkle with caster sugar and allow to dry out for a couple of hours.

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Latest Comment


0121 go do 1 0121 go do 1  Posted 26 May 2015 4:02 PM

Very easy to make and turned out beautifully very yummy ??

0121 go do 1 0121 go do 1  Posted 26 May 2015 4:01 PM

These are really easy to make , they came out very light and fluffy would reccomend you try them :-)

emmaP54467 emmaP54467  Posted 07 Aug 2013 7:42 AM

It was ok

EmmaF80500 EmmaF80500 Posted 02 Jun 2012 12:59 PM

I'm known for not being able to bake cakes, but I made these and they were fab. If I can do it so can anyone!!

MelanieP30045 MelanieP30045 Posted 14 May 2012 4:23 PM

These are so easy to make and come out perfectly everytime. They have gone done a treat with everyone, some say they are the best cupcakes ever! x

SoohyN46172 SoohyN46172 Posted 18 Mar 2012 11:10 PM

Have made these cupcakes about a dozen times now and they come out perfect every time.xx

VictoriaW93498 VictoriaW93498 Posted 11 Dec 2011 8:20 PM

I made these and they were fab, thanks for a great recipe!

DJ55639 DJ55639 Posted 09 Dec 2011 6:24 PM

This is the 2nd time I'm making these cup cakes. They were awsome the first time but it didn't rise well this time

VictoriaS62177 VictoriaS62177 Posted 21 Oct 2011 5:20 PM

just made these cupcakes and they were so easy and taste delish. YUM!

AQSAZ17951 AQSAZ17951 Posted 01 Oct 2011 10:49 PM

Made the cakes and they are beautiful!

SanethaB70253 SanethaB70253 Posted 22 Sep 2011 10:54 PM

I forgot to put the Milk and Vanilla in the cake mix but it didn't prove to be a problem. Good little cakes.

JennyW20080 JennyW20080 Posted 16 Sep 2011 6:30 PM

I made these gorgeous cupcakes with my daughter and we got 24 good size cupcakes out of it! We used orange and pink food colouring with glittery sprinkles on them and they were gorgeous! My daughter wanted to make lots so we didn't put as much of the mixture in the cake cases! Can anyone tell me how to get a good shape cup cake please? Mine always are bigger on one side!!

TraceyJ72056 TraceyJ72056 Posted 16 Sep 2011 6:25 PM

Very quick and easy although didnt rise aswell as the malteaser cupcake recipe. Would use again as it was simple and straightforward Smile

CharznCleo CharznCleo Posted 14 Sep 2011 4:57 PM

Very quick and easy although didnt rise aswell as the malteaser cupcake recipe. Would use again as it was simple and straightforward Smile

CharznCleo CharznCleo Posted 14 Sep 2011 4:57 PM

Easy to follow, lovely cakes

PaulC13842 PaulC13842 Posted 03 Sep 2011 4:51 PM

this was the easiest and delicous cakes i have ever tried xxx and i accidently put it on 1 star and it wont let me change - it's accutaly 5 stars xxx love this site
<3 <3

what isM69900 what isM69900 Posted 02 Sep 2011 5:17 PM

well, this was very very easy, to follow, although i think you should get a guide to distaster, as we put too much milk in so we had to add evrything else again but we only guessed and ENDED IN DISASTER
a good customer of waitrose cakes

what isM69900 what isM69900 Posted 02 Sep 2011 5:14 PM

Very easy recipe, however I have found this mixture a little too eggy for my palate. Also the frosting recipe isn't suitable for piping as it's a little too soft

CherylD16720 CherylD16720 Posted 28 Aug 2011 1:06 AM

easy recipe and delicious results, yummy !

AbirH48699 AbirH48699 Posted 14 Aug 2011 9:08 PM

how do you convert the cupcakes into chocolate ones and chocolate frosting as well ?? Smile

NaomiM51995 NaomiM51995 Posted 12 Aug 2011 1:17 PM

Made chocolate cupcakes by adding 1 gram cocoa powder with 1 gram less flour came out a treat !

biddie 22 biddie 22 Posted 22 Jun 2011 8:01 PM

Really lovely easy recipe for good cup cakes, i did need to double the frosting though as used a large piping for the tops. How would you convert the recipe to make chocolate cupcakes and also into a sponge? as i would love to try this out too.

biddie 22 biddie 22 Posted 22 Jun 2011 3:57 PM

just made these with my grand children so easy..

traceyF98452 traceyF98452 Posted 21 Apr 2011 2:25 PM

make them in ice cream cups XD

blakeA6331 blakeA6331 Posted 09 Mar 2011 11:52 PM

Turned out wonderfully!! Did some yesterday, will be doing more tomorrow!!

JayneH4652 JayneH4652 Posted 09 Mar 2011 11:39 PM

A perfect basic cupcake recipe!

FionaK19500 FionaK19500 Posted 26 Feb 2011 4:21 PM

Fantastic and simple recipe, great results every time I have made them - now onto the 5th time.

FionaK41486 FionaK41486 Posted 08 Jan 2011 5:23 PM

easy & deliciuse

zeinabS91981 zeinabS91981 Posted 07 Dec 2010 8:31 PM

This is an excellent recipe. I followed this recipe a few months ago when I made 36 cupcakes for an 18th Birthday. I increased ingredients to accomodate exchanging my cupcakes for muffins, where quantity ingredients for 12 cupcakes was perfect quantity for 8 muffins. They came out fantastically. I am now following again whilst being stuck at home because of the snow. They are in the oven now, can't wait for them to come out so I can carefully ice them.

CherylH18562 CherylH18562 Posted 02 Dec 2010 6:07 PM

Quick easy very simple instructions, all can follow even me. I was up at 7 this morning had a dozen cakes in the oven by 7.30am wait a little then ice, instructions above, job done rest of the day to yourself.

AudrieN78600 AudrieN78600 Posted 05 Nov 2010 9:22 AM

Deborah, I have a print out of this recipe before it was amended, the icing shows 125g butter, 400g icing sugar and 50ml milk. Not sure why they've changed it as this recipe has worked fine in the past.

NicP49143 NicP49143 Posted 22 Oct 2010 10:22 AM

Made these cupcakes today but the icing was very runny......were did i go wrong???

DeborahK58324 DeborahK58324 Posted 11 Oct 2010 2:49 PM