Cakes, Recipes

Simple Cupcake Recipe

A cupcake (also known as fairy cake, patty cake) is a small cake designed to serve on person, commonly baked in paper cases or “cups.” They were an American invention (as many delicious recipes are!) The first mention of the cupcake can be traced as far back as 1796, when a recipe notation of “a cake to be baked in small cups” was written in American Cookery by Amelia Simmons.

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Cupcakes and cupcakes were different things in the 19th Century. Cup cakes were cakes named after the pottery cups, ramekins or moulds they were baked in while a cupcake were so named because the cakes were the size of a teacup. With the invention of muffin cases, the two terms merged and now carry essentially the same meaning. The British term ‘fairy cakes’, were fancifully named  because the cakes were an appropriate size for a party of fairies.

Just as cupcakes decorations come in a hugely eclectic variety, so do the initial recipes! The best way to find your very own is to try as many different batter mixtures as possible and find your favourite. The recipes aren’t ever really difficult so at the end of the day, your choice isn’t that important.

Recipe  Click for a printer friendly PDF of this recipe

Ingredients (serves 12)

  • 115g (4oz) butter, softened
  • 115g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 140g (5oz) self-raising flour
  • 12 paper cupcakes cases! ( I always forgot to buy these.)

Note: To make chocolate cupcakes, replace 2 tsp of flour with cocoa powder and don’t add the vanilla. Add chocolate chips if desired.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan (360°F/ 320°F fan). Line a 12 hole cupcake tin with paper cases.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the vanilla, eggs and about 1 tbsp flour. Beat the mixture until combined.
  4. Mix in the remaining flour until combined.
  5. Divide the mixture equally between the paper cases and bake for 20 minutes, until risen and golden.
  6. Leave the cupcakes to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Decorate as desired!

Nutrition Facts

Cupcake Nutritional Info by CalorieCount
Cupcake Nutritional Info by CalorieCount

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