• 0.5 tsp vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 115 g salted butter, softened
  • 115 g Fairtrade caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Madagascan vanilla extract
  • 2 medium free-range eggs
  • 140 g self-raising flour
  • 150 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • 3 drops yellow food colouring (optional)
  • 3 drops pink food colouring (optional)
  • 3 drops green food colouring (optional)
  • 2 tsp silver balls, to decorate (optional)
  • 2 tsp pink glimmer sugar, to decorate (optional)
  • 2 tsp sprinkles, to decorate (optional)
  • Piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle
  • 1 tsp icing sugar, for dusting


  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Grease and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper cases (we love our patterned cake cases).

  2. 2

    Using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, eggs and 1 tablespoon of the flour. Beat until combined, then whisk in the remaining flour.

  3. 3

    Divide the mixture between the paper cases and bake for 20 minutes, until risen. Leave in the tin for a couple of minutes, then transfer the cakes to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

  4. 4

    Meanwhile, make the icing. Beat the butter in a large bowl, then add half the icing sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar and continue beating until creamy.

  5. 5

    Divide the icing between 3 bowls and colour each differently for a pastel rainbow of cupcakes. A little food colouring goes a long way, so start with a drop or two and mix in well.

  6. 6

    Spoon the icing into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Hold the nozzle end with one hand. Squeeze the top of the bag with your other hand to make the icing flow through. Start by making a circle around the edge of the cakes and work towards the middle, making a spiral. Decorate with sprinkles before serving.


    Cook's tip: if you don't have a piping bag, simply spread the buttercream on using a butter knife.

Nutritional Details

Each serving provides
  • Energy 1390kj 332kcal 17%
  • Fat 19.1g 27%
  • Saturates 11.0g 55%
  • Sugars 29.6g 33%
  • Salt 0.3g 5%

% of the Reference Intakes

Typical values per 100g: Energy 1905kj/455kcal

Each serving provides

37.4g carbohydrate 0.5g fibre 2.4g protein

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