Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Good Ol'Fashioned Buttercake

I baked my very first cake when I was twelve and it was a traditional butter cake. The recipe was taken from an old home science book most probably belonged to my mom when she was in school. The book was full of traditional English recipes with sprinklings of silverfish making quick exits every time I turned the pages.
I used to indulge myself in my mom's enormous collection of recipe books and clippings dreaming of lavish banquets whilst my friends were busy reading Mills and Boon....


4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup white sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk

Buttercream Frosting:
2 cups confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Assorted food colors

Preheat oven to 170 C and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.

For the Frosting
In an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth and well blended. Add the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the milk and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add a little more milk or sugar, if needed. Tint the frosting with desired food color.

Makes about 12 cupcakes