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Vanilla Daisy Cupcakes

Free recipe from The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook by Jennifer Graham.

The vanilla cupcake is the epitome of what a cupcake represents, and is by far the biggest seller at the bakery. You can frost this cake with almost any flavour of icing. Here we’ve topped it with simple coloured buttercreams and sugar daisies.


Crabapple Bakery’s Vanilla Cakes

MAKES 24 KEEPS 2 days FREEZES 2 months

  • 2 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 200 g softened unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups castor sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk


Preheat oven to 170°C. Line two 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake papers.

Sift together the flour and baking powder. In a separate bowl, cream the butter for 1–2 minutes. Add the castor sugar a third at a time, beating for 2 minutes after each addition. After the last addition, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy and the sugar has almost dissolved. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition or until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

Add a third of the flour to the creamed mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Add half of the milk and beat until combined. Repeat this process. Add the remaining third of the flour and beat until thoroughly combined; do not overbeat as this will toughen the mixture.

Spoon mixture into cupcake papers, filling each about threequarters full. Bake for 18–20 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from the trays immediately and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before frosting.



  • 1 quantity Vanilla Buttercream (see below)
  • food colouring: pink, yellow, blue, violet, apple-green, peach
  • 24 sugar daisies
  • multicoloured sprinkles


Divide buttercream evenly between six small cups. Add a drop of one food colouring to each of the cups and mix, to create six coloured frostings.

Using a round-edged kitchen knife, apply the buttercream in the Crabapple signature swirl (see below). Working quickly, before the buttercream dries, top each cupcake with a sugar daisy and some sprinkles.

Crabapple Signature Swirl

The frosting should be soft – the consistency of whipped cream.

Using a round-edged kitchen knife, put a dollop of frosting in the middle of the cupcake.

Use the knife to push the frosting towards the edge of the cupcake. Begin turning the cupcake anti-clockwise while at the same time pushing the frosting clockwise.

Then, working from the edge of the cupcake, push the frosting back towards the middle, until you create a central peak.

Decorate immediately.


Vanilla buttercream frosting

MAKES 4 cups of frosting – enough for 24 cupcakes KEEPS 1 week

This buttercream frosting is very light and creamy. At the bakery this is our most popular frosting. Use the guide on the previous page to create a variety of flavours and colours.

  • 200 g softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 cups icing sugar


Cream the butter for 1–2 minutes. Add the milk, vanilla extract and half of the sifted icing sugar, and beat for at least 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat for a further 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy and of a spreadable consistency. Add extra milk if the mixture is too dry or extra icing sugar if the mixture is too wet.

If you wish to colour and/or flavour the buttercream then this is the time to do it (except for lemon blossom and coconut – see guide on previous page). Follow the guide on the previous page to create the colours and flavours you desire. Add a drop at a time and beat in until you reach the required colour and/or flavour.

Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    November 20, 2013


    180 pages

    RRP $24.99

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook Jennifer Graham

Cupcakes are not just a sweet treat for us here at the McGrath Foundation – they resonate strongly with us, as they represent family and friends coming together to make a difference through McGrath Foundation signature High Teas. And everyone knows that a high tea is not complete without a cupcake.

Read More

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