Cupcake Quest – Basic Cupcake Recipe No. 2

by April@MyFoodTrail on June 24, 2009

in Baking, Cupcakes, Recipes

In Masterchef Australia Episode 30 (Sun 31/05/09), the contestants’ mystery box challenge was to make a signature cupcake using a basic buttercake recipe. I searched the Masterchef website to find the recipe but there was no official one posted. There was a recipe posted in the forums which said it was from the show, so I decided to give it a try.

When I was looking at other cupcake recipes, I realised that this combination and method is quite a standard one, with some slight variations in the quantities. It requires that the butter and sugar are beaten together first, then eggs are added one at a time. The dry ingredients are then folded in to make the cupcake batter.

I found it difficult to cream the butter together with the sugar, even though my butter was in small pieces and had been left out to soften for most of the day. It kept going everywhere and I couldn’t get it to be light and fluffy. Can anyone offer any tips on what I am perhaps doing wrong?


Masterchef Basic Cupcakes
Makes 12

100g unsalted butter, softened
185g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean extract
2 eggs
200g self raising flour
1/2 cup (125ml) milk


1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160C fan-forced). Line muffin pans with paper cases of your choice.

2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until pale.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined.

4. Add the flour and milk in alternate batches and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

5. Divide the mixture into paper cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

These cupcakes were on the smallish side, though bigger than Nigella’s. They had a lovely buttery smell and taste but were not as moist as I was expecting. My batter was a bit grainy when I was beating the eggs so I might have split the mixture, hence why they were not that moist. I do like this recipe and it is my favourite at the moment.

After the cupcakes cooled, I iced them with a cream cheese frosting and put them in the fridge overnight. The next day I took them out and let them come to room temperature before serving and they still tasted good. By the next day, these cupcakes were starting to turn hard and dry so I would try and eat them either on the day of baking or the next day at the latest.

Stay tuned for Basic Cupcake Recipe No. 3 next!

Over & Out, Rilsta xx

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephcookie June 25, 2009 at 8:27 am

I went on a cupcake quest exactly like this for a year or so! I've finally worked out a foolproof one that I use all the time now and I love it 🙂 But I'm very particular about my cupcakes, I like them quite crumbly and with a fluffy and moist inside and crunchy outside.


Rilsta June 25, 2009 at 9:03 am

Ooh, ooh, do you have a link to the recipe? I would love to try it!


Stephcookie June 25, 2009 at 9:05 am
Mei June 25, 2009 at 11:06 am

OooHhhHhH…. cupcakes! My favourite!!
I don't know how to make them though, so I always just end up buying all those pretty cupcakes out there! hehehe…

I'd be your best friend so I could be your guinea pig and try ur cupcakes everyday! hahahahahhaha~!


Maria@TheGourmetChallenge June 26, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Not sure about the butter creaming, but I would say one thing, dont put them in the fridge! I know you had to because of the cream cheese frosting, but thats why they went hard by day 3. Must say, a much better result compared to the first lot


Rilsta June 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Hi Stephcookie: Thanks for the link – it's on my list to make. Good timing too as I have some oranges in the fridge. I'm not sure about Sydney but navel oranges in Melbourne are under $1 a kilo!

Hi Mei: Thanks for dropping by my blog! Hehe… I would love for a guinea pig to try my baking to stop my hubby and I eating them all! You should try making your own cupcake – it's not that hard and you are always guaranteed a great tasting one!

Hi Maria: Thanks for the tip. I try and ice them just before serving but sometimes it's not possible so they have to go in the fridge. I find the next day, if they are brought to room temo, they still taste fresh and not hard but there is no hope for the 3rd day for these cupcakes (not that they would usually last that long)!


Cherry Blossom Cupcakes July 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Hi there! I think your butter was too hard by the looks of things. It really needs to be quite warm and in this chilly Melbourne weather it might be worth popping it into the microwave on low for a few secs or popping it in a warm bowl for a while to soften. Hope this helps! Everything you put in a cake has to be 'room temperature'… milk, eggs, everything!


Rilsta July 14, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Hi Cherry Blossom Cupcakes: Thanks for stopping by and your great tip! I left the chopped butter out of the fridge for most of the day but I guess it was still too hard! I will try softening it more next time!


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