Vanilla cupcakes with swirly icing

Chef: Mary Berry
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Vanilla cupcakes with swirly icing
The swirled, two-toned icing makes these pretty cupcakes really distinctive, and you can achieve the effect using a regular piping bag. Children will have fun experimenting with the huge range of coloured and patterned paper cases and sprinkles available.

175g butter (at room temperature), cut into large pieces
175g self-raising flour
175g caster sugar 

½ tsp baking powder 

3 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract

For the icing:
175g butter (at room temperature), cut into large pieces
½ tsp vanilla extract 

2-3 tbsp milk 

350g icing sugar, sifted 

Pink edible colouring 

Edible pink hearts or other sprinkles, to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cupcake or muffin cases.

Put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand whisk or a wooden spoon until smooth and evenly mixed.

Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and firm on top.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, make the icing. Put the butter, vanilla extract, two tablespoons of the milk, and half the icing sugar in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining icing sugar, and pour in the rest of the milk if needed to make the icing the right consistency.

Put half of the icing into another bowl and colour it pale pink with the edible colouring.

Carefully spoon this down one side of a piping bag fitted with a number eight star nozzle, then spoon the non-coloured icing down the other side of the bag. Twist the end of the bag to seal the icing in.

Pipe swirls of the icing on top of each cupcake.

Scatter with the edible pink hearts or other sprinkles, to decorate.


Preparation Time
15 minutes

Cooking Time
25 minutes

Main ingredients
Dairy, Eggs

Recipe Type
Party Food, Cakes & Baking, Cake Stall, Cupcakes

Level of Difficulty

It’s easy to make the colour of the icing too strong. To prevent putting in too much edible colouring, use a cocktail stick to add a drop at a time until you have the shade that you like. Instead of using a regular piping bag, you can buy dual- compartment piping bags, which automatically separate the two colours, allowing you to pipe them at the same time in a similar way.

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