Annabel Karmel’s cupcakes and the power of twitter

I'm a big fan of twitter. It's not just that it's a brilliant way to communicate with other parents, or that you can get the occasional celeb tweet (I've had ones from Jonanthan Ross, and Jackie Collins.) But it's also a fantastic way to get answers on anything from health to kids to what's on TV.

On Wednesday the lovely Annabel Karmel put out a tweet asking if anyone had any particular recipe request and I replied saying I would love a cupcake recipe. (This was true. Even though I'm not eating them at the moment it seems that everyone I know has gone cupcake crazy, and they're ideal for after school treats.) Within seconds she'd replied, giving me a link to one of her recipes. So here it is – the Easy Cupcakes recipe, which appears in her book You Can Cook (£11.69, published by Dorling Kindersley), available from Waterstones). They look totally yummy.

Makes 12 cupcakes

110g butter at room temperature
110g caster sugar
110g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
Quarter tsp salt
2 eggs (medium)
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F / Gas 4. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
Put the butter and sugar in a bowl; and beat until pale and fluffy
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the bowl.
Beat the eggs and vanilla and add to the bowl. Beat until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until risen, golden and firm to the touch.
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Buttercream Icing
It’s the icing that makes them special. Swirl it on using a piping bag and nozzle – but  practise on a plate first
For plain buttercream, beat 110g (4 oz) butter until soft, then beat in 110g (4oz) icing sugar, a tablespoon at a time.
For vanilla buttercream, add half teaspoon vanilla extract and beat to combine.
For lemon buttercream, beat in 1 tbsp lemon juice – add 1 tsp at a  time and taste after each addition.
For chocolate buttercream,  beat in quarter tsp vanilla, 60g (2oz) melted and cooled milk chocolate and 2 tbsp cocoa powder 

*PS – if you want to tweet with me on twitter I'm here, KidStart is here and Annabel is here. Feel free to share your twitter urls below!

written by Liz Jarvis