Rachel Allen's vanilla cupcakes recipe

(231 ratings)

If you love cupcakes, you'll love Rachel Allen's pretty iced vanilla cupcakes. These cupcakes are so easy to make and taste delicious too!

Preparation Time1 hours (including decorating time)
Cooking Time15 mins
Total Time1 hours 15 mins

If you like cupcakes, you'll love Rachel Allen's vanilla cupcakes. These cupcakes are so easy to make and taste delicious too. Add crystallised flowers, sugared almonds, or other edible decorations. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes and will take 1hr and 15 mins to make, bake and decorate.


  • 75ml (2½ fl oz) milk
  • Scant 25g (1oz) butter
  • 75g (3oz) plain flour
  • ½tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 125g (5oz) caster sugar

For the icing:

  • 100g (4oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1-2tbsp single cream
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

To decorate:

  • Crystallised flowers
  • Sugared almonds
  • Other edible decorations of your choice




  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Place 12 paper bun cases in a bun tray.
  2. Heat the milk in a saucepan until it almost comes to the boil, take it off the heat, add the butter and stir to melt, then set aside.
  3. Sift the flour with the baking powder and add the salt. In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla extract with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy, for about 10 mins. Gradually beat in the sugar until thick and mousse-like. Turn the speed down and blend in the flour, then the milk. Stop beating as soon as it's all mixed in.
  4. Spoon into each paper case and bake in the oven for 15 mins or until golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before moving to a wire rack and icing.
  5. To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with 1tbsp cream and the vanilla extract; if it's not a good spreading consistency, add a little more cream. To ice the cupcakes,dip a table knife into boiling water and spread the icing over each cake with the warm knife.
Top Tip for making Rachel Allen's vanilla cupcakes

The reason the cakes are so light is because the eggs are whisked for about 10 mins until they're full of air and they only use a tiny amount of butter.

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Rachel Allen
Celebrity chef

Rachel Allen's first television series, called Rachel’s Favourite Food, was broadcast in 2004 throughout Ireland, Canada, Australia, and Europe. A book of the same name accompanied the series, giving viewers a true insight into Rachel’s special brand of family-orientated cooking and recipes. Since then she has authored more than eight different cookery books, which have sold more than 1 million copies worldwide. You may have also seen Rachel's name in the Irish Magazine or The Sunday Tribune or on BBC's Saturday Kitchen or on her own popular cooking show on Ireland's RTE network. From simple one-pot meals and roast dinners to your favourite sweet treats, we’ve got all of the best Rachel Allen recipes to choose from for perfect family meals.