Rachel Allen cupcakes with vanilla icing recipe

(231 ratings)

These Rachel Allen cupcakes are under 150 calories even with the vanilla cream icing.

rachel allen cupcakes with vanilla cream icing
(Image credit: Getty Images)
Preparation Time1 hours (including decorating time)
Cooking Time15 mins
Total Time1 hours 15 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories132 Kcal7%
Sugars19.1 g21%
Saturated Fat1.8 g9%
Protein2.1 g4%
Fat3.3 g5%
Carbohydrates23.6 g9%

These Rachel Allen cupcakes with vanilla icing take 15 minutes to bake and are only 132 calories per cake. 

If you’re looking for a simple but delicious cupcake recipe, this one from TV chef and best-selling author Rachel Allen is perfect. Rachel decorates her cakes with sugared almonds and crystallised flowers but sprinkles are also great or any edible decoration for that matter! 


  • 75ml (2½ fl oz) milk
  • 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 or any other edible decorations of your choice




  1. Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan, Gas 6). Put 12 paper cases in a cupcake 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 minutes. 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 minutes 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 with your choice of edible decoration.

Top tips for making these Rachel Allen cupcakes 

It's important to have your ingredients weighed out and ready before you start making the cakes as you will need to act quickly once the eggs are whisked and the wet and dry ingredients are combined.

Also make sure the oven is at temperature before putting the cake in otherwise they may not rise. For more tips and tricks, continue reading below. 

How to make light cupcakes?

Rachel explains: ‘The cakes are very light as the eggs are whisked for about 10 minutes until they are full of air and they only use a tiny quantity of butter.’ Therefore it’s very important not to under-whisk your eggs as the cupcakes will collapse and become dense.

What temperature do you bake cupcakes?

This recipe recommends an oven temperature of 200C or 180C in a fan-assisted oven which is gas mark 6. Bake the cupcakes in the middle or top third of the oven.

Can you frost frozen cupcakes?

You can freeze cupcakes before icing them. Then once the cupcakes are fully defrosted, cover with your icing and decorations as instructed above. 

Rachel’s Food For LivingView at Amazon 

Rachel’s Food For Living by Rachel Allen (Collins, £18.99) - View at Amazon 

This book features more recipes from the best-selling TV chef and author which are perfect for sharing and making memories. Rachel has options for every occasion with the chapters split into themes such as ‘food for the soul’ and ‘an elegant afternoon’. 

Once you’ve mastered this recipe, try these Rachel Allen lemon cupcakes. You might also like our classic vanilla cupcake recipe or for something more indulgent, take a look at the chocolate cupcakes recipe. 

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.

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