Primrose Bakery Cupcakes

Monday 15 March 2010
For L's birthday party, I decided to bake cupcakes. It's easier to hand each child a cupcake or put it in a takeaway box so there's less mess for everyone concerned. It was rather difficult to find sugarpaste decorations that deviate slightly from the norm. After what seemed like a lengthy search on eBay I found these:

I got the recipe from a book written by the founders of the famed Primrose Bakery in London. Here's their website: I tweeked their recipe a little bit and didn't slap on as much icing as I'm sure the parents weren't going to be pleased seeing their kids bounced from wall to wall. These went down a treat as most of the kids (with the exception of mine) demolished their cupcakes within minutes.

Note: Their term "regular" actually means muffin sized cupcakes. If you're using "fairy" cupcake cases, you should get approximately 32-36. The texture is slightly more dense and not as moist as I'd hoped but has a wonderful buttery scent. I folded the flour in instead of beating as specified in the recipe.

Vanilla Cupcakes

110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar, preferably golden
2 large eggs, free range or organic
150g self raising flour, sifted
125g plain flour, sifted
120ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 160 C (fan)/180 C/350 F/gas mark 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tray or three 12 hole mini muffin trays with appropriate size cupcakes

2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, which should take 3-5 mins using an electric hand mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few mins after each addition.

3. Combine the two flours, in a separate bowl. Put the milk in a jug and add the vanilla extract to it.

4. Add 1/3 of the flours to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in 1/3 of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.

5. Carefully, spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about 2/3s full. Bake in the oven for about 25 mins (regular size) or 15 mins (mini size) until slightly raised and golden brown. To check they are cooked, insert a skewer int he centre of one of the cakes - it should come out clean.

6. Remove from the oven and leave the cakes in their tins for about 10 mins before carefully placing on a wire rack to cool. Once they're completely cool, ice the cupcakes with vanilla, chocolate or lime and coconut buttercream icing.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Makes enough to ice 15-20 regular or about 60 mini cupcakes

110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
60ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
500g icing sugar, sifted
few drops of food colouring (For pink, I used natural beetroot extract colouring)

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract and half the icing sugar until smooth - this can take several minutes with an electric hand mixer. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy.

2. If you want to colour your buttercream, always start with one drop of colouring and beat thoroughly. This will be all you need to achieve a very pale pastel hue. Add carefully, drop by drop, and beat after each addition to build up to your desired shade.

Make sure you beat the buttercream again if it has been sitting there for more than 10 mins unused or you'll end up with lumpy buttercream like the above.

And some of the fairies, princesses and pirates at the party. Oh, and one Spiderman ;o)


  1. wow. these are amzing, gorgeous! when i was in melb recently, i was looking at the same primrose book in my friend's hse and wanting to buy it but didn't have the time. i've seen doxens of cupcakes books but primrose's somehow looked so homey and true, you know what i mean? so thanx for posting bc i'm gonna make a batch today.

    your blog is such a pleasure to visit. it's pretty and almost fairytale-like, with visits to exotic faraway places (borneo thru your lens is so much more beautiful!) and info on the latest trends n pretty stuff women wish they can buy. this blog is therapeutic:))

  2. and what are the pirates made of, pls?

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