There’s just nothing like an amazing vanilla cupcake; moist, fluffy, light and oozing with vanilla flavour! These vanilla cupcakes with marshmallow icing are an alternative to buttercream icing. The light, fluffy marshmallow topping makes a nice change and its a perfect consistency for piping as it holds its shape indefinitely. And unlike buttercream it won’t wilt or melt in heat. They are wonderfully soft and glossy, so light they melt in your mouth.
Ingredients for the vanilla cupcakes:
110g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
225g caster sugar
2 large eggs
150g self-raising flour, sifted
125g plain flour, sifted
120ml semi-skimmed milk (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12-hole cupcake tray with the appropriate size cupcake cases. In a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, this should take about 3-5 minutes using an electric hand mixer or a magi-mix. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minuets after each addition.
Combine the two flours in a separate bowl. Put the milk and vanilla extract in a jug. Add one third of the combined flour to the creamed mixture and beat well, then pour in one third of the milk and vanilla extract and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.
Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them about two thirds full to allow the mixture to rise when cooking. Bake in the oven for about 20 minuets (regular size case) or 15 minutes (mini size cases).
Remove from the oven and carefully place them onto a wire rack to cool.
Ingredients for the Marshmallow Icing:
120g granulated sugar
80g golden syrup
1 ½ tbsp water
2 large egg whites
½ good quality vanilla extract (optional)
Food colouring (optional)
Place the sugar, golden syrup and water into a sauce pan or a shallow frying pan and cook on a high heat until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage. This is when the bubbles in the mixture look as though they are starting to stick together. This can take about 2 minutes. To check, take a teaspoon and drop and small amount of the mixture into a cup full of water. If the mixture forms into a ball at the bottom of the glass your mixture is at the soft ball stage. Remove from the heat and put to one side.
In the bowl of a free standing mixer or a food processor, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks start to form.
While the machine is set to a low speed slowly pour the hot sugar mixture into the bowl with the egg whites. Continue to whisk on a low speed until all the sugar mixture is in the bowl. Now increase the speed to a high setting and continue to whisk until the mixture becomes thick and glossy. Add the vanilla extract and food colouring, if using, towards the end of the mixing process.
The icing is easiest to work with while it is still a little warm so try to use straight away. I iced my cupcakes using a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle. Beginning in the centre, swirl the nozzle and release as you pull up to form a peak and soft top. I then decorated using some simple round coloured sprinkles.