This is my 'go to' recipe for cup cakes (Fairy Cakes). The tops are flat rather than crowned or domed and the batter is mixed in a food processor, or may be mixed by hand. I appreciate that it makes just 12 cupcakes, but the recipe can be doubled to make 24 if you prefer.
You may use the Royal icing (recipe below) as Nigella does, or your favorite.
This time I used a fluffy cream cheese icing, tinted light pink with gel food coloring, then decorated with organic "Queen Elizabeth" pink rose petals from the garden.
Recipe makes 12 cupcakes
Adapted from Nigella Lawson's cookbook "How to be a Domestic Goddess"
1/2 cup butter (unsalted if you wish), softened
7 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cups self-rising cake flour*
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk
If you want to use regular (non-self rising)
All Purpose flour, or Cake Flour
then add a scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda,
with a scant 1 teaspoon baking powder.
1 cup powdered (confectioner's) sugar
1 egg white
3-4 drops lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
(I set my oven to 375-degrees (F)
Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper baking cups.
Put all the ingredients except for the milk into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel to make for a soft consistency.
Nigella commented that this will not seem like enough batter for 12 cupcakes but surprisingly, it is.
Scrape the processor bowl thoroughly and divide equally into the 12 paper cups.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden on top.
Cool on a wire rack, but remove from the tin as soon as possible.
Before you decorate, slice off any mounded tops so you have a flat surface to decorate. (Sometimes the cupcakes form humps or peaks as they bake, I use a small serrated knife to remove the mounded tops ~ baker's treat!)
To make the icing:
Mix the sugar, egg white and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth and creamy, it should have the consistency of heavy cream. Tint with a small amount of food coloring or leave white.
If desired, divide the large batch into smaller portions to tint each one a different color. Decorate with garnishes, or leave plain, as desired.