Cupcakes are the ideal way to jump into the world of baking, or to make a fun afternoon activity with kids…after all, who can resist a cupcake?

So let’s keep things really simple, and get you started:

Tools

  • Only a muffin tin, paper liners, basic mixing bowls and electric beaters are needed to make delicious cupcakes
  • Foil-lined cupcake liners retain their colour, where the pattern on a regular paper one can disappear once the cupcake is baked (especially if you’re baking chocolate cupcakes)
  • If you think you are going to get serious about cupcake baking, then invest in a mechanical ice cream scoop – this is the best tool for precise and tidy portioning

Ingredients

  • Butter, sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder and milk or buttermilk are the basics needed
  • For the frosting, you just need butter, icing sugar and a little milk
  • Keep in mind that cupcake recipes are designed to be baked as cupcakes.

Tip: Not all cake recipes can bake into a cupcake, and may frustrate you because the wet batter spills over the edge of the paper liner, or when you peel the paper liner, half of the cake comes away with it.  For a tasty classic cupcake, try my recipe for Lemon Coconut Cupcakes.

For even more delicious options, check out Anna Olson’s Very Best Cupcake Recipes.

Now let’s get to the real reason we love cupcakes: frosting!

Buttercream cupcake frosting is the easiest style to make — you simply whip butter and icing sugar together with a touch of milk until it is light and fluffy.  Then you are ready to dollop, pipe or get fancy with you cupcake décor like with this rainbow cupcake frosting.

Whether kids are involved in this process or not, I usually make sure there are plenty of sprinkles around. With such a selection of colourful sprinkle now available, you can really express your sweet side when decorating cupcakes, no matter your skill level.

Cupcakes are a universal, year-round treat, and your décor can suit any occasion.  I love to make these “I Want my Mummy” ghoulish little cupcakes for Halloween, Mummy Mini Chocolate Cupcakes.

I hope I’ve inspired you to jump into the kitchen and play!

For more sweet tips, check out Anna Olson’s Top Tips for Icing and Assembling Cakes and watch Anna Olson guest judge on The Big Bake: Halloween.