Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Makes 12 cupcakes
Dietary Vegetarian
Follow our step-by-step cupcake recipe video. Dan Lepard shows how to make basic cupcakes with a swirl of buttercream.


  1. For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to180C/350F/Gas 4. Line a muffin tin with cases.

  2. Melt the butter over a low heat in a small pan, pour it into a bowl with the sugar, oil, cornflour (or arrowroot) and vanilla. Beat well until smooth, then whisk in the eggs followed by the milk and cream.

  3. Sift and beat the flour and baking powder into the butter mixture in batches until smooth.

  4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until about two-third full, then bake for 20-25 minute or until the top is springy to the touch. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and set aside to cool.

  5. Meanwhile, for the buttercream, mix the icing sugar, glucose, condensed milk, flavouring and butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth and light, then beat in the baking margarine until smooth.

  6. In a jug, stir the icing sugar into the cream until dissolved, then add any colouring or flavouring you want, or just leave it plain. Beat this gradually into the butter mixture until light and fluffy. (This buttercream keeps very well covered at room temperature for 2-3 days and can be warmed slightly and re-beaten if the texture is too firm.)

  7. To decorate the cupcakes, you can either dollop on some icing and swirl it with a knife or use a piping bag. Either fill a disposable piping bag with the icing and snip off the end or fill a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.

  8. To pipe on the icing, start at the outside edge piping round the edge of the cupcake in a spiral towards the centre. When you reach the top, pull up quickly to finish the swirl. Decorate with sprinkles.


For the cupcakes

  • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter
  • 250g/9oz caster or brown sugar
  • 50ml/2fl oz sunflower oil
  • 25g/1oz arrowroot or cornflour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 medium free-range eggs
  • 80ml/2½fl oz milk
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream
  • 300g/10½oz plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder

For the buttercream

  • 300g/10½oz icing sugar
  • 25g/1oz liquid glucose
  • 50g/1¾oz condensed milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or other flavouring
  • 200g/7oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g/3½oz baking margarine, softened
  • 200g/7oz icing sugar
  • 100ml/3¾fl oz double cream
  • few drops food colouring or flavouring
  • sugar sprinkles, to decorate

Shopping List

Cupcakes with frosting and sprinkles

Tins, packets and jars

Cooking ingredients

Dairy, eggs and chilled

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