Yield: 12 large cupcakes
+ As always with a classic vanilla sponge, I weigh my eggs and match my flour, butter and sugar measurements accordingly. I find it produces a wonderfully light sponge.
for the cakes
4 large eggs (240g approx)
240g unsalted butter, at room temperature
240g caster sugar
240g self-raising flour
5-6 drops vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons hot water
for the icing
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g icing sugar, sifted
4-5 drops vanilla extract
edible snowman decorations (or other Christmas-themed decorations!)
edible sparkle dust (I used Waitrose's Christmas snow dust)
+ Pre-heat the oven to 180C fan.
+ Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper cases.
1. Blend the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy - about five minutes.
2. Add the eggs, a little at a time, until fully incorporated.
3. Add the vanilla.
4. Sift in the flour until just combined. Add a tablespoon or two of hot water if necessary, so that the mixture drops off the spoon.
5. Bake for 17-20 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
6. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, use a fork to mix together your softened butter and icing sugar until fully combined. Add more butter or sugar according to taste, and then mix in the vanilla extract. Once the cakes have cooled, pipe the icing onto the cakes (I used a disposable piping bag, but you can just use a spoon if you find yourself without). Top with edible decorations of your choice and sprinkle with a little sparkle!