Vanilla Cupcake recipe, perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Written by Shelby Ali, owner and creator of Shelb Bakes

Vanilla Cupcake with Buttercream


Cupcake Batter

200g Self-raising flour

200g Caster sugar

200g Cake margarine

4 Eggs

50ml Milk

1/4tsp Salt

1/2tsp Baking powder

1 tsp Vanilla extract

For the Buttercream:

250g Salted block butter, room temperature

500g Icing sugar

1 tsp Vanilla extract

Food colouring gel (optional)

Lots of sprinkles


  • Heat oven to 180c / 160c fan. Line a cupcake pan with paper cases. This recipe should make 12 cupcakes. (Top tip, I find using muffin cases is better!)
  • Combine the self-raising flour, salt and baking powder together. (Don’t forget to sieve this mixture.)
  • Whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla extract together.
  • Cream together the caster sugar and cake margarine. (This is easier to do with an electric mixer.)
  • Once the mixture is white and fluffy, gradually add the egg mixture making sure the batter doesn’t split. (If the mixture splits, add a small amount of the flour blend.)
  • Carefully fold the flour blend into the batter. (Ensure there are no lumps.)
  • Fill the paper cases 3/4 of the way up. (Personally, I use a mechanical ice cream scoop which makes things a lot easier and leaves little to no mess.)
  • Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown in colour. (The cakes should be light and spongy to the touch.)
  • After the cupcakes come out of the oven, take them straight out the cupcake tray and leave to cool on a wire rack. (Taking them straight out the tray reduces the risk of them becoming soggy.)


  • While the cupcakes cool, beat the icing sugar, block butter and vanilla extract to create the buttercream.
  • Once combined, add food colouring gel. (If the buttercream is too hard, add 2 tsp boiling water, the buttercream should be white and airy.)
  • Put the buttercream into a piping bag with a star nozzle.
  • When the cupcakes are cool, begin to pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes in a swirl. Add as many or as little sprinkles as you like.
  • Lastly, once finished decorating, Enjoy!

Starting my little business:

Hello! My name is Shelby, the owner of Shelb bakes. My passion for baking really began when I started my college course at University College Birmingham. I was drawn to baking as I have always been creative and had the desire to use that within a hobby I also really enjoyed.

I previously completed an Art and Design course at college however, I realised that I could further channel my creativity into something I not only enjoyed but, could also transform into a career!

As I unlocked my talent for baking and decorating, I began selling my cakes to family and friends before widening my customer base. The idea of turning my hobby into a career became a reality when I registered Shelb bakes as a business on the 14th of November 2022.

Since registering my business, I have attended many events, fairs, and markets. I have learnt how to manage my own social media with the help of a close friend. Overcome many hurdles, yet, with continued support from my friends and family, I feel inspired by them in all I do.

@shelbbakescakes on Instagram and Facebook!