1950s Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

How to Make Cupcakes

This cupcake recipe is from the 1953 Good Housekeeping Guide - a great post war cookbook using simple ingredients which will appeal to the chiconomista in all of us. 
Compared to the modern, candy-coated monstrosities we see today these dainty little cakes are quite modest! Make yours in a vintage shell-shaped cake pan and sandwich the cakes together with buttercream icing for a modern-vintage take on the ginger kiss. 

Shell-shaped muffin pan
Vanilla Cupcake Ingredients:

3 oz butter or margarine
3 oz sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
1 tsp vanilla essense or extract
5 oz flour
1 tsp baking powder

1. Beat together the sugar and butter/marg until they arte light in color and fluffy
2. Add the beaten eggs to the mixture a little at a time until well mixed
3. Mix in the vanilla
4. Fold in the flour (switch from a whisk to a wooden spoon and lift the mixture over onto itself) and baking powder
5. Add the milk a tablespoonful at a time until the mixture is soft but not runny (see image below)

It's brown coz I added cocoa to make choccie cupcakes!
6. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases and spray inside each case with a little spray oil and drop a spoonful of mixture into each case (leave a gap between the top of the case and the batter as it will rise when it cooks)

7. Bake at 180 degrees celcius (350 degrees Farenheit) for 10-15 minutes until they are cooked (check with a skewer or press down on the cake to see if the cooked mixture springs back up)

8. Cool on a rack until completely cold then ice

The Good Housekeeping Guide recccomends a simple glace icing which you can spoon onto the top of the cakes, if you left enough gap in the cases when you filled them the ising will sit nicely inside the paper case and your vanilla cupcakes will be nice and flat to pack for travel - perfect for picnics or office shouts.

Just a quick snack I whipped up - nom!!

How to Make Glace Icing

  • 8 oz icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • Flavouring (for these cakes use vanilla) and colouring (optional)
1. Place all the ingredients into a small saucepan and heat, stirring well, until the mixture is warm
2. When it's ready it should coat the back of the spoon evenly and look glossy and smooth
3. Using a teaspoon pour the icing onto the cupcakes until they are covered and leave to set in a cool place

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