In Donal's own words, 'I’m a self taught home cook who writes and photographs food for a living. I’ve been cooking from an early age ...
175g (6oz) self-raising flour
110g (4oz) caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
110 g soft margarine or butter softened and cut into small pieces
50 ml milk or water
for the buttercream frosting:
150 g butter, softened
½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
275 g icing sugar, sifted
12-hole bun tray
a piping bag fitted with a nozzle
Preheat the oven to 180°c (350°f). Gas mark 4 and line the bun tray with paper cases.
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre of the bowl then break in the eggs and add the margarine or butter. Using an electric hand mixer beat all the ingredients together until combined. Pour in half the milk or water and beat again until combined. You are looking for the batter to be light and creamy. Add the rest of the liquid if you need it – you may not.
Divide the batter evenly among the paper cases and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until firm and light brown on top. Allow the cupcakes to stand for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
To make the buttercream frosting, beat the butter and vanilla extract together in a bowl until light and fluffy then add the icing sugar, a little at a time, until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. At this point you can separate the frosting into a few different bowls and stir through different food colourings.
Spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle and ice away. Let your imagination go wild! Top with sprinkles or other decorations.