Strawberry and Vanilla Cupcakes serves twelve

40 mins to prepare and 20 mins to cook, plus cooling / 580 calories per serving / freezable


  • 250g (8oz) Golden Cow unsalted butter
  • 250g (8oz) caster sugar
  • 4 medium Tesco NI eggs
  • 250g (8oz) Neill’s self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g (3oz) strawberry jam

For the icing

  • 1 x 400g tub vanilla buttercream
  • pink food colouring gel

Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour and a pinch of salt, then fold in the vanilla extract.

Divide two-thirds of the cake mixture between the cupcake cases. Add 1 tsp of jam to the centre of each, then top with the remaining cake mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, or until risen and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, beat the buttercream in a bowl with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Spoon half the mixture into a separate bowl, then add pink food colouring, a few drops at a time, beating until the desired shade is reached.

Spoon the plain and pink icing into separate piping bags, then cut off the ends to make a 1cm (1/2in) hole. Put both bags into a third piping bag fitted with a 1cm (1/2in) round nozzle. Pipe a swirl of icing on each cupcake.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Bake according to the recipe but stop before adding decoration or icing. Allow to cool completely. Wrap well in clingfilm and tin foil (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze for up to 3 months. Loosen the tin foil and clingfilm but leave to defrost in packaging at room temperature for several hours before serving. If you wish to serve the baked goods warm, place them on a baking sheet for 10 minutes in a moderate oven. If you wish to add icing or decoration, add them after the baked goods have fully defrosted and are at room temperature.