Sweetie-topped vanilla cupcakes

Small cakes are big crowd-pleasers. The quantities can easily be doubled to make larger batches with very little effort.  

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 18-20 minutes
  • Total time: 40 minutes

Makes: 12


For the cupcakes
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium egg
125g self raising flour
¼ tsp baking powder
4 tbsp milk

For the buttercream
100g unsalted butter, softened
150g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Red and yellow food colouring
Pack of Barratt Dolly Mix


1 Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole cupcake tray with paper cases. (White or a mixture of pink and yellow looks good).

2 Put the butter, sugar, vanilla, egg, flour and baking powder in a bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the milk and mix again until combined.

3 Spoon heaped teaspoonfuls into the cases and bake for 18-20 minutes until risen, pale golden in colour and just firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

4 For the buttercream, beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl until very pale. Add 1 tsp hot water and beat again until very soft. Spoon half the mixture into a separate bowl. Beat a drop of red food colouring in one bowl and yellow into the other. Spread or pipe the buttercream over the cooled cakes. Place a few sweets on top of each cupcake.