For many weeks now, I have been looking at this Cupcake goddess’s blog in sincere awe. The course I took in bakery and confectionery back in college seems from another era when I look at her cupcake pops and other fantastic goodies. Today is Makarand and Sonali’s wedding anniversary; a good occasion to get the oven cranking.

As opposed to my usual hurriedly decorated sponge cakes, I thought cupcakes would be a nice change and a fitting gurudakshina (the tradition of repaying the teacher on completing education). These are vanilla muffins with a lemon and vanilla royal icing. In spite of my a-size-too-small muffin tray (which has led to wrinkled cases that were difficult to camouflage with the icing) I was happy with the general look and texture. The cakes were spongy and soft and delicately flavored. I hope Mak and Sonali like them!


For the cupcakes:

  • 200 gms. flour
  • 200 gms. castor sugar
  • 200 gms. unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

For the royal icing:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • a few drops of lemon yellow color

For the cupcakes:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees centigrade.
  2. Line a muffin tray with cupcake cases and grease lightly.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder together.
  4. In a food processor, blend the sugar, eggs, and butter until creamy. If you think the mixture is about to curdle, add a tbsp. of flour. Add the milk.
  5. Fold the wet mixture into the flour and ensure that no lumps are formed.
  6. Spoon the batter into the cases, leaving enough room to rise.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool on wire racks until you work on the icing.

For the royal icing:

  1. For the royal icing, beat together the egg whites and the icing sugar (little at a time) until you get a pipe-able, shiny cream.
  2. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, and the color.
  3. Pipe in desired patterns on the cupcakes when completely cool.

Royal icing tends to harden as it sets, and this tends to preserve the moistness of the cake. Although I find that royal icing is best to work with and pretty to look at, I find it a tad too sweet. I think whipped cream is a perfect cake topping. Or lemon cream. Or chocolate ganache…

What’s your favorite icing?