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Quick vanilla strawberry cupcakes

by Sarah Alcock

We received loads of votes for this month's reader recipes and both Sonia's barfi and Helen's cupcakes received a huge amount each. But the votes have been counted and the winning recipe is Helen O'Brien's quick vanilla strawberry cupcakes. Congratulations!

We tested them in our kitchen yesterday and we can verify that they are very yummy indeed!

Try them out for yourself at home.

If you have a delicious foodie pic that you want to share, post them on our Facebook page. We want to see your best food shots!

Helen O'Brien's vanilla strawberry cupcakes - Makes 24 fairy cakes or 18 larger cupcakes


  • 1x 400g pack strawberries
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 200g soft butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 450ml double cream
  • the seeds from 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp sifted icing sugar
  • 18 strawberries, sliced to decorate


  1. First make the soft-set strawberry jam. Hull the strawberries, cut them into quarters and tip them into a small pan. Add the sugar and cook gently over a medium heat.
  2. When the strawberries start to sizzle, gently shake the pan to mix the sugar in with the juices.
  3. Reduce the heat and let the now syrupy strawberries bubble away for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the syrup has thickened. Transfer it to a bowl to cool.
  4. For the cakes, preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5. Line 2 cupcake tins with 18 cupcake cases. In a large bowl, whisk the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract together until pale and fluffy.
  5. Gradually whisk in the eggs alternately with the flour and baking powder until combined. Spoon into cake cases and bake for 15-18 minutes until firm to the touch. Set aside to cool completely.
  6. For the vanilla cream, pour the double cream into a bowl, then add the scraped-out seeds of the vanilla pod, or extract, and the icing sugar. Whisk until very thick.
  7. Take each cooled cake and, using a small sharp knife, cut a round piece out of the top. Slice away the bottom of each piece of cake removed to make it flat.
  8. Fill the holes in each cupcake with half a teaspoon of strawberry jam, then place the cake ‘lids’ on top.
  9. Pipe or spoon the vanilla cream on to the top of the cakes, then decorate with pieces of fresh strawberry. Serve straight away.

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