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The cakes can be baked the day before. Once iced, eat on the same day. The iced cupcakes can also be frozen; defrost for 2 hours at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.
Put the butter in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until really soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for 3-5 minutes until very pale in colour and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Sift over the flour and a pinch of salt and fold though until just combined. Divide the mixture between the cup cones, making sure that they are filled no more than two-thirds of the way up the cone. It can be easiest to do this using a large piping bag, fitted with a wide plain nozzle.
Sit the cones in muffin or cupcake trays to help move them easily to the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until well risen, golden, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack until completely cool.
For the buttercream, beat the butter with an electric whisk until soft. Sift over half of the icing sugar and use a spoon to stir into the butter (this prevents covering your kitchen in clouds of icing sugar!) then beat well, until smooth and fluffy. Repeat with the remaining icing sugar and beat until very light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and cream and spoon into a piping bag, fitted with a 1cm star nozzle. Pipe a Mr Whippy-like swirl of icing onto each cupcake and add a Flake to serve.
Recipe by Emily Jonzen