Ok, I have a cookbook called "500 cupcakes" It's small, squareish,a nd bright pink. ANd it's amazing.
I've found that almost all of the cupcake recipes consist of...
250 grams of unsalted butter
250 grama of castor sugar
250 grams of self raising flour
You just cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs,a dn then the flour. DOn't beat it too much (i always make this mistake) or they'll turn out full of holes with a crispy top.
Before you put the batter into cupcake cases, add flavouring. Cocoa powder, choc chips, chopped nuts, vanilla/coconut essence, fruit, desicated coconut, citris zest, etc.
Bake for 20 minutes at 175 C/350 F/gas mark 4.
For icing, there are a few general types i use.
Plain icing, just icing sugar and a liquid mixed to form whatever consistency you like - a drizzle, a paste, halfway in between (you can dip the tops of cupcakes into this one) Flavour with essences adn colour as you like.
Buttercream. Butter, icing sugar, and a little milk beaten together until it's fluffy. I like to add whipping cream, it makes it less sickly sweet. Flavour with whatever you like, cocoa and essenses are the most common, and you can colour it too.
Ganache. Melt chocoalte and cream together until smooth. It will harden when it cools. You could add orange zest to this.
Other - Try beating sour cream, or cream cheese with icing sugar.
Decoration - Usually i pipe a large swirl of icing onto each cupcake,a nd top with sprinkles, 100's and 1000's, small sugar hearts etc. lollies, even a sprinkling of a herb, or flower. Or dust them (iced or uniced) with a spice, icing sugar, or cocoa powder.
Some of my favourite recipes are...
Jaffa cupcakes (add orange zest and cocoa to the batter) with either a pastel orange (coloured and flavoured) buttercream, or a chocolate ganache (with orange zest added) topped with jaffa lollies (looks wonderful if you smash them lightly with a rolling pin, arrange them ontop so they look pretty)
Coconut/raspberry cupcakes. Add desicated coconut and coconut essence to batter. Before baking, push some raspberries into each cupcake. Don't ice.
Lemon/Orange poppyseed cupcakes. Add zest and a tablespoon of poppyseeds to the mix. Top with a lemon or orange juice and icing sugar drizzle.
Brownie cupcakes - Use a chocoalte mud cake batter, add white chocoalte chips,a dn chopped walnuts. Top with ganache.
Warm 150ml of milk, add a few chai tea bags to infuse
Beat 60g unsalted butter and 150g of brown sugar until smooth, add 2 egg white.
Mix into sugar mix 250g of self raising flour, and the milk.
Top with a cream cheese icing, and dust with a little cinnamon.
Choc-mint cupcakes. Top chocolate cupcakes with a pastel green mint flavoured buttercream, decorate with a few chocoalte chips.
Choc-cherry cupcakes (great for afternoon tea, these are fancier) Ad 100g of chopped cherries(fresh or bottles) and a dash of cherry flavoured liqueur to chocoalte cupcake batter. Top with a spoonful of lightly sweetened whipped cream, place a cherry (with a stalk) in the centre,a nd sprinkle chocoalte flakes onto the cream.
Basic cupcakes. Make the basic batter,a nd add coconut, or vanilla essence, or cocoa powder. Ice with plain icing in a spreadable consistency (of whatever colour and flavour you like) or a swirl of buttercream, top with lollies or sprinkles. These are good for kids.
Basically, have fun, come up with some recipes of your own by combining flavours you love. Buy a cupcake recipe book or search the internet for ideashttp://www.flickr.com/groups/cupcakestakethecake/pool/http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com/