These are by far the softest, fluffiest and most flavourful little cupcakes that I have ever made. Whilst the cakes are fantastic even on their own without any frosting, I love topping them with my special Custard Frosting (recipe below). You can even top them with whipped cream or regular buttercream frosting or melted chocolate/ganache.
* This recipe can be adapted to make one 8" cake instead of 12 cupcakes
For the cupcakes or cake, make sure the eggs, milk and butter/magarine are all at room temperature
Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare a 12 cupcake pan with liners or grease and line an 8" round cake pan.
Sift/sieve the flour with the custard powder, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, add the butter/margarine and sugar. Beat until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla essence and mix.
Now add a third of the flour and beat until combined, then add half the milk. Again beat the batter until milk is mixed in. Add another third of the flour, mix it in, and then add the remaining milk. Finally add the last of the flour. Beat just until everything is well combined.
The batter may look curdled but that is totally ok, have faith it will turn out perfect.
Pour into prepared pan and bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. (For an 8" cake, it will take 25-30 minutes)
Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely.
Instructions for Custard Frosting
Warm the milk in a pan, scoop out around 4 tbsp. of the warm milk into a bowl and mix the custard powder to form a paste. Set this aside.
Add 2 tbsp. sugar into the milk in the pan and continue to heat until it nears boiling point. Then add the custard paste and reduce the heat to low. Stir continuously until this custard mixture becomes thick and smooth. It will thicken VERY fast, so keep your eye on it. Keep stirring and do not allow it to burn. Once it is very thick and almost like a soft dough in consistency, remove from the heat and allow the custard to cool completely. I normally cover it and refrigerate for a few minutes, it should cool fairly fast.
In the meantime, beat the butter and icing sugar in a bowl until thick, light and creamy. Now add the cooled custard paste into it and the vanilla. Beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes. If it looks a bit curdled, don't panic, it is supposed to have that look.
Frost your cake/cupcakes and top with some shredded coconut and sprinkles or even grated chocolate.