Nigella offers a very important tip to take everything you need out of the fridge in time to get to room temperature. This will give a lightness to the cupcakes later - and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
For those on a schedule, put all of the ingredients for the cupcakes except for the milk into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel, to make a smooth dropping consistency.
Or if you're a bit more old fashioned using a bowl and wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugar, beat in the eggs one at a time with a little of the flour. Then add the vanilla extract and fold in the rest of the flour, adding the milk to get the dropping consistency as before.
Divide the mixture between a 12-bun muffin tin lined with muffin papers, and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. They should have risen and be golden on top. Let them cool a little in their tins on a rack, and then take them carefully out of the tin to cool in their papers, still on the wire rack.
Ice with Royal Icing.
Royal Icing: *2 large egg whites (or substitute powdered egg whites, 3 cups confectioners' sugar(known to Australians as icing sugar. 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
Combine the egg whites and confectioners' sugar in a medium-size mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer on medium speed until opaque and shiny, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the lemon juice, this will thin out the icing. Beat for another couple of minutes until you reach the right spreading consistency for the cupcakes.
MUST use self rising flour. Substituting all purpose will result in cakes that do not rise, as no other levening agents are used in this recipe.