1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing pans
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting pans
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
For buttercream icing:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour 2 12-cup muffin tins and then line with cupcake papers or grease. Mix the flours together in a bowl. In a glass measure, mix the milk and vanilla.
In a large bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk and the vanilla, beating well after each addition. Spoon the batter into muffin cups about 3/4 full.
Bake until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched, 20 to 22 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the pans and cool on a rack before icing.
To make icing: Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the icing is thick enough to spread. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. Frost cupcakes. Serve at room temperature. Leftover icing freezes well for up to two months.