(click on the text to highlight each stage):
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases
- Pour the milk into a small saucepan and add the star anise, heat the milk until it’s just about boiling, stirring occasionally then remove from the heat before it boils. Leave to onside for the flavours to infuse for ½ hour or longer.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy then add the eggs on by one beating after each addition. Then add the vanilla extract.
- Sieve in the flour and baking powder and the milk, having removed the star anise. Fold the mix together until combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. The leave to cool on a wire rack.
- To make the frosting place the icing sugar and butter in a large bowl and using a freestanding mixer or electric whisk mix on slow speed until the texture is sandy, then add the milk and vanilla extract and turn the speed up. Mix for about 5 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Use a piping bag to pipe the frosting onto the cakes, then decorate with some star anise or liquorice sweets to finish.