Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas mark 3. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add eggs, one at a time, until pale and creamy; mix in vanilla extract.
To the butter mixture, add the flour in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk until everything is well mixed. Spoon the mixture into the prepared paper cases, filling only to half way to allow for a good rise.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until risen, golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before decorating as desired.