Fairy cakes are the gentler, sweeter great-aunt of the cupcake. Whereas a cupcake is often practically a meal in itself (no criticism – god I love cupcakes!) a fairy cake is – as the name implies – a small, dainty mouthful of deliciousness. They are also possibly the most joyous cake – children’s parties just wouldn’t be right without them.
You’ll need – (makes 20 fairy cakes)
- 175g soft unsalted butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 175g self-raising flour
- fairy cake cases – smaller than cupcake cases
- 300g icing sugar
- food colouring / smarties / sprinkles
First, preheat your oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Cream your butter and sugar – beat them for five minutes to get plenty of air into the mix. Add your eggs one by one, beating in between, before adding the vanilla and flour. If the mix seems a bit stiff, just add a tablespoon or two of milk.
Put a tablespoon of mix into each cupcake case and pop your fairy cakes into the oven. While they’re baking (keep a close eye on them as they will only take 10-13 minutes), make your icing! Fairy cakes are traditionally decorated with royal icing so get started on that. It couldn’t be easier, just weigh out 300g of icing sugar and then add a tablespoon of water, followed by a few drips at a time until you have a thick but drippable consistency.
I split my icing into 4 lots, a pale yellow, pale green, pale blue, and a pink that was supposed to be pale but turned out neon. That americolour colouring is seriously bright stuff! I decorated with Dr Oetker chocolate sprinkles, hundreds and thousands and butterflies – what do you think?
Fairy cakes aren’t just for kids! Which do you prefer – cupcakes or fairy cakes? I think there’s a time and place for both but overall I find cupcakes to be more impressive and versatile. And I actually love a big mound of frosting (as long as its delicious!)