Old-fashioned fairy cakes

Old-fashioned fairy cakes. Photograph: Harry Weir
Serves: 0
Course: Dessert
Cooking Time: 0 hr 20 mins


  • 100g butter, room temperature, soft
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Half a tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g self raising flour, sieved
  • 150g cream
  • 30g icing sugar (plus extra for optional coloured icing)
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • Optional decoration: sugar baubles, food colouring

Preheat an oven to 180 Celsius, or equivalent. Fill the holes in the baking tin with bun size paper cases.

2 Place the butter and caster sugar in a mixing bowl. Using an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar until it is pale and fluffy (if the butter is very soft you can use a wooden spoon or handheld balloon whisk to do this).

Slowly whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract.

On a low speed, add the self-raising flour and mix until fully combined.

5 Use a spoon to dollop the batter into the paper cases, filling each not more than two thirds full (this allows space for the batter to rise up evenly without spilling over the edges).

6 Bake for 15 minutes, until golden and risen (pierce with a cocktail stick, if it comes out clean, they are cooked). Leave in the tin for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

7 Meanwhile whip the cream with the icing sugar and orange zest, whipping to a stiff consistency (alternatively, make a coloured icing, gradually stir teaspoons of water into icing sugar until it is the consistency of thick cream, and add colouring as required).

8 For fairy wings, slice the top off each bun and cut it in half to create two wings. Cover the bun with a blob of stiffly whipped cream, or icing, and position the two wings on top. Alternatively, cover the tops of the cooled buns with icing and decorative sprinkles, then allow to set.

Decorate with fresh berries, chopped nuts, seeds, crystallised flowers or freeze dried fruit.