A 'Fairy' Easy Fairy Cake Recipe
How to make the simplest Fairy Cakes!
I imagine things have changed since I was a little kid, but in my day, once the chocolate cornflake cakes and jam tarts had been mastered, Fairy Cakes were one of the next sweet delights a British child would learn to make in the kitchen. Fairy Cakes were also de riguer at every self-respecting single-digit birthday party in the country.
The Cottingley Fairies are no match for the Fairy Cake Fairies who magically appeared when my photographs were developed?
I have mentioned fairy cakes a couple of times on my blog before. The first time, I featured Fairy Cakes by my niece in Dublin, Mollie. The second time, more recently, I baked some for an English tea party. Neither time did I include a recipe, but since I get so many hits from people looking for information on how to make them, I thought it was time to share the instructions.
This recipe, no doubt a Marguerite Patten one originally, is so etched into my brain from my childhood, I don't even need to go and look in a book when I bake them. There is nothing elegant or sophisticated about these cakes, they are simply childish wonders which attract magical fairies.
Ingredients (makes 30 mini fairy cakes):
4 ounces butter
4 ounces Baker's or Caster Sugar
4 ounces sifted Self Raising Flour (or All-purpose flour + half tsp baking powder + pinch salt)
1 cup sifted Powdered or Icing sugar
Juice of a lemon (*and zest, optional)
Food colouring of your choice if desired
Silver Ball Cake Decorations (illegal to buy in California, so huge thanks to lovely Lynette for hooking me up with some)
-Put butter and eggs out of the fridge, to warm up to room temperature.
-Preheat oven to 375F
-Put out 30 mini paper cases on a baking tray.
-Either by hand or in a mixer bet the butter and sugar together until pale, fluffy and light. (*optional - add lemon zest at this stage if you desire)
-One at a time, beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then add to the sugar/butter mixture, beating hard, until all the ingredients are incorporated.
-Gently fold the flour into the butter mixture until everything is combined. Do not over mix or beat the flour.
-Using a teaspoon, drop small heaped teaspoon dollops of the batter into the paper cases.
-Transfer the tray to the preheated oven. Leave at least 17 minutes without opening the door. They should be golden brown on the surface once cooked. If still a bit pale after 17 minutes, turn the tray in the oven and bake for a further 3 minutes.
Transfer mini cakes to a cooling rack.
-Meanwhile add a few drops of colouring to the sifted powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add fresh lemon juice, a small squirt at a time, beating hard, until all the sugar is blended into a thick fondant. Go gingerly with the liquid, you want it to be very thick. Stop adding lemon juice as soon as it reaches the fondant stage.
-Carefully drop a dollop of the fondant onto the centre of each little cake. Leave it to spread over the surface. You can guide the icing with a knife dipped in hot water if you want more control over where it dribbles.
-Top with a candy or cake decoration of your choice.
-Look for the fairies!