Vanilla Fairy Cakes

This is definitely one to do with the kids. Zoe absolutely loves helping to make these and having total control over the decoration! The recipe for the vanilla sponge is from Rachel Allen’s Food for living with a simple white icing topping.

image of Zoe and her Fairy Cakes

Zoe, so proud of her work she photo bombed this pic lol


  • 75ml milk
  • 25g butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 125 g caster sugar

For the Icing

  • 200g Icing sugar (sifted)
  • Boiled water

To Bake:

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place cupcake cases in a bun tray. The mixture is intended to make 12 cup cakes but I make 24 smaller fairy cakes so there are more to decorate! So if you are planning to the same as me, you will need 2 bun trays.

Heat the milk in a saucepan until it almost comes to the boil, take it off the heat, add the butter and stir until it has melted in the milk. Set aside.

Sift the flour and the baking powder, add the salt. In a separate large bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla bean paste with an electric hand mixer until it is light and fluffy, about 10mins. (It’s at this point that Zoe usually does some colouring while I mix) Gradually beat in the sugar until thick and moose like. Turn the speed down and blend in the flour then the milk. Stop beating as soon as it’s all mixed in.

Spoon into each paper case and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before moving to the wire rack and icing.  Now spooning the mixture in with two spoons is fine but I got a batter pourer and haven’t looked back, makes buns very easy to pour indeed!


Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, gradually add 4 table spoonfuls and beat with a spoon until the required texture. You may need to add more water a little at a time to get the right consistency. When ready pour on the cupcakes to cover .

Now for the fun bit:

Decorations! There are too many things to list on here to decorate but some of Zoe’s favourites are mini smarties, pink sparkles, edible flowers, multicoloured sprinkles. Let the little artists do there thing and see the pride in their little faces when they’re finished!

Decorated fairy cakes

Decorated fairy cakes