Vanilla fairy cakes

It’s time for fairy cakes :-)


This is a recipe that brings back very happy memories of baking with my mum & sister and also my food technology course at school.  It’s one of the first recipes I ever made and I’m sure fairy cakes were around long before their bigger cupcake cousins were on the scene :-)

Fairy cakes are essential cupcakes in small form.  The recipe I’m showing you today is incredibly light, thanks to the combination of self-raising flour and baking powder.  If you don’t have self-raising flour available, you can safely use extra baking powder instead.


The addition of vanilla extract in the cake batter gives these little cakes a wonderful sweetness and warmth.  You’ll also notice I’ve used margarine rather than butter in this recipe.  I find you don’t really miss the butter flavour in these cakes and it also means you can use the ‘all in one’ method, rather than creaming the butter and sugar first.  They are topped with a simple water icing, made with water and icing (powdered) sugar).  You can top these with whatever you like…sweets, chocolate or in my case, hundreds and thousands!  I made the rather silly mistake of sprinkling the fairy cakes with said decoration on the worktop.  This resulted in a hundreds and thousands explosion and resulted in the ‘hoovering through a straw’ method of cleaning :-)

These cakes are perfect for a party (children love them) or when you perhaps want the taste of a cupcake without the calories!


Vanilla Fairy Cakes
Yields 12
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  1. 4oz self-raising flour
  2. 4oz caster (superfine) sugar)
  3. 4oz margarine
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  7. Icing sugar
  8. Sprinkle decorations
  1. Preheat oven to Gas 5/200C. Line a shallow bun tin with 12 small paper cases.
  2. Using an electric hand beater, beat together all ingredients (apart from icing sugar and sprinkles) quickly, until just combined.
  3. Fill cases 2/3 full and bake for around 15 minutes, until risen and golden brown.
  4. Whilst cooling, mix together a small amount of icing sugar and water, until it reaches a thick consistency.
  5. Smooth icing over the cakes and sprinkle on decoration of your choice!
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Baking Joy

What are your favourite sprinkle decorations?

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  1. The shiny little balls sprinkles are my favourite… not sure what the technical term for those is?! :)

  2. They look so cute!

  3. They look adorable Joy! And I love the title of them. Fairy cakes! All of that rippy icing has me wanting some sugar!

  4. These are so cute!


  1. […] with vanilla fairy cakes, this is one of the first recipes I ever made.  I have my Granny, Mum and Mary Berry to thank for […]

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