Classic Fairy Cakes Recipe

Today is my Dad’s birthday and it is a tradition in his office that the birthday boy (or girl) brings in cake for everyone to share so I offered to have a big baking session yesterday in order to make him some cakes! I decided to keep things simple by whipping up this classic recipe for Fairy Cakes.


When it comes to making fairy cakes I use the tried and tested Mrs Beeton’s Small Rich Cakes (Fairy Cakes) recipe below. I’ve been using this recipe for over a decade and haven’t had any complaints yet so it remains my go-to when I need to whip up a batch of Fairy Cakes.

Luckily for me they did go down really well so it looks like this may become a regular thing. Jon has also asked if I’ll start baking for his office and I’ll no doubt start baking for mine too…perhaps I’m, in the wrong business after all.

Fairy Cakes!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 12 cupcakes


  • For the cupcakes
  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 100g Butter or margarine
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of Salt
  • For the buttercream
  • 600g Icing Sugar
  • 300g Butter
  • Seeds from a vanilla pod
  • Splash of milk


  1. First pop the oven on to gas mark 4 (160 C) and weigh out all of your ingredients.
  2. After weighing out your ingredients cream the sugar and the butter together in a big bowl. I do this using an electric hand whisk!
  3. Make sure you cream the butter and the sugar for a long time! This is essential for light and fluffy cakes. You will know when the butter and sugar is creamed enough as the colour will go from a bright yellow to a much paler, creamier yellow. The mixture will also be extremely soft to the touch!
  4. Once the butter and sugar has been creamed beat your two eggs.
  5. Slowly add a little bit of the beaten egg mixture to your butter and sugar, whisking thoroughly in between each addition! Again make sure it is thoroughly whisked before adding more.
  6. Once all of the egg is mixed in, sift the flour and the pinch of salt into the bowl. (That's right all at once!)
  7. Lightly fold the flour into the mixture until it is all combined!
  8. They are now ready for the oven!!! They will take roughly 20-25mins.
  9. Once they have gone a nice golden colour, poke a knife or metal skewer into one of the cakes. If it comes back clean they are ready!
  10. to make the icing
  11. Beat the butter until it begins to soften, slowly adding the vanilla ad icing sugar.
  13. Using a hand whisk, mix together until smooth, adding a splash of milk if necessary.
  14. The consistency should be soft but firm enough to hold its shape when piped.
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What’s nice about using such a simple and classic Fairy Cakes recipe is that you can decorate them in lots of different ways. I went for bright and colourful butter cream icing topped with a variety of different sweets. That way they were sure to be real crowd pleasers! 


As well as the obvious websites like Pinterest and good old Google, “Cupcakes” by Hamlyn has some brilliant ideas for icing your cakes. I decided to go for a bright and colourful butter cream finish with jellybeans, jellytots and mini smarties on top!

Food colours are a great way of making them even more fun! As are sweeties, and personalising the cakes.

I have been using this recipe from memory since I was about 8 and it has NEVER failed! Good old Mrs Beetons!

Fairy Cakes – Some inspiration

But if you’re after something a little less classic why not try one of these cupcake recipes:

Happy baking!



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