This is a trip down nostalgia lane. I made these fairy cakes as my first cooking experience as a child. They were the first recipe I attempted at school, and they were also the first cakes I made with my children when they were little.
They have been around as a recipe for as long as I can remember, which is nearly 50 years! Gulp!!! And, my grandmother even made them, so they are a really old English recipe. For some reason, they seem to appear quite often in children’s cookery books, and I think it’s because they are simple to make, very cute to look at, and filled with buttercream, which is velvety and sweet and is suitable for children and adults alike.
Ingredients for the cakes/makes 12:
7 oz self raising flour, 5 oz sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 2 eggs, 100ml vegetable oil, 100ml milk and a quarter teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Ingredients for the buttercream:
2 tablespoons soft butter, 5 oz Icing sugar, teaspoon milk.
Preheat the oven to 180c. Place 12 medium paper cases on a tray. I use silicone ones. In a bowl mix together all of the cake ingredients and beat until smooth and fold a few times to create some air. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cases about half way. Put them into the oven, the lower shelf is best, for about 12 minutes; this should be enough, if they are not quite cooked, give them another 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together the buttercream ingredients until it reaches a dropping consistency and pop this into the fridge for about 15 minutes whilst your cakes are baking.
Take the cakes out of the oven and cool them completely on a wire rack.
You are now going to make your little butterflies. With a knife, cut a circular section away from the top of the cake, and cut this in half. Add a dollop of buttercream, and place your two segments back onto the cake, so that they resemble a butterflies wings. They don’t actually really look like a butterfly, but children will think they do, which is the whole point. Here is a picture so you get the idea.
Decorate them all and serve with a hot cup of tea. They are really scrummy! Actually, after looking at them on the photograph, I think a dusting of icing sugar over the top would make them look even better.