A nostalgic bake – Fairy Cakes
This morning on Twitter I asked the question ‘As a child, what was your favourite thing to cook? Amongst many interesting answers including flapjacks, Viennese Whirls and Victoria sandwich was the humble Fairy Cake. I think if I was to ask my current pupils what their favourite thing to cook was, they would probably come up with a similar set of answers. What was your favourite thing to cook as a child?
There is a secret ingredient, well not so secret as I’m about to tell you, that goes into these cakes is custard powder. The custard powder does 2 things. It makes the cakes fluffier as well as flavouring the sponge. It also gives it a very subtle custard taste. I don’t really use custard powder for making custard, I prefer proper custard or a tin of ambrosia and use it in baking more. If you don’t have any custard powder you can use cornflour to help keep the cakes fluffy. Of course cornflour alone won’t flavour the cakes so add some vanilla extract.
The great thing about the icing used in this recipe is that it is easy to colour & flavour, acts more like self-levelling concrete and hides all the cake imperfections and also can hide a cake if it hasn’t risen as much as you hope.
makes around 20
140g unsalted butter, softened
140g caster sugar
100g self-raising flour
25g custard powder
200g icing sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp boiling water
food dye (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 190oc. Arrange cake cases in fairy cake tin. Beat together butter and sugar then one by one beat in the eggs.
2) Stir in flour and custard powder until ingredients are well combined. Half fill each fairy case with the batter. Don’t over fill or you won’t have room for the icing to puddle.
3) Bake for 15 min until risen and golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
4) Beat together icing sugar, lemon juice and boiling water until you have a smooth icing. Colour with dyes if wanted. Using a teaspoon slowly pour the icing on top of the cakes. You can guide the icing somewhat as to where you want it to go. Once you have finished icing, cover with sprinkles and leave for the icing to set.