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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.72 / 5 (523 votes)

Prep time:
15 min
Cook time:
20 min

These simple yet pretty cupcakes from Pascale Cumberbatch leave the decoration open to your imagination


1. Turn on the oven and heat to 180 degrees. Choose 12 pretty fairy cake (or small cupcake) liners and place them in a fairy cake/muffin tin.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and mix in the vanilla essence.

3. Stir in the flour swiftly and with a light touch. Don't overmix. Add a couple of spoons of milk to keep the mix from being too thick and dense. It should just about drop off a spoon.

4. Working quickly, fill the cake liners. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cakes are nicely risen and golden.

5. Remove the cakes and let them cool on a rack.

6. To prepare the icing, mix the water into the icing sugar and give it a good stir until it is smooth and glossy. If you wish, you can add a few drops of food colour to tint the icing.

Recipe from Pascale Cumberbatch of Extra Relish


  • 150 g butter, softened
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2-3 tbsp milk

For the fondant icing

  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp water

Tips and suggestions

For the icing, you can replace one or two spoons of water with lemon juice if you want lemony icing.

Decorating is especially fun and satisfying. Flowers, glitter, icing sugar, sprinkles, berries...

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Latest Comment


Loved these cakes but I would change the quantity of icing only 200g of icing and 2tbls of water is more than enough.

jayneM33512 jayneM33512  Posted 01 Mar 2014 4:50 PM


RichardF18874 RichardF18874  Posted 30 Nov 2013 9:56 PM

Made these today they are lovely

DonnaL41671 DonnaL41671  Posted 23 Mar 2012 2:50 PM

Not at all Laura. Maybe try a little lemon or orange essence instead?

Charlotte - Good Food Charlotte - Good Food Posted 08 Nov 2011 3:12 PM

Do you have to use vanilla essence ? Smile

LauraM98681 LauraM98681 Posted 03 Nov 2011 8:02 PM

i can't get the icing right is too hard And STICKY.

AbbygailShun AbbygailShun Posted 10 Oct 2011 11:38 AM

Lovely, i am gonna try making it now, just going to print out recipe

AbbygailShun AbbygailShun Posted 09 Oct 2011 8:35 AM

Very nice but any suggestions how to make those flowers?

AbbygailShun AbbygailShun Posted 09 Oct 2011 4:56 AM

Does anyone know if I can substitute say vegetable oil for the butter? Just don't like butter at all and can taste it no matter what. thought be worth asking as otherwise these look lovely

ktkins ktkins Posted 09 Dec 2010 6:34 PM

These fairy cakes are easy to make, I sometimes add chocolate chips to the batter the kids love them

Kerry-Cashman Kerry-Cashman Posted 25 Nov 2010 12:35 PM

if you're looking for easy, simple & elegant chose this recipe!

lauranneL76561 lauranneL76561 Posted 27 Sep 2010 8:51 PM

I love these fairy cakes. You can make them as simple or fancy as you like and add your own personal touch. Great for parties of all kinds.

MargaretH54472 MargaretH54472 Posted 27 Sep 2010 10:54 AM

I was looking for a really simple and easy basic cupcake recipe and this really fit the bill.

NatalieH86942 NatalieH86942 Posted 25 Sep 2010 10:17 AM