Alice’s Fairy Cakes

The grand and I have worked on an ancestry project.  With a simple British recipe for vanilla cupcakes, some imagination, and the occasional tweak or two ( a wee bit less sugar, a few more sprinkles of edible glitter) I came up with this recipe to complete the study  ~

Alice’s Fairy Cakes

From the Recipe Collection of Alice, my grandmother~

Tea and Fairycakes 1

Alice’s Fairy Cakes

 Makes about 12 fairy cakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners


muffin cups

12 paper liners


large bowl

mixer or hand mix

*1 cup of butter at room temperature


 ½ cup unsalted butter ~ room temperature

2/3 cup granulated white sugar

3 large eggs

1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract

zest of 1 large lemon (outer yellow skin)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

11/2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ cup milk


Confectioner’s Buttercream Frosting:

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

(icing or powdered sugar) sifted

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk or light cream

~ I am certain the baker’s and chef’s among us will be able to improve on this simple recipe.

 How To Make:

 Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl whisk together the lemon zest, flour, baking powder, and salt.

If using a mixer on low-speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 17-20 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted into a fairy cake comes out clean. * Always check a few minutes before the stated baking time!  Do not over bake or the fairy cakes will be dry.  Remove from the oven and place onto a wire rack to cool.  Once the fairy cakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.

 ~The fairy cakes are best eaten the same day, however, you can cover and store them for a few days.

 Confectioner’s Buttercream Frosting:

In an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer*, beat the butter until smooth and well blended.  Add the vanilla extract.  With the mixer on low-speed, gradually beat in the sugar.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the milk and beat on high-speed until frosting is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes).   Add a little more milk or sugar if needed. 


  • Alice would not have had a hand mixer; she would have beaten the ingredients by hand.

 Serve on a china plate for a High Tea with friends and wee ones!