Raspberry Filled Yellow Fairy Cakes with Lemon Buttercream

best.jpgSo, what are Fairy Cakes anyway?

Fairy cakes are not, as their name might imply, themed cakes designed and decorated to the liking of mystical, fantasy enthusiasts. They are, simply stated, smaller versions of cupcakes. They’re widely popular in the UK, and tend not to pile on the icing in the same way that American bakers do with cupcakes. On the other hand, fairy cakes use a lighter glace icing. They also are traditionally made with a lighter sponge cake as opposed to the thicker butter cakes used in cupcakes.

Alternatively, a fairy cake is a type of cupcake with its top cut off and replaced in two pieces, like wings. These are also called butterfly cupcakes.

The history of the fairy cake is similar to the history of the cupcake, which first shows up in literature at the end of the 1700s, in “American Cookery,” described as “a cake to be baked in small cups.” Muffin tins weren’t always an available product, so bakers instead baked cupcakes in ramekins or individual pottery cups.

Best CloseBefore the cupcake revolution at the beginning of the century the Americans and the British both waxed poetic about their nostalgic longing for the desserts, which were both staples at children’s birthday parties. Cupcakes have since become a food for adults as well, especially in America.

Of course, the petite fairy cakes are named as such because of their size — small enough to be served to the tiny mythical creatures. The word “fairy” (or “fairie”) appeared around 1300, referring to “enchantment” and “magic.” We certainly agree that fairy cakes and cupcakes are both enchanting and magical.

My simple fairy cakes are denser than the traditionally fashioned, impish cakes. They are moist, bursting with flavorful raspberry filling and a generous kiss of buttery lemon cream frosting.

Best with Lid.jpgBatter:


  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt, or sour cream
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Lemon Butter Cream Frosting:

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon lemon oil
  • Colored sprinkles


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line mini muffin/cupcake tins with paper or foil liners.


  • Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
  • Add butter, yogurt or sour cream, eggs, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain.
  • Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin.
  • Bake until cupcake tops are lightly golden and toothpick into center comes out clean, 12 to 16 minutes.
  • Remove cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting.


  • Seedless Raspberry Preserves

Filling Directions:

  • Fill a frosting bag (ziplocs work well too) with 1 cup of seedless preserves.
  • Fit with a large round piping tip.
  • Plunge tip into middle of each cake, about 1″ into the center.
  • Squeeze preserves into cake until cake is filled and preserves start to extend over the top. *It’s okay to have a little extra on top of the cake–the frosting will cover the extra and you will have more intense raspberry flavor with each bite.


  • Using the wire whisk attachment of your mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
  • Reduce speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Spread or pipe frosting onto fairy cakes evenly.

Makes 24 mini sized cakes

Story adapted from Huffpost Taste


23 Comments Add yours

  1. Osyth says:

    Lana, this is a wonderful recipe …. of course I grew up with fairy cakes (in fact my mother was renowned for hers which helped me make friends and influence people at an early age as classmates were generally very eager to come to my house for tea!). As you rightly say, normally a fairy cake had a water icing and butterfly cakes had butter-icing to support the wings but these just look so pretty that I know my old friends would cross the water to join me for tea if I baked them!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I loved reading this, Osyth! To know these little cakes played such a role in your childhood makes me smile 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. cynthiamvoss says:

    Yum! They are so pretty, especially the inside!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cynthia! The inside is the best part 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. okiewinegirl2015 says:

    Fairy Cupcakes! You slay me!! Delicious diversion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sweetie! They’re the cupcake’s sweetest little sister 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nandini says:

    Oh My! buttercream heaven. I am sure you know that I have a sweet tooth 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do, Nandini! And you would love these! Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Frances 🌺 says:

    The presentation is super Lana at her best! I love the raspberry filling too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Frances! You’re the sweetest!! ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  6. OH now don’t these look delicious! What pretty little fairy cakes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kathryn! Aren’t they sweet?? lol! They’re super tasty too!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. laughliveat says:

    This looks divine! I love lemon flavored everything so I’ll definitely have to try and see if I can recreate this! Love the colours too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much!! Lemon is the flavor of love 🙂


  8. Omg! These look so good, I want one , or may be two perhaps ??? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ll have 2, Freda–they’re small 😉 Thanks, my friend! ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  9. What sweet little cakes and so tasty as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Lynn! The lemon oil really adds intense lemony flavor xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Such cute little cakes! I will have to make these for tea this week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! They would be perfect for tea week–all pretty on a serving tier! Great idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. These look so beautiful! How did you frost them?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks so much! Great question! I used a large star piping tip & swirled from the outside into the center. Here are the ones I use. Sorry for the long url, but I wanted to show you exactly! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FGVD8UW/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_3?pf_rd_p=1944687502&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B008VMATVO&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=06D92EYEP8FV3KVX0VWJ


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s