Lemon fairy cakes

(151 ratings)
Lemon and vanilla cupcakes
Lemon and vanilla cupcakes
  • Makes: 12

  • Prep time:

    (includes making the icing)
  • Cooking time:

    plus cooling
  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

If you're looking for a really easy fairy cake recipe, these light, cute lemon and vanilla fairy cakes are perfect. They're great for parties or as gifts. This recipe makes 12 classic lemon fairy cakes and will take around 45 mins to make, bake and decorate. These lemon fairy cakes are perfect as an afternoon treat with a cuppa. Share with friends or make as a food gift for loved ones. Pop into a pretty cupcake gift box and tie with a ribbon. The kids can help decorate these fairy cakes too.


For the fairy cakes:

  • 100g butter
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, mixed with 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 1-2tbsp milk
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the topping:

  • 100g butter
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • Lemon curd

Top tip: Don't overwhisk the ingredients once the eggs have been beaten in: too much air will cause tunnels in the cakes.


  1. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper bun cases.
  2. Cream the butter and the sugar in a food mixer until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs and the flour. Add the milk so the mixture easily drops off a spoon. Add the lemon zest and stir through the mix.
  3. Put 1tbsp of mixture into each fairy cake case and bake near the top of a preheated oven at 190C (375F, gas mark 5) for 12-15 mins, until springy to the touch, golden and risen. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  4. For the topping, beat the butter with 50g (2oz) icing sugar, then add the rest of the icing sugar and the vanilla extract (add a few drops of natural food colouring for coloured icing). Scoop the very top off each cake and cut in half to make 'wings'. Mix some lemon curd into the butter cream, then fill each cavity and place the 'wings' on top.
  5. Or spread over coloured butter cream and add decorative flowers (we got ours from Squires Kitchen; call 01252 711749 or visit
Alternatively try this video recipe for basic cupcakes from Woman's Weekly magazine

Nutritional information per portion

  • Low
  • Med
  • High
  • Calories 300(kcal)
  • Fat 16.0g
  • Saturates 9.0g
  • Sugars 30.0g
  • Salt 0.4g

This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.

Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.

Your rating

Average rating

  • 4
(151 ratings)

Your comments


i made they it is delicious but i do think that it should b 2 tsp wen puttin it in the cases. In doing 1 tsp i made 18


I agree with a previous comment, there is not enough mixture to make 12. I use an ice cream scoop (so they are all the same size) and I got 10 cupcakes so I double up the recipe as they are very light when I make them. I have made hundreds of cupcakes and my best advice is to NEVER open the oven for the first 15 mins. This recipe took 18 mins in my fan assisted oven on 160.


wow interesting comment, would like to try some, and hope done well too.. easy recipe too thanks alot


when it comes to makeing cakes you can see the horror on my childrens faces,but with this recipe i found i couldnt go wrong.thankyou so much.we had loads of fun aand they tasted fantastic x

Kaz x

I tried 2 Make them but it didnt work so I put baking powder as my cup cakes didnt grow in the first time, it did actually work! And this is a really gd website.

cup cake stand

This site is great and really enjoying it! full of useful ideas for that quick recipe for when the kids ask. I'm always here having a peek! Thanks so much.


I found I didn't have enough mixture for 12 cupcakes. Only 11 and even then they turned out rather small. The mixture was gorgeous though - they were lovely and rich and very moist. I think I'll double up next time, so I can get bigger ones or just more smaller ones.


Please can anyone tell me how far in advance can these be made? Thanks!

goodtoknow Recipes ed

Hi Cemone, thanks for your comment and glad you're enjoying the site! This recipe doesn't need any baking powder and your self-raising flour is doing all the hard work. Sieve the flour into the mixture high above the bowl to get some extra air in there. Good luck!

Cemone Farquharson

do you need baking powder for this recipe as it doesnt say so am thinking that its a no as all the other recipes have been right.. love this site

jazz smith

Thankyouu very much this satisfied my parents taste buds! Great recipe


The recipe is spot on. I added red food colouring and strawberry flavouring, absolutely lovely! If you like making cakes when making fairy cakes why not grate some orange peel into the cake mix before baking? Lovely!


I am a very keen baker and try tons of different cake, biscuit, desert etc recipes and I have to say.. these are THE best fairy cakes I've ever made. Made them about 4 times now, and my whole family agree.. they never fail!


It says two eggs so it must be two...i think...


It says two eggs so it must be two...i think...


How many eggs?!


i think this was veryy hard to understand

matty c

as a chef i rarely have time 4 making cakes and i had no idea how to make a fairy cake when my daughter asked for some. thank u so much.

katie cosens

was really happy to discover this easy recipe, some people like o complicate things and add ingredients tnat aren't necessary so when i saw this i wa ecstatic, knowing that even an amatuer like me in the kitchen would be able to cook these. thanks katie.

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