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.

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