Use fresh or dried lavender flowers to make these fragrant fairy cakes from Woman’s Weekly for your afternoon cuppa.
- For the cakes:
- 125g (4oz) caster sugar
- 125g (4oz) self-raising flour
- 2tbsp lavender flowers, fresh or dried
- 125g (4oz) butter, softened
- 2 medium eggs
- 2tbsp milk
- For the topping:
- 350g (12oz) fondant icing sugar
- Purple, violet or lilac liquid or paste food colouring
- 12 sprigs of lavender
- 12-hole bun tray, lined with paper bun cases
Set the oven to gas mark 5 or 190°C. Tip the sugar and flour into the bowl of a food processor, add the lavender flowers and whizz to grind the flowers a little. Sift the mixture into a mixing bowl, then discard the pieces of flower left in the sieve.
Add the butter, eggs and milk to the bowl and beat the mixture until smooth then spoon it into the paper cases in the bun tray. Bake the cakes in the centre of the oven for 15-18 mins, or until they have risen and are just firm to the touch. Remove the cakes from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
To make the topping, sift the fondant icing sugar into a bowl and then beat in 4-6tbsp cold water to give a thick, glossy icing. Add some food colouring to the icing to give it a lilac colour, mixing well so that it’s not streaky. Use a small palette knife to spread some icing over the top of each cake and, before the icing sets, place a sprig of lavender on top of each cake. Leave the icing to set before serving.
Fondant icing sugar has glucose in it to give it a glossy finish. If you can't get hold of this type of sugar, you can use icing sugar, but it won't dry quite as shiny.