Fiona Cairns’ rose fairy cakes recipe

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makes: 24
Skill: medium
Prep: 20 min
Cooking: 15 min
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  • Make these pretty pink fairy cakes and decorate them with pretty homemade rosebuds for a birthday party or even a wedding.


    • For a Victoria sponge batter:
    • 175g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tin
    • 175g self-raising flour
    • 1tsp baking powder
    • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 175g golden caster sugar
    • 1tsp vanilla extract
    • For the buttercream:
    • 200g butter, softened
    • 1tsp rosewater (optional)
    • 1tsp vanilla extract
    • 250g icing sugar, plus more to dust
    • For the rosebuds:
    • 1 pot pink food colour paste
    • 150g white sugarpaste
    • 60g bag green royal icing
    • 1 pot clear glitter (optional)


    • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/fan 170ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. Place the cases into 2 fairy cake tins, tip all of the Victoria sponge batter ingredients into a bowl, beat until smooth and divide the batter evenly between them.

    • Bake for about 15 mins or until well risen and the cakes spring back to the touch. Leave to cool in the tins for 1 – 2 mins, then remove to cool on a wire rack.

    • Make the buttercream. Cream the butter until pale and fluffy, add the rosewater, if liked, and the vanilla, then beat in the icing sugar for about 5 mins until really light, adding enough food colour paste to achieve the shade of pink you want. Divide between all the cakes, spreading with a palette knife.

    • To make the rosebuds: Divide the sugarpaste into 3 and colour each a different shade of pink. Seal in separate polythene bags. On a board lightly dusted with icing sugar, and with a dusted rolling pin, roll out a little of the sugarpaste to about 1 – 2mm thick. Cut 3 or 4 strips about 10 x 1½ cm and roll them up to
      form rosebuds. Cut away any surplus at the base. Repeat until you have made 24 buds, 8 in each tone of pink. Place 1 on each cake.

    • Snip the green royal icing bag in a V-shape (the ‘V’ should point towards the bag) and use it to pipe a leaf or 2 on each cake, or leave some without if you prefer. Scatter glitter over the cakes, if you wish.

    Top tip for making Fiona Cairns’ rose fairy cakes

    The rosebuds can be made a month or 2 in advance; store in a cardboard box at room temperature.

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