Fiona Cairns’ rose fairy cakes Recipe

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20 min


15 min

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.

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Top Tip

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