Have you ever heard of fairy cakes? If you haven’t, know that these might look like small versions of a cupcake, but they are more different than you think. Fairy cakes are light and airy — wonderful one-biters, indeed. And they’re often garnished with sugar glazing that is also very different from the buttercream icing used in modern cupcakes.
So, what are fairy cakes? Let’s just say they’re cupcakes done right, although not everyone will agree, of course. Either way, fairy cakes are easy to love. Their puffy texture and petite size, together with the nicest glaze, make them truly magical.
I always make fairy cakes for birthday parties, both for kids and grown-ups, and often make a special batch to the guest of honor and gift it together with one of my favorite chocolate birthday gifts. Let me show you how I make creamy caramel fairy cakes. If you like chocolate, you’ll love these.
How to Make Fairy Cakes?
To make fairy cakes, you need a fairly simple batter. It all starts with sugar, butter, eggs, and self-rising flour. I also add vanilla extract and cocoa powder to these, especially to make them more compatible with the chocolate icing.
The icing is the real star of the show here. I make mine with creamy caramel and sea salt chocolate. The contrast is wonderful! Then you just combine the chocolate with unsalted butter and icing sugar for the loveliest glaze. Forget about those huge dabs of cupcake frosting. This one is subtle, and that’s what makes it great.
What’s the difference between cupcakes and fairy cakes?
For starters, the size. Cupcakes are often twice as large as fairy cakes. So, fairy cakes are gone in two delicious bites. Cupcakes vary a lot, but they’re often heavy and buttery — fairy cakes are more like sponge cakes, so they’re lighter.
As for the topping, you surely know the most popular cupcake frosting is made with buttercream or cream cheese; these are heavy and sometimes too much. When you make fairy cakes, you want a sugary glaze rather than a creamy topping.
Having said that, I have nothing against cupcakes; in fact, I’m a fan, but there’s a special place for fairy cakes in my heart! I hope you find in these small bakes the same passion I found. And as soon as you see your guests, friends or family react to these, you’ll know why they’re so special.
When to Make Chocolate And Creamy Caramel Fairy Cakes?
These tiny cakes are super versatile, but for me, they’re perfect for birthday parties. You can make a ton of them to cater to large crowds, and you better make an extra batch because everyone will want to repeat.
These are nice housewarming gifts and a nice treat to take with you when invited to a dinner party. Oh, and you’ll be happy to know fairy cakes are fantastic with tea — they’re so lovely they blend in perfectly, even with the fanciest high tea party. Now, let’s make ourselves a batch of fairy cakes!
Chocolate And Creamy Caramel Fairy Cakes Recipe
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g unsalted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 80g self-rising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
For the icing:
- 70g Lily O’Brien’s Creamy Caramel and Sea Salt Chocolate (you will need 2 share bags in total so you can use the remaining chocolates to decorate your cakes)
- 100g grams unsalted butter
- 200g icing sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 12 hole tin with 12 paper cases.
- Place the sugar and butter into a medium-sized bowl and mix until light and fluffy.
- Combine the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder in another bowl and mix to combine.
- Add the vanilla extract to the butter mixture, then beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour mixture with each. Gently fold in the remaining flour mixture.
- Divide between the paper cases with a teaspoon and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the icing. Melt the chocolate in a bowl in the microwave in 30-second bursts, until just melted, then stir and set to one side.
- Beat the butter in a bowl until soft, then gradually mix in the icing sugar. Add the vanilla extract and mix again until smooth.
- Fold in the melted chocolate until combined.
- Use a piping bag to pipe your icing on top of your cooled cakes (or simply spoon and smooth the icing on top), then decorate with a Lily O’Brien’s chocolate disc.