fairy cakes three ways

an array of cupcakes

An unusual post this one: it’s a birthday gift show-off in disguise and I didn’t cook the featured articles!

Recent birthday gifts were: individual silicone cupcake cases (re-usable and easy to remove from the cases you see), a wiry cupcake stand, and my first ever piping bag. As I was about to spring into baking action, my 4 month old daughter fell asleep on my shoulder, so Mrs. Roastpotato stepped in to bake. I can be a nightmare to cook in front of, with my pestering and pointy fingers. Luckily she manage very impressive cakes despite my interference. We felt like baking the same cupcake base, with three toppings: coffee, lemon and vanilla.

We were deciding on which cupcake recipe to go for and went for Delia’s Complete Cookery Course. Out fell a grubby, yellowed piece of paper which was once lined. On it was familiar: my Nan’s tiny, curly handwriting. It was her recipe for ‘Queen Cakes’, which are fairy cakes studded with sultanas. They made the most perfect, golden, light and moist little gems. Luckily the toppings did them justice: a zingy, crisp lemon icing, a dense, sweet coffee rush and oozy, rich vanilla buttercream.

Fairy cakes (measurements and method are presented old school, exactly as per my Nan’s instructions) – makes 23:

8oz butter

8oz sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp baking powder

A little milk

Cream fat and sugar add eggs beaten well. Fold in sieved dry ingred. little milk if ness to soft dropping consistency. Bake in mod oven 15 – 20 mins.

Coffee icing:

3 tablespoons espresso

2 tablespoons icing sugar

Lemon icing:

Juice of ½ lemon

2 tablespoons icing sugar

Vanilla buttercream:

100g icing sugar

50g butter

Dash of vanilla extract

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