Iced fairy cakes

Iced fairy cakes


5 people made this

About this recipe: Fairy cakes are easy to prepare and always popular with children. Using ricotta in the topping makes a lighter, fresher alternative to the more usual glacé icing. The cakes are best iced shortly before serving.

Norma MacMillan

Serves: 18 

  • 125g (4 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125g (4 1/2 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g (3 1/2 oz) self-raising white flour
  • 30g (1 oz) self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • 30g (1 oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, thinly sliced, to decorate
  • Orange ricotta icing
  • 250g (9 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 55g (2 oz) icing sugar
  • finely grated zest of 1/2 orange

Prep:20min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:40min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line a 12-cup and a 6-cup patty tin or shallow bun tin with paper cake cases.
  2. Put the butter, sugar and eggs in a large bowl. Sift the white and wholemeal flours and the baking powder into the bowl, tipping in any bran left in the sieve. Add the orange zest and beat with a hand-held electric mixer for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
  3. Divide the mixture among the paper cake cases. Bake for about 20 minutes or until just firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. (The un-iced cakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.)
  4. To make the icing, put the ricotta in a bowl and sift in the icing sugar. Add the orange zest and beat with a wooden spoon until well mixed.
  5. Spread a little icing over the top of each cake and decorate with a couple of dried apricot slices. Serve as soon as possible after icing.

How to ice cupcakes

Watch our How to ice cupcakes video to see how to dress them up or down for any occasion!

Each cake provides

A, B12

Some more ideas

Add 75 g (2½ oz) chopped ready-to-eat dried apricots to the mixture at the end of step 2. * For chocolate-iced fairy cakes, melt 75 g (2½ oz) good-quality milk chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost simmering water, then spread it over the cooled cakes instead of the ricotta icing. * To make queen cakes, substitute the finely grated zest of 1 lemon for the orange zest and stir in 75 g (2½ oz) raisins at the end of step 2. Omit the icing and instead lightly dust the cakes with sifted icing sugar once they have cooled.

Plus points

Using a mixture of wholemeal flour and white flour increases the fibre content of the cakes without making them too heavy. * Dried apricots are one of the richest fruit sources of iron, and they provide soluble fibre. * The ricotta icing uses much less sugar than traditional glacé icing.

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