Fairy Cakes In a Flash
Fairy cakes (also called cupcakes) are a tasty and simple tea-time treat that only take 15 - 20 minutes of actual work, and only a few ingredients. Due to their simplicity, fairy cakes are also a fantastic recipe for teaching to your kids and a great start to learning to bake cakes and muffins - especially as the recipe is very easy to remember.
- 4 oz / 115g Self Raising Flour
- 4 oz / 115g Sugar
- 4 oz / 115g Butter
- 2 Eggs
- 1 tsp / 5ml vanilla essence
(1) Mix the self raising flour and sugar together in a large bowl; this prevents the flour from sticking to the sides later on.
(2) Add in the butter before breaking in the eggs. Finally add the vanilla essence.
(3) Beat together all the ingredients - either by hand or using an electric pair of beaters - until the mixture is smooth right the way through (as in the photo on the right).
(4) At this point, if so desired, you can add roughly 75g of chocolate chips to the mixture and stir them in with a large spoon. Other ingredients could be added such as nuts and raisins.
(5) Place 10 - 12 baking cups in a large muffin tray and, using a tablespoon and a teaspoon, spoon in the mixture in equal portions. You should be able to fill 10 - 12 cases; during this time preheat your oven to gas mark 4 / 180°C / 350°F.
(6) Put the tray on the top shelf of your oven and cook for 20 minutes until a golden-brown colour. A good test is to push a sharp knife into the top - if it comes out clean they're cooked, if there's some mixture on the knife they need a few more minutes.
(7) Once cooked, remove the tray from the oven and lift out the fairy cakes - placing them on a cooling rack until they're cool to the touch; and ready to eat!
Icing / Frosting
Once out of the oven and cooled your fairy cakes will be ready to eat, however, it's often a good idea to put something on top! Toppings can come in all shapes and forms - from a sprinkling of icing sugar to jam. The simplest form of icing you could make is just some icing sugar with a liquid added in (milk, water, lemon juice, cream etc.) - the quantities are up to you really but you should be aiming for a fairly stiff and spreadable constitution (you often need a lot less liquid than you'd think and sieving the icing sugar will remove lumps - although not entirely necessary). For children this is the part where it can get fun and more imaginative; try adding food dyes and making several batches of different coloured icing so they can 'paint' the cakes, you can also add on all sorts of sprinkles!
Fairy cakes are fantastic little things to make when short of time. The recipe is simple to memorize - 4oz flour, sugar, butter, 2 eggs, vanilla, gas mark 4, 20 minutes - and the measurements need not be too precise. If you wish to make larger quantities, for every 2oz flour, sugar and butter, add another egg; you can make a very nice Victoria Sponge Cake by using 6 oz of each ingredient, 3 eggs and then splitting the mixture between two 8" cake tins and cooking in the same way before adding jam in the middle of the two halves and icing the top!
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