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fairy cakes

Fairy Cakes, Buttercream and Glacé Icing

Making fairy cakes with children is so simple and so much fun. Here’s my recipe for simple vanilla cupcakes and two different types of icing.
Servings: 12 cupcakes


For the vanilla cupcakes

    • 175 g unsalted butter - at room temperature
    • 175 g self-raising flour
    • 175 g caster sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 12 cupcake cases

    For the buttercream (makes enough for all 12 cupcakes)

      • 100 g unsalted butter - at room temperature
      • 200 g icing sugar
      • 1 tbsp ish milk
      • A few drops of vanilla extract

      For the glacé icing (makes enough for all 12 cupcakes)

        • 125 g icing sugar
        • 1 tbsp warm water
        • A few drops of vanilla extract


        To make the cupcakes

          • Preheat the the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan.
          • Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
          • Put all of the ingredients into a bowl (175g room temperature butter, 175g self-raising flour, 175g caster sugar, 3 eggs, ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp vanilla extract) and beat until fully combined and smooth.
          • Evenly divide the mixture between the cupcake cases.
          • Bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, insert a skewer and if it comes out clean then they're done. If not then pop them back in for a couple more minutes.
          • Cool on a wire rack.

          To make the buttercream

            • Beat the butter (100g) until it is light and fluffy (preferably use an electric mixer but this can be done by hand).
            • Sift in the icing sugar (200g) and beat until combined.
            • Add a few drops of vanilla extract and beat to combine.
            • The icing needs to be soft but not sloppy. If it is a little hard then gradually mix in milk (up to 1 tbsp) until you have the required consistency.

            To make the glacé icing

              • Sift the icing sugar (125g) into a bowl.
              • Gradually add the warm water (1 tbsp) and mix until combined.
              • The icing should be just runny enough to spread onto the cakes. If it is a too stiff then add a little more water, if it is too runny then add a little more icing sugar.
              • Add a couple of drops of vanilla extract and stir again to combine.


              For the two types of icing I have given the measurements needed to cover all 12 cupcakes. If you want to make a selection of different types of icing then simply reduce the quantities for each type.
              Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a comment and rating at the bottom of the page to let others know what you thought.

              Any nutritional information provided is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you would like to learn more about how this is calculated.