Snow-capped fairy cakes

Snow-capped fairy cakes

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(38 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 20 mins

More effort

Makes 18
Mary Cadogan’s fairy cakes are a treat for the whole family and they really do taste as good as they look

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal210
  • fat9g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs31g
  • sugars22g
  • fibre0g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.31g
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  • 175g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • finely grated zest 1 orange



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

For the icing

  • 1 egg white
  • 4 tbsp orange juice
  • 175g icing sugar
  • fruit jellies and silver balls, to decorate


  1. Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Line 18 holes of a 2 x 12-hole bun tins with paper cake cases. Melt butter and cool for 5 mins, tip into a large bowl with all the cake ingredients, then beat together for 1-2 mins until smooth.

  2. Spoon the cake mixture into the cake cases, filling them three-quarters full (a heaped tablespoon is about right). Bake for 15-18 mins until lightly browned and firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.

  3. To make the icing, put the egg white and orange juice into a heatproof bowl, sift in the icing sugar, then set over a pan of simmering water. Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the icing for 7 mins until it is glossy and stands in soft peaks. Remove from the heat, then whisk for a further 2 mins until it is slightly cooled.

  4. Thinly slice the fruit jellies. Spoon the icing onto the cakes, swirling it with a knife, then decorate with slices of jelly fruits and a few silver balls. Leave to set. The cakes will keep for up to 3 days in the cake tin.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (48)

izmills's picture

These are really beautiful little cakes and so easy to make. The batter is quite runny but this makes for lovely moist cakes and the icing is amazing. After a while it forms a crisp shell o the outside which makes it even more delicious. Will definitely be making these again and again and again.................!

shivlingx's picture

The icing didn't taste right. So I made another batch and used butter icing instead and it tasted much better!!!!

The frenchie's picture

Great recipe ! Their now my Dad's favortie cakes !
The only thing is that the icing gets hard the day after, and it's not great ..
I don't know if it's normal, I guess ..

fayhenrick's picture

I didn't use the cake recipe, just the icing and it was lovely. It was fairly easy to make although I wouldn't recommend doing it by hand (a hand held mixer made light work of it.) I piped the topping which looked beautiful. For the reference of others, the icing doesn't set hard, but it is a little firmer than buttercream icing. For this reason the cakes didn't transport easily to school for the cake sale as the icing got a bit squashed.

jules_milroy's picture

These look very impressive and taste lovely. I made mini cakes and replaced the orange with lemon to make little lemon meringue cakes. They went down a storm with people.

becky123's picture

Overall, ok, but a bit disappointing. I was looking forward to the icing after reading the comments, but found it tasted no different from regular icing made with icing sugar and water; no marshmallow texture that I was expecting. Also found the orange flavour overpowering, will use lemon next time, and probably make the meringue topping from the little Louise cupcakes.

mairelowry's picture

Anyone know if this icing is ok for pregnant women?? Not sure if the egg would be cooked enough.

parkroyal11's picture

these are so nice easy to make and different i will make these again give them a try i used my own cake mix and used the toping recipe.

susiewong234's picture

A really easy and successful way to make fairy cakes. Not one left - a sign that they were a success. On to my third batch in 2 weeks! All for the children - of course!!!

veggiesara's picture

I made these for my mum on her birthday and was nervous about the icing - but it worked perfectly and transformed what is a rather basic fairy cake into something that looks bakery bought! Fantastic recipe

lindsayr's picture

Delicious! So quick and easy. I measured out all the ingrediants into bowls and my 3 year old poured them all into one and mixed and really enjoyed making them, and as it's just a case of mixing it was stress free. I added chocolate chips and with the orange they are a perfect cake!

west1871's picture

Can't comment on the icing as havn't iced them yet and will probably use buttercream but the fairy cake mix is lovely and I managed to get 30 standard UK fairycakes out of the mixture using heaped tbsp's of the mixture. Perfect for my sons summer fete.

mariabernadette's picture

These are FAB. We made the topping without a mixer - me and daughter took it in turns. Hard hard work and I was saying half way through 'we are never making these again.' But they taste so good - we may have to. I'll buy a hand mixer just for the purpose.

littlewrigglers's picture

For some reason the icing didn't really work for me but still a lovely cake.

kuglehoff's picture

The first batch were so runny, a batter really, that I had to start again. I added an extra 4oz of sr flour and they came out OK. The Italian meringue icing was an egg white or two short, perhaps some idea of what size egg to use? The meringue mix ingredients did not look quite right to me on paper.

I was making the buns for a charity tea which is taking place this afternoon, I 'll let you know the outcome

debrowne's picture

Excellent and stunning! Made these with my 11 year old and we brought them to a birthday party and everyone said WOW! It's the snow icing that makes the difference , well worth the effort. We used lemon juice instead of orange, and they were fantastic!

sarahsharp's picture

I made these today to hand out to the trick or treaters, recipe was easy to follow and they turned out wonderfully, sponge and icing are both very light, so it makes them a nice little treat. I was slightly nervous that the icing wasn't going to thicken after 10 mins, but it soon did and was lovely and glossy. The only change I made was to put green food colouring in the icing as I made my cakes into monsters! The best review of all was the excitement and smiles on the children's faces.

renaissance222's picture

Cannot add this to my binder for some very strange reason. VERY frustrating!

pklacey's picture

Made them with lemon, juice in the topping,grated rind in the cakes. also made some lemon syrup ( lemon juice & suger boiled to a syrup) poured this over the cakes as soon as they were cooked. Delicious

abena_edwards's picture

Quick, easy and impressive! I decorated mine with jelly diamonds and Rowntree Random's, I will be investing in edilbe glitter for next time! Went down well all round


Questions (2)

The frenchie's picture

Is it normal that the icing gets hard the day after, and you can feel a powdered texture from the sugar. It's like eating sugar...

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there. Yes, this is normal. Due to the nature of the icing it will harden overnight.

Tips (1)

scoobydoo1's picture

These are absolutely gorgeous cakes so light and fluffy very quick and easy to make love the icing can't wait to make again *****