My Easy Christmas Fairy Cakes are the very definition of simple but effective. Fluffy vanilla sponge buns are topped with an easy lemon icing and covered with fun festive sprinkles. They’re a great bake for kids to get involved with and are always a best seller at the Christmas fair bake sale!
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I’m a huge fan of simple classic bakes. A good majority of my go-to bakes are recipes that I grew up with. Like my Chewy Ginger Cookies and Vanilla Butterfly Cakes.
So a while back I came up with my Easy Halloween Fairy Cakes which were very simple sponge cakes (we called these buns growing up). With a mega simple water icing made up of icing sugar and lemon juice and some sprinkles, magic was born. And they were so popular over Halloween!
So I’ve stolen my own concept, grabbed a variety pack of Christmas themed sprinkles and made a Christmas version. I’m really pleased with how they came out. Like I said in the intro, simple but effective is the name of the game!
INGREDIENTS FOR Christmas FAIRY CAKES
You can use basically any butter or margarine that you want. A baking margarine will make a lovely light cake. Proper butter will give you an extra rich flavour. Don’t forget to make your own for an extra (and economical) treat.
I always use salted butter. I don’t understand the obsession with baking with unsalted butter. There isn’t a dish or bake that isn’t enhanced by a bit of salt after all. If you only have unsalted, just add a little salt to the recipe.
I have specified using plain (all purpose) flour and baking powder rather than self raising or self rising flour for a reason. This is to control the rise on the cakes. We are looking for a flat top which the icing will lay flat on. A domed top will mean that you need to level off the cakes which is extra work.
The shops are full of fun sprinkle mixes nowadays. I’d have gone out of my mind with excitement if the supermarket baking aisles of 30 years ago looked like they did today. A 4 pack of writing icing tubes and some hundreds and thousands was the height of availability in the 90s.
I found lots of various festive themes sprinkle mixes available. The ones I used were in a little multipack with 4 different types in there. And I added in another bottle I found in a drawer.
I had lots of fun mixing and matching them. The leaves and berries are by far my favourite. But what I’m trying to say in a very long-winded way is…use whatever sprinkles you like!
You can vary the flavour of the sponge cakes if you wish. Here are just a few ideas:
- Substitute a tablespoon of flour for cocoa powder to make chocolate buns.
- Swap the vanilla extract for orange extract. Or any other flavour you fancy.
- Replace some of the milk with lemon juice and add lemon zest.
- Throw in a handful of chocolate chips.
You can alternatively replace the simple white lemon icing that I’ve used. Why not try:
- Swap a tablespoon of icing sugar for cocoa powder.
- Replace the lemon juice with water for a neutral taste or add a little vanilla or orange extract as well.
- A chocolate ganache (50/50 mix of melted chocolate and cream. Heat the cream and stir the chocolate in until melted). Use any chocolate you fancy.
MAKE IT VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN
This Christmas sprinkle cupcake recipe is ostensibly suitable for vegetarians. However please note that not all sprinkles are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
The sprinkles I bought were coated in animal derived shellac. Some use beeswax which is fine for vegetarians but not vegans. Vegan versions are readily available so just check online.
To make the cakes vegan suitable, use a non-dairy margarine instead of butter, replace each egg with 1 tbsp vegetable oil and use water or plant milk instead of cow’s milk.
MAKE IT ALLERGY FRIENDLY
This easy Christmas fairy cake recipe is free from nuts.
Gluten Free: Simply use a gluten free flour substitute instead of the flour. And ensure that the baking powder used is marked as gluten free.
Dairy Free: Replace the butter with a diary free substitute. A baking type margarine is just fine. Replace the milk with water or a plant based milk.
Egg Free: Replace each egg with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
EASY Christmas CUPCAKES TIPS
Embrace the fact that even being extremely careful, you will likely end up finding sprinkles for a few days. It’ll be fine.
Do not fill the cupcake cases with more than a heaped tsp of mixture (25g). I trialled several versions of this recipe and even though it looks like a tiny amount of mix, any more and the cakes rise above the rim of the cases. And this makes decorating them much messier.
Make sure to add the lemon juice (or water) to the icing sugar a little at a time. You may need slightly less to achieve the right consistency. Sieving your icing sugar is also highly advisable to avoid lumps.
You will have some mix leftover. You can use this to make some extra cakes if you wish. It isn’t really possible to make less or we start getting into 1/2 egg territory.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Easy Christmas Fairy Cakes with Sprinkles
- 120 g Salted Butter
- 120 g Caster Sugar (Superfine Sugar)
- 2 Egg
- 120 g Plain Flour (All Purpose)
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 tbsp Milk
- 150 g Icing Sugar (Confectioner’s Sugar)
- 3 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 100 g Christmas Themed Sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 180c fan | 200c | 390f. Put 12 paper cake cases into a muffin tin and set aside.
- Weigh 120g Butter and 120g Caster Sugar into a mixing bowl.
- Use an electric whisk or stand mixer to beat the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.
- Add 2 Eggs one at a time.
- Give the eggs at least one minute of beating before adding the next egg. This is where the batter gets lovely and light. Don’t worry if the batter splits. Keep going.
- Weigh 120g Plain Flour into the bowl and add 2 tsp Baking Powder and 1 tsp Vanilla Extract. Use a spatula to fold in the flour – you do not want to use any electric power here.
- Stir through 2 tbsp Milk.
- Use two teaspoons to add a heaped teaspoon of the batter into each cake case. Use the second spoon to push the mix off the first and into the cases. It will not look like much. If you want to make sure they’re even, you need 25g of batter in each case. It doesn’t look like enough but it is.
- Bake the cakes for 15 minutes. Take them out when golden brown and they spring back when pressed.
- Leave the cakes to completely cool.
- Mix 150g Icing Sugar with 3 tbsp Lemon Juice in a small mixing bowl. Add the juice one spoon at a time.
- You are looking for it to be a paste which just drops of a spoon slowly. It needs to be thin enough to make its own level but thick enough that it doesn’t run everywhere.
- Spoon roughly 1 tbsp of the icing over each cake. Gently smooth it over with a spatula or back of a spoon so it reaches the edges.
- Sprinkle roughly 100g Christmas Themed Sprinkles over the cakes. I recommend putting the sprinkles into a small jug with a lip so you can be vaguely accurate.
- Try to ensure that all of the white icing is covered. You can gently press the sprinkles down with the palm of you hand then shake off any excess.
- You can occasionally collect any sprinkles from the tray and add them back to your shaking vessel or container. You will certainly want to do this before switching sprinkle types!
- If you have any larger sprinkles that might land on their edges, you can use tweezers to place them. But only if you enjoy that kind of thing like me.
- Once all 12 cake are decorated, they’re ready to serve!
These are so incredibly cute! One to try with my nephews if I’m brave enough to get the sprinkles out around them!
Rebecca - Glutarama says
Such a handy recipe to have saved. Perfect for festive baking with the kiddies and super simple to make GF by switching the flour too.
What a great quick and easy bake – I’m saving this recipe for some festive baking with my kids.
Such a great recipe, so easy and with all the sparkle of Christmas.
So pretty and, as you say, just perfect for the kids to make this Christmas