Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Cupcakes or Fairy Cakes?

Cupcakes or Fairy Cakes? I still don’t know the difference, as I am still new to this world! What I know is that I enjoyed so much making cupcakes (or fairy cakes!) that I think I am becoming addicted to it! So this is only the first one of a long series, I guess :-). PS - Can someone please tell me if the ones I made (please see the picture) are cupcakes or fairy cakes? I read a number of articles on different forums, but I couldn’t get my head around it. I think these are smaller then cupcakes... who knows??

Lemon Cupcakes, Adapted from a recipe by Rachel Allen


For the Cupcakes (makes 12)
  • Plain flour (sifted), 150g (I use the `00` type)
  • Unsalted good quality butter (softened), 125g
  • Caster sugar, 125g
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Finely grated zest of ½ large lemon
  • ¼ tsp baking powder

For the Lemon Butter Icing

  • Unsalted butter (softened), 75g
  • Icing sugar (sifted), 124
  • Finely grated zest of ½ large lemon
  • 1-2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Natural food coloring and edible sugar decorations (optional)

All ingredients should be at room temperature.


Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with 12 paper cases. Cream the butter until soft (using a mixer or by hand). Gradually add the sugar and the grated lemon zest and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat the eggs, add them to the butter mixture and keep on mixing. Finally add the sifted flour and the baking powder and continue mixing until smooth. Divide the mixture between the paper cases and bake in the preheated oven for 7-10 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool completely. For the butter icing, cream the butter until soft. Gradually add the icing sugar, the lemon zest and the lemon juice (just a few drops in case you need to soften up the icing). Add a few drops of natural food coloring (optional). Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream icing and decorate according to your own taste.

Cupcakes al Limone (Adattato da una ricetta di Rachel Allen)


Per 12 Cupcakes

  • Farina OO (setacciata), 150g
  • Burro, 125g
  • Zucchero, 125g
  • 2 uova
  • Un pizzico di sale
  • La scorza grattugiata di ½ limone grande
  • ¼ cucchiaino di lievito in polvere per dolci

Per la copertura al limone
  • Burro, 75g
  • Zucchero a velo, 125
  • La scorza grattugiata di ½ limone grande
  • 1-2 cucchiaini di succo di limone
  • Colorante per dolci naturale e decorazioni edibili (optional)
Tutti gli ingredienti devono essere a temperatura ambiente.


Preriscaldare il forno a 180ºC e preparare una teglia da cupcakes da 12 con i pirottini di carta. In una ciotola sbattere il burro con un mestolo di legno (o potete usare uno sbattitore elettrico) fino a renderlo molto morbido e cremoso. Aggiungere gradualmente lo zucchero, continuando a sbattere. Aggiungere la uova una alla volta ed un pizzico di sale sempre continuando a sbattere. Aggiungere gradualmente la farina setacciata ed il lievito in polvere. Infine la scorza di limone grattugiata.  Dividere il composto nei 12 pirottini ed infornare per 7-10 minuti.  Lasciare raffreddare completamente.  Per la crema di burro al limone - In una ciotola sbattere il burro fino ad ottenere una consistenza molto leggera. Aggiungere gradualmente lo zucchero a velo continuando a sbattere. Aggiungere la scorza grattugiata di limone e qualche goccia di limone (nel caso la crema fosse troppo solida). Se desiderate aggiungere anche qualche goccia di colorante naturale.  Ricoprire le cupcakes e decorare a piacimento.  Consumare entro qualche ora ed evitare di refrigerare (il burro si indurirebbe). 

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  1. Gorgeous, Laura! What an interesting question you pose. Growing up in Australia "Patty cakes" were a must at every child birthday party. Now, "Fairy cakes" or "Butterfly Cakes" were different. A piece of cake was cut off the top, the hollow was filled with jam and mock cream then the removed cake was cut in half and repositioned as wings. Cupcakes are a recent name possibly US influenced and seem to be the bigger muffin size cake. Whatever yours are, I know they are beautiful and surely taste just so as well!

  2. Thanks Marcellina, so I produced some kind of hybrid then but yes, it tasted good :-). Everyone go crazy about cupcakes here in London, but I have never been a fun - just because I never tried one - can you believe? Know that cupcake craze took over me I must try some new recipes!
    Take care.

  3. Laura hai un bellissimo blog, verrò spesso a visitarti! Questi dolcetti sono deliziosi, complimenti....

  4. Grazie Chiara, anche il tuo e' molto interessante, ti vengo a trovare anche io!

  5. wow it looks good and it looks yummy. kids wiull love this!

  6. These are fairy cakes. Cupcakes are an american version which are slightly deeper.

  7. Love frostings that have lemon in them, cuts the sweetness just right for me. Looks like one to make for my grandkids next birthday.

  8. With cupcakes that look like these, I never would want to eat them. I mean, I'd be destroying the design if I eat it.

  9. Wow! It looks very delicious and it makes me hungry by the time I look at this. Can you help me on how to prepare it? I just want to share it with the kids. Thank you for sharing this and keep up the good work.