custard fairy cakes


Last weekend my daughter Amy spent most of Sunday going through photo albums that she found in the back of the wardrobe. She was looking for my debs/prom dress which I had kept hoping that someday I could fit back into it again – Yep, that’s not happening anytime soon Lol.   She said it would be perfect for some Halloween Fancy Dress party she’s going to this year, don’t ask !

Along with the dress, she found 2 photo albums filled with photos mainly from birthday parties for herself and her brother.  What’s scary is that this wasn’t that long ago, late 1990’s – but there were no smart phones or digital cameras in our house just a simple camera that used film.  You didn’t see your photos until you got them developed which could take a few days!

My kids always had their birthday parties at home, nothing fancy, simple cakes, jelly and ice-cream and lots of fun and laughter. There was one little cake that made an appearance at every birthday , which we spotted in the photos these very delicious Custard Fairy Cakes.  I can’t believe I forgot about these. I haven’t made them in years. When my kids hit their teens,  birthday parties at home slowly disappeared along with the fairy cakes, BUT I’m bringing them back they are too good to be left in the past lol


custard fairy cakes


Fairy buns are one of the first simple cake that kids learn to bake and I was no different.  I was very lucky my Mum is a fabulous baker.  My brothers and I were never short of something sweet or a little after school treat.  When it comes to her fairy cakes my Mum has a secret ingredient she adds custard powder to hers.   The custard powder does three things it makes them really fluffy, gives a lovely flavour and a really beautiful yellow colour.


custard powder


Fairy cakes are small and dainty nothing like their American cousins ” The Cup Cake”. They don’t have a big swirl of buttercream on top, just a drizzle or spoonful of water/lemon icing.


custard fairy cakes


custard fairy cakes


I absolutely love writing blog posts about my cakes. I am thinking of stepping it up abit and getting an acrylic display case that I can place the cakes into when I have finished so that everyone can see them! I enjoy baking in my spare time, and I just find these little cakes are effortless to make, great for school bake sales and especially for birthday parties.  I’ve often wondered how they became known as “fairy cakes”.  They first became very popular when they appeared in the very famous Victorian cookery book called “Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management she was the “Mary Berry” of her time, one of he first Victorian women to have a cookery book in print, this was a rarity in Victorian times.


(pics courtesy of Google Images)


In her book fairy cakes were called Mrs Beeton’s Little Rich Cakes – made with flour, margarine eggs, sugar, but they have been around even longer than that.  I fact in the early 18th century they were known as Queen Cakes, the same basic sponge recipe but with added currants. This basic recipe has remained the same throughout the years.  They eventually became known as fairy cakes due to their small size, perfect food for the “Fairys”.

Now they sit on the shelves in the shadow of their American Cousins “The Cup Cakes”.  I remember the first time I ever came across a cupcake was on the T.V. Show  Sex in the City.   My daughter and I were huge fans of the show – it was a romantic TV comedy which  featured a single girl Carrie Bradshaw , her 3 single friends and their life in New York.  The girls LOVED their cupcakes on that show!!!.

   Fairy Cake v Cupcake – whats the difference


FAIRY CAKE                              



Drizzle with  water icing

Always made with a basic sponge mix

Never filled




Big/Even Giant Size

Lots and lots of buttercream frosting swirled on top

Any cake can be made into a cupcake, e.g brownie, cheesecake, carrot cake etc

Cupcakes can be filled with many variety of fillings.



Don’t get me wrong , I LOVE cupcakes as much as the next person, but these little Fairy Cakes hold a special place in my heart.

Definitely worth trying, I promise.


I’ve put cup measurements along with the metric in case any of my Overseas friends would like to try them & ALSO DON’T BE TEMPTED TO USE TOO MUCH ICING, A TABLESPOON IS ENOUGH. IF YOU USE TOO MUCH YOUR PAPER CASES WILL PEEL APART


custard fairy cakes


custard fairy cakes


custard fairy cakes


Custard Fairy Cakes




Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Category: BAKING

Yield: 10-12

Calories per serving: 150 KCAL

custard fairy cakes

These little delicious fairy cakes will bring back memories of childhood and birthday parties. The addition of the secret ingredient "custard" gives them a lovely flavour along with a beautiful yellow colour. So simple and fun to make


  • 200g Self Raising Flour ( 1+1/4 Cup)
  • 200g Softened Butter (1 Cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 140g Caster Sugar (3/4 Cup)
  • 100g Custard powder (6 heaped TBSP)
  • 150g Icing sugar (1 1/2 Cups
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2tbsp water
  • sprinkles


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F and place 12 paper cases in to a bun tray.
  • Beat the custard powder with the butter eggs and milk.
  • Gently stir in the sugar and fold in the sifted flour. Spoon into the cases.
  • Make for 20 mins. Leave to cool completely..
  • Mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice & the water to form a thick paste.
  • Spoon this onto the buns and decorate with sprinkles



Recipe by Karyn   All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to share this recipe, please simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.


***PIN ME***


pin custard fairy cakes



To keep up with all our Baking Adventures and Recipes!

– make sure to follow us on our social media,

so you never miss a post




I also created a brilliant new FACEBOOK GROUP CALLED EVERY DAY BAKING & it’s all about baking, if you want to join your more than welcome. It’s a group where you can share your favorite baking recipes, ask questions, share photos.  If you would like to check it out, you can request to join HERE.


Spread the love


  • Deepika September 16, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    These little fairy cakes are so beautiful. My daughter will love them.

    • Karyn September 17, 2017 at 4:20 pm

      They are really fun to make and a great hit with kids and adults. Thanks Deepika for the comment x

  • Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy September 16, 2017 at 9:19 pm

    I have a couple of grandchildren that would love these. The decorations are so cute….and the vanilla flavour would be a hit too.

    • Karyn September 17, 2017 at 4:19 pm

      Gloria 😉 they are the perfect little bake to do with your Grand kids. really simple x

  • Elizabeth September 17, 2017 at 12:11 am

    Love this Karyn😀 My kids will devour these

    • Karyn September 17, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      thank you Liz.. My four love them even though their “grown up” lol

  • Swathi September 17, 2017 at 12:49 am

    I have custard powder in my hand. Your custard fairy cakes looks not only beautiful but also easy one. My daughter will like it. Yes I too have some old clothes which I kept aside thinking of wearing after weight reduce someday, look like that part is not going to happen.

    • Karyn September 17, 2017 at 4:17 pm

      Ha Ha Swathi..I’m glad I.m not the only one who holds onto dresses in hope of a miracle lol . I think your daughter would absolutely love these fairy cakes xx

  • valmg @ From Val's Kitchen September 17, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Your fairy cupcakes are very cute. I’ve never heard of them before. They would be great for entertaining or maybe a girls party.

    • Karyn September 17, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Hi Val..they would be brilliant for a girls party so simple to bake and decorate 😉

  • Noel Lizotte September 17, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    What fun tidbits about the history of fairy cakes. I’ve heard them described in books before, but having the story and the pictures here really makes me understand them. They’re so pretty! Perfect for birthday parties, and I can see why your mom made them.

    • Karyn September 17, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks Noel.. glad you liked the little bit of history

  • Kylee from Kylee Cooks September 17, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    I remember simple birthday parties as a child too! Just cake, jelly (jello) and ice-cream with MAYBE some sausage rolls if we were really lucky! I love custard cakes – such a blast from the past for me (and I have custard powder sent to me from NZ lol). For the rest of us in the US – we can get custard powder in the international section of the grocery store, or in any World Market.

    • Karyn September 17, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      Hi Kylee 😉 yes the good old sausage rolls. I forgot about them!.. Thanks 😉 I didn’t realize Custard powder wasn’t readily available in the US

  • Marisa Franca @ All Our Way September 17, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    The fairy cakes are adorable. They would be perfect for an afternoon tea or even a bridal or baby shower. So dainty and delicate looking. And don’t feel badly about not fitting in to that dress. I finally gave up the fight and donated my dresses. I’m pinning your recipe.

    • Karyn September 19, 2017 at 8:43 pm

      Ha ha Marisa..glad I’m not the only one…delighted you liked the recipe xx Karyn

  • Veena Azmanov September 17, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    These are so cute.. My mom use to add custard powder in her vanilla cake. We called it custard cake.. So delicious. The flavor is so incredible. I use Birds custard powder here too!

    • Karyn September 19, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      Custard is a great baking ingredient Veena. I think its delicious too😋

  • Christine - Jar Of Lemons September 17, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    These are so cute and perfect for a birthday party! Especially love the butterfly sprinkles 😉 So fun!

    • Karyn September 19, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      Hi Christine😁 they are the perfect little bake fir a kids party!

  • Sandhya Ramakrishnan September 17, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Thanks for the detailed explanation about the fairy cakes. I have never tasted one and I really want to give this a try. I always have custard powder in the pantry but I do not like it as a custard. This is a great recipe to use it in. They look too beautiful to resist!

    • Karyn September 19, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Your very welcome Sandhya😀 I always make sure I have a tub of custard handy!

  • Adriana Lopez Martn September 18, 2017 at 3:04 am

    So cute and festive! Love the fact that the sprinkles have butterfly shapes I love butterflies. This is perfect cupcake for a special celebration or a birthday have never tried custard cakes

    • Karyn September 19, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      Hi Adriana😁 the custard powder really works here in this recipe, makes the cakes lovely light abd fluffy!

  • Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh September 18, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    These are so pretty, and perfect for a little birthday celebration. I’ve never heard of custard powder before, that sounds pretty interesting.

  • Soniya September 18, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    On my my.. looks how cute they look!! I remember my kids loved fairy bread when we visited Australia… Never thought you could do that with cupcake too… my boys will love it!! Pinning and saving this recipe 🙂

    • Karyn September 19, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      Thanks Soniya..I bet they will, my kids are sprinkle mad lol

  • Teri September 20, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    These look so moist! And in my favorite flavor too. Such a cute idea for birthdays too.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.