Party fairy cakes

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Fairy cakes are a must for any kids party or celebration, and you can't go far wrong with Frances Atkins' cupcake recipe, as she provides three different frosting flavours to choose from; blackcurrant, vanilla cream cheese or maple syrup. Get creative with your decorations and you can easily adapt these to fit any occasion.

First published in 2015
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Sponge mix

  • 225g of butter, softened
  • 225g of caster sugar
  • 225g of self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs

Frosting base

  • 190g of butter, softened
  • 500g of icing sugar

Blackcurrant frosting

Vanilla and cream cheese frosting

  • 100g of low fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Maple frosting


  • 200g of marzipan, at room temperature
  • red food colouring
  • blue food colouring
  • green food colouring
  • yellow food colouring


  • Electric hand whisk
  • Muffin tin
  • Piping bag and nozzle
  • Electric mixer
  • Mini muffin baking sheet
  • Mini cupcake wrappers
  • Cupcake wrappers


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Line both a mini muffin tin and regular muffin tin with the appropriate wrappers and set aside
Add the butter and caster sugar to a large mixing bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Add the self-raising flour and baking powder and mix until combined
  • 225g of butter, softened
  • 225g of caster sugar
  • 225g of self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
Using a spatula or an electric mixer on a slow speed, beat in the eggs one at a time until the mix is smooth. Then, use to fill each cupcake wrapper to 2/3 of the way up
Place in the oven for 20 minutes, removing the mini cupcakes after 12 minutes. The tops should be a light golden brown colour and an inserted skewer should come out clean
Remove the larger cakes after 20 minutes and set aside on a wire rack to cool
For the frosting base, use an electric hand-held whisk to mix the butter until pale and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and whisk on a slow speed until smooth
  • 190g of butter, softened
  • 500g of icing sugar
Divide the frosting base equally between 3 bowls and add the measured quantity of ingredients for each flavoured topping to separate bowls. Mix each topping well to combine
Using a piping bag with a 1/2cm round or fluted nozzle, top each cake with the different frostings. Alternatively, you could use a spatula or spoon for a more rustic finish
Wearing disposable gloves, split the marzipan into 4 even blocks
  • 200g of marzipan, at room temperature
Work 1 block of marzipan into a round shape. Use your finger to press a hole in the middle, making sure not to press the entire way through
Squeeze 2 drops of the desired food colouring into the hole and pinch to seal the hole and enclose the colouring
  • red food colouring
Knead the marzipan between your hands until the block is one consistent colour and smooth
Repeat with the other 3 pieces of marzipan until you have 4 vibrantly coloured blocks
  • blue food colouring
  • green food colouring
  • yellow food colouring
Make different shapes out of the marzipan - these could be animals, snowmen, twirls, or whatever you wish. Use the shapes to decorate the top of each cake
If you wish, continue to decorate with edible stars, hundreds and thousands and edible glitter. Serve on a tiered cupcake stand
First published in 2015

The unique beauty of the rolling Yorkshire Dales has long framed Frances Atkins’ creative cooking, offering a stunning backdrop to her creative, spirited and beautifully executed food.

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