This is a recipe that I have adapted to my own tastes, based on Nigella Lawson's recipe in her Forever Summer cookbook; she developed this for the Lavender Trust, a British charity for young women with breast cancer. These delightful little cakes are easy to make and are ideal for gifts, high tea, picnics and parties. I used my own Lavender and Vanilla sugar recipe: French Lavender and Vanilla Sugar for Elegant Cakes and Bakes
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6 and line a 12-bun tin with paper cases.
- Put all the ingredients for the fairy cakes, except for the milk, into the bowl and mix well with a hand held mixer for about 2-3 minutes.
- Mix once more, adding enough milk to make a batter with a smooth texture.
- Pour the fairy cake batter into the waiting cake cases.
- Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, by which time the sponge should be cooked through and springy to the touch.
- Remove from the oven, leave for 5 minutes or so, then arrange the fairy cakes in their paper cases on a wire rack to cool.
- Whilst they are cooling, make the icing.
- I like this to be pale violet in colour and to run off the cakes slightly - not too thick. So add the water to the icing sugar and gradually add the food colouring until the desired colour has been reached. The icing should be fairly loose, but not too runny.
- Top each fairy cake with the icing - it does NOT matter if it drizzles down the sides of the cake cases!
- Top each fairy cake with a little sprig of lavender before the icing's set dry.
Maybe I'm completely dense about cupcakes but I think these were the quickest I've ever come across. I had to make a few changes, like I couldn't find lavender anywhere, so I just added vanilla essence, and I wanted a thicker icing so I made a butter icing instead, but the cupcakes themselves were done so quickly I double checked the recipe again to make sure I'd not left anything out. My husband really liked them, as he felt they were a bit more dense than normal cupcakes, giving them more body. I think my favorite thing about these (apart from how quick they are) is that they are very adaptable, and I look forward to trying them with different essences and decorations, and once lavender season is back, I shall try them that way too!
Oh these are delicious! I realized i didn't have time to make the vanilla/lavender sugar so used 2 drops of lavender essence. very easy to make, and the icing was done with my splenda glaze.