What is the difference between a fairy cake and a cupcake?
First of all it seems that a fairy cake is smaller than a cupcake. Mary Berry, in her book 100 Cakes and Bakes, states that a cupcake is also a different shape to a fairy cake – ‘the cases are deeper and have less angular sides.’
Another difference is in the ingredients as usually fairy cakes are made using a standard sponge cake recipe with eggs, flour, sugar and butter. However, cupcakes can be any type of cake, just made smaller. Although some may be made with a sponge recipe, cupcakes can also be made from carrot cake recipes, chocolate cake recipes and many other variations.
The toppings are different too. A fairy cake is traditionally topped with a little royal icing or an icing made with just water and icing sugar. Cupcakes are commonly topped with lashings of swirling buttercream, cream cheese or meringue frostings.
Fairy cakes are popular for children’s parties but cupcakes are probably more popular for the grown-ups – a slightly larger and more indulgent pleasure!
My fairy cakes are made with a simple chocolate sponge recipe – the recipe can be found here http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/how_to_make_fairy_cakes_45428
My inspiration to make little fairies to sit on top of my fairy cakes came from Fiona Cairns in her Birthday Cakes book. They are made from sugar paste and sit on a little royal icing sprinkled with some coloured sugar strands. Mine are rather chubby, cheeky looking little fairies but look quite at home sitting on one of my vintage cake stands and delighted my grandchildren!
Tea Time Treats
I’m entering these fairy cakes into April’s Tea Time Treats challenge hosted by Kate at What Kate Baked. The challenge is alternatively hosted by kate and Karen at Lavender and Lovage and is a great way to find inspiration, recipes and lovely blogs:-
What Kate Baked http://www.whatkatebaked.com/2013/04/april-tea-time-treats.html
Lavender and Lovage http://www.lavenderandlovage.com/tea-time-treats