Perhaps you are feeling as I do – just not quite ready to say goodbye to summer. Yes, the gardens are past their best. The flowers giving a last brave encore but their edges are crumpling and their glory quietly fading. Yes, the children are back at school, smart and crisp in slightly too big [...]
Perhaps you are feeling as I do – just not quite ready to say goodbye to summer. Yes, the gardens are past their best. The flowers giving a last brave encore but their edges are crumpling and their glory quietly fading. Yes, the children are back at school, smart and crisp in slightly too big uniforms. And yes, the wind is bringing a distinctive autumnal note. But it’s not over yet! We can still celebrate the lasting colours and brightness, and some fairy cakes are just the thing for that. As a surprise treasure found in a September lunchbox, a little cake always brings a smile!
Turn on the oven and heat to 180 degrees centigrade. Choose 12 pretty fairy cake – or small cupcake – liners and place them in a fairy cake/muffin tin.
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2-3 tablespoons of milk
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Mix in the vanilla essence. Stir in the flour swiftly and with a light touch. Don’t overmix. Listen to something nice on the radio instead. Add a couple of spoons of milk to keep the mix from being too thick and dense. It should just about drop off a spoon. Working quickly, fill the cake liners. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cakes are nicely risen and golden. Don’t keep opening the oven but just keep a watch through the oven window (if it has one) after about 15 minutes.
Take the cakes out and let them cool on a rack.
Simple fondant icing
300g icing sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons water (you can replace 1 or 2 spoons with lemon juice if your want lemony icing)
Mix the water into the icing sugar and give it a good stir until it is smooth and glossy. If you wish, you can add a few drops of food colour to tint the icing.
Decorating is especially fun and satisfying. Flowers, glitter, icing sugar, sprinkles, berries…
We still have lots of village teas happening, the last of the cricket teas, and cake sales – fairy cakes always go down well. Or give a little box of them wrapped in tissue and ribbon as a lovely present. Or you could just eat them, with a cup of tea, relaxing in the garden with a good book.
Let me know what you think. Any nice ideas for decorations? I love to hear from you so please drop me a comment if you have a moment! P.