Although a fairy cake is basically a glorified cupcake, calling the cupcakes "fairy cakes" makes them taste even more delightful. The secret of making fairy cakes special is the light butter frosting and, of course, colourful fairy wings and sprinkles. Fairy cakes are delicious anytime but are especially appropriate for a special birthday party or a sleepover. Be adventurous, and let your little kitchen assistants help you decorate the fairy cakes.
Preheat your oven to 190 degrees C. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners. The recipe will make 24 fairy cakes.
Sift 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp baking powder into a small bowl.
Place 3/4 cup softened, unsalted butter in a large mixing bowl. Set your mixer on medium speed, and beat the butter for 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Beat until the mixture is fluffy, about two minutes.
Measure 1 cup milk. Add a small amount of milk to the butter mixture, followed by a small amount of the flour mixture. Beat the mixture while alternating small additions of the milk and the flour mixture until the mixture is smooth.
Wash and dry your beaters. Separate five eggs, and place the whites in a small bowl. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the mixture in the large bowl.
Pour the mixture evenly into the lined cupcake pan.
Bake the fairy cakes for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes spring back when you touch them. Place the fairy cakes on a wire rack to cool.
Frost the cooled fairy cakes with buttercream frosting, and then sprinkle each fairy cake with cake sprinkles or coloured sugar. Form small fairy wings by pushing sets of two coloured, O-shaped pieces of cereal into the icing. Each set of cereal rings should be at slight angles to appear like fairy wings.
Place 1 cup of softened, unsalted butter in a small mixing bowl. Beat until the butter is smooth, about 1 minute.
Blend in 1 tsp vanilla extract and 2 1/2 cups icing sugar. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add approximately 3 to 4 tbsp milk alternatively with 2 to 2 1/2 cups icing sugar until the frosting is a good consistency for spreading, or about the consistency of smooth, thick pudding.
Lemon or orange extract can be used in place of vanilla extract in both the fairy cakes and the butter frosting, if desired.