Saturday, September 17, 2011

custard fairy cakes

With the autumnal chill, our thoughts turn primevally to custard.  We wonder how fairy cakes would turn out if we were to make them using some custard powder, so we adjust our old reliable recipe accordingly.


They emerge from the oven more buoyant than usual, with an appealing golden colour and a delicate custardy taste. The daughters, always suspicious of New Food, are initially merely Willing To Eat Them but soon, as they familiarise themselves with the unknown, they are telling me that they have been very good and Must Have Another.



  • Preheat the oven to 180-200 degrees.   
  • Measure 50g self-raising flour, 50g custard powder, 100g sugar, 100g butter, and two eggs into a bowl.  If, like me, you don't trust self-raising flour, add a teaspoon of baking powder. Add a little vanilla or rosewater if you wish. 
  • Beat with your electric mixer until light and fluffy. Spoon into little paper cases in a tin, and bake for 10-15 minutes.
  • To make the icing, gently heat a little milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter has melted. Gradually add some of it to icing sugar until you have a spreadable consistency. 
  • Add Smarties, or whatever suits. You may wish to raise your game with crystallized violets.

And now we wonder whether we could abandon the flour entirely and make these with custard powder alone.  Bakers among you, what do you think?

33 comments:

  1. Yum. Those look so delicious. I can just feel the crunch of that icing.

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  2. Methinks that they sound delicious Mise. I have made cupcakes with confectioners custard inside and they too are delicious. Perhaps a thought for another days baking and would not go amiss with pink and blue daughters......I have come to realise that I am talking with a Tudor lilt. As I write this, I am watching 'The Other Boleyn Girl' and I have taken on their speech !! I will now away and bake me a batch of these fine custard fairy cakes ! XXXX

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  3. So Pretty. I had no idea what fairy cakes were.

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  4. Very adventurous and inventive Mise! I'm sure the Fairy Cakes (love the name) are greatly thanking you for giving them a slightly new personality to wear for a change. I need to find custard powder here in the States...I wonder if pudding powder would be similar? I think not. I'll be on the hunt for some as soon as I'm up and running (thank you for your kind comment regarding this, btw).
    Looking very much so forward to trying these...with tea of course.
    xo J~

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  5. I love how perfectly imperfect they are Mise...how refreshing...Much prefer the name fairy cakes to cupcakes....I shall have Fairy Cakes from now on.....

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  6. I too, shall adopt the name fairy cake--so much more evocative, dare I say, magical, than cup cake. They are so very pretty, and looking at them made me happy.

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  7. Ah fairy cakes, the 'wingless' version of butterfly cakes, neither of which are as big and butch as cupcakes. You know these things if your good friend runs a cake making business. She also tells me that the collective noun for fairy cakes is a camp ;)

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  8. Ahh, we are a godforsaken land. Not only do we call them cupcakes; we don't stock custard powder. Those are beautiful treats, and fortunate good daughters.

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  9. Hello Mise
    These fairy cakes sound delicious- once I get a successful recipe I keep it so. I think it is wonderful that you are baking from scratch and your daughters will learn from watching you. The aroma of freshly baked cakes is marvelous.
    Wishing you a great week
    Helen xx

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  10. What an good idea, seeing as I have been addicted to custard for most of my life I shall make a batch of these later. Where would the world be without Birds Custard powder, and such a cheery little tin too.

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  11. I've always thought that custard powder was just flavoured cornflour (and am perfectly willing to be set right on this matter) so perhaps it would work? Why not experiment on behalf of us all, and let us know?

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  12. Hello Mise:
    Well, as we never think to bake a cake, or anything else for that matter, our opinion on this matter of custard powder versus flour must, of course, count for nothing. From the picture which you show, these little cakes, from whatever they are made, look an absolute dream and we should certainly not refuse to eat them, nor indeed be the slightest bit suspicious of what might, or might not, be in them.

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  13. We use cornstarch (custards paler friend) when baking a lot of biscuits (or cookies as they call them here in our house). I can imagine that using custard powder adds a lovely eggyness to the mix. They do look lovely Mise. As lovely as I would expect any fairy cake to look on that beautiful tiered plate of yours.

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  14. Mise, as operatic soprano Beverly Sills said (surely in reference to sneaking custard between The Barber of Seville and La traviata) "You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try." Doomed, Mise. Doomed.

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  15. REPORT - A huge success with the fairy cakes. I made a double mixture, they disappeared within moments, and the dog licked all the cake cases clean - RESULT

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  16. They look delish - what I'd do now for 1 or 6 of those and a big mug of milky coffee - mmmmmm

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  17. What a strange coincidence! It wasn't so long ago that I held a package of custard flour in my hands, not knowing what to do with it. I put it back :)

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  18. Oh you horror - I am trying to eat less, and now you tempt me with these visions of loveliness!! On the baking front, perhaps you could gradually change the proportion of flour to custard powder.
    Ps I didn't really mean that you are a horror, I am still upset from giving Malcolm three quarters of the magnificent slice of lemon drizzle cake we had this morning!!

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  19. "The daughters, always suspicious of New Food," made me laugh out loud...truer words never spoken! Going through the suspicions with Landon these days...:)

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  20. I couldn't resist anything that looked like that. Hoorah for custard powder.

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  21. I can't believe that pink and blue daughters would ever be suspicious of something that looks like these, and especially something with icing and an m&m on the top. They work as bribery every time I find!

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  22. Custard a very popular source of nourishment in this abode so will have to try it in this new and tantalising new form! Cx

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  23. Oh, they do look good. I had fairy cakes over the weekend, but without custard powder. My nephew eats the icing first and I was trying to remember if I ever ate them like that, as a kid.

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  24. I have followed your recipe and blog religiously ,
    I am now left in the halfpenny place as , a cook,
    a mother and a blogger .
    Please advise.

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  25. Jaboopee, I would never have posted that recipe had I recalled that overconsumption of custard is scientifically known to lead to Disquiet. No, you are not in the halfpenny place; you are in your usual place on the plinth, wearing a fetching crochet hat and your best coat and holding a glass of wine. When may we look forward to your next post?

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  26. Custard powder, you say? Sounds delicious. Will try these out soon! By the way...you won the calendar. On the way soon!

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  27. It is a harsh thing that you do here Mise. Everyone in my house is doing healthy eating and No Nice Things until I lose weight (no, that's not harsh ...) We will just have to save these delicious looking buns until the mid term mayhem, when I will have given up the diet in despair, and will need sugar

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  28. Clever thinking! They look yummy! Have a great weeked, love Linda x

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  29. These look divine, and I would never have thought of making icing with butter and milk.
    Having 3 in my family who are coeliac, I'm always baking with different flours. Custard powder, being mostly cornflour should work on it's own, maybe with extra baking powder - on the other hand, you may end up with something that resembles custard creams!

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  30. I think you could abandon it all 'cept for the icing. Just spoon icing into the papers. You could count on me.

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  31. They look yummy Mise! Custard powder is great in cookies also…

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You're looking particularly well.

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