Elderflower and lemon fairy cakes recipe

(40 ratings)

Elderflower and lemon fairy cakes
Preparation Time25 mins
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time45 mins
Cost RangeCheap

These soft, elegant elderflower and lemon fairy cakes are infused with elderflower cordial and fresh grated lemon zest.

These elderflower and lemon fairy cakes take just 20 minutes to bake. Top each with elderflower icing and finish with pink shimmer sugar and sugar flowers. Perfect for birthday parties, bake sales, and afternoon tea.


  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 1tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 125g self-raising flour

For the icing:

  • 175g icing sugar
  • 1tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 2-3tsp warm water
  • Yellow and pink food colouring
  • Pink shimmer sugar and sugar flowers, to decorate




  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole bun tray with 12 paper cases.
  2. Place the butter, sugar, elderflower cordial and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and beat together until very pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, a spoonful at a time. Beat well after each addition and if the mixture begins to curdle add a spoonful of the measured flour.
  3. Sift over the flour and fold in gently with a metal spoon. Divide the mixture between the paper cases. Bake for 15-20mins until risen, golden and springy to the touch. Leave the fairy cakes in the tray for about 5mins then transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.
  4. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Stir in the elderflower cordial and enough warm water to make a smooth icing. Colour one-third of the icing yellow and one-third pale pink.
  5. Spoon the icing over the top of the fairy cakes and decorate with shimmer sugar and sugar flowers. Leave until set.

Top tips for making elderflower and lemon fairy cakes

You can make these elderflower fairy cakes a day in advance. Leave in a cool place to allow the icing to set completely before storing in a single layer in an airtight container until required.

Use paste food colouring if possible to give the icing a good colour and add sparingly with the tip of a wooden cocktail stick.

Take care not to over fill the paper cases with the cake mixture– they should be about two-thirds full.

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