Fiona Cairns' rose fairy cakes recipe

(139 ratings)

Fiona Cairns rose fairy cakes
(Image credit: Getty Images/Alloy)
  • healthy
Preparation Time20 mins (plus extra time for making the rosebuds)
Cooking Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins (not including decorating time)
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories247 Kcal12%
Sugar27.8 g31%
Fat11.8 g17%
Saturated Fat3.3 g17%
Salt0.31 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein1.6 g3%
Carbohydrates33.9 g13%
Salt0.31 gRow 7 - Cell 2

Follow Fiona Cairns’ step-by-step recipe to make rose fairy cakes in just five simple steps.

Each soft buttery, vanilla-infused fairy cake is topped with a pastel pink buttercream infused with rose water. Decorate with handmade roses made from white sugar paste and pink food colouring paste.  These delicate fairy cakes would make an ideal food gift for friends and family. Just pop into a cupcake box and tie it with a ribbon.


  • 175g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tin
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

For the buttercream:

  • 200g butter, softened
  • 1tsp rosewater (optional)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g icing sugar, plus more to dust

For the rosebuds:

  • 1 pot pink food colour paste
  • 150g white sugarpaste
  • 60g bag green royal icing
  • 1 pot clear glitter (optional)




  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/fan 170ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. Place the cases into 2 fairy cake tins, tip all of the Victoria sponge batter ingredients into a bowl, beat until smooth and divide the batter evenly between them.
  2. Bake for about 15 mins or until well risen and the cakes spring back to the touch. Leave to cool in the tins for 1 - 2 mins, then remove to cool on a wire rack.
  3. Make the buttercream. Cream the butter until pale and fluffy, add the rosewater, if liked, and the vanilla, then beat in the icing sugar for about 5 mins until really light, adding enough food colour paste to achieve the shade of pink you want. Divide between all the cakes, spreading with a palette knife.
  4. To make the rosebuds: Divide the sugarpaste into 3 and colour each a different shade of pink. Seal in separate polythene bags. On a board lightly dusted with icing sugar, and with a dusted rolling pin, roll out a little of the sugarpaste to about 1 - 2mm thick. Cut 3 or 4 strips about 10 x 1½ cm and roll them up to form rosebuds. Cut away any surplus at the base. Repeat until you have made 24 buds, 8 in each tone of pink. Place 1 on each cake.
  5. Snip the green royal icing bag in a V-shape (the 'V' should point towards the bag) and use it to pipe a leaf or 2 on each cake, or leave some without if you prefer. Scatter glitter over the cakes, if you wish.

Top tips for making Fiona Cairns’ rose fairy cakes

The rosebuds can be made a month or two in advance; store in a cardboard box at room temperature.

If you can’t find pink food colour paste you could always opt for gel or liquid instead.

You might also like…

Mary Berry’s fairy cakes

Chocolate fairy cakes

Lemon fairy cakes


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