Lemon butterfly fairy cakes recipe

(388 ratings)

Lemon butterfly fairy cakes
(Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo)
  • Nut-free
  • healthy
Preparation Time25 mins
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time45 mins (plus cooling time)
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories240 Kcal12%
Fat14 g20%

These lemon butterfly fairy cakes, also known as butterfly buns are topped with lemon curd and dusted with icing sugar.

The delicious, zesty lemon sponge and the light and creamy mascarpone pair perfectly together. This recipe makes 18 butterfly fairy cakes and will take around 45 mins to prepare and bake. Ready in just three simple steps.


  • 175g (6oz) butter, softened
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g (6oz) self-raising flour, sifted
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 250g (9oz) tub mascarpone
  • 2tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 6tbsp lemon curd




  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F, gas mark 4). Line 2 bun tins with 18 paper cases. Beat the butter, eggs, flour and sugar together using a wooden spoon or electric hand whisk, until the mixture is light, fluffy and drops off the spoon or mixer easily. Fold in the lemon zest.
  2. Divide mixture between the paper cases. Bake for 20 mins until cakes have risen and are golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  3. 3 When the cakes are cold, cut off tops and set aside. Beat together the mascarpone and 2tbsp of icing sugar. Put a teaspoon of the filling, plus a teaspoon of lemon curd, on each cake. Cut the tops in half and stick into the mixture. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Top tips for making lemon butterfly fairy cakes

You could use cream cheese or freshly whipped cream instead of mascarpone if preferred.

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Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 11 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies