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Lemon Drizzle Fat Fairy Cakes

I hate too much sweet sickly buttercream.

There I have admitted it, heresy as it would seem these days. A modern heavily iced buttercream cupcake doesn’t move heaven and earth for me as it does for a lot of people.  I like a muffin, but they can be overly worthy.  I want an inbetween sweetness.  I do love a bit of lemony sharpness particularly lemonly sweet as in a drizzle cake however, which currently is possibly my favourite cake (running hand in hand with banana bread possibly).

I wanted to make small cakes instead of a large one this time, and so was playing around with some favourite recipes.  I thought I would try cooking a large cake recipe in a small cupcake wrapper, and drizzling with lemon juice and icing exactly as I would if it were a larger cake.  These are the result and I am delighted with them – soft and deliciously sharp yet sweet at the same time.  Easier (and quicker) than cooking in a large loaf tin as I normally do,  these were originally called Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes.

But after a natter about them on Twitter, it was decided that cupcakes HAVE to have excessively swooshy, overtly sweet buttercream in order to merit the name.  But a fairy cake (in my book) is little dainty and about one and half mouthfuls.  These are most definitely cupcake (or muffin) sized, a good two to four bite sized – depending on the size of your mouth – and not really dainty.

It was @goodshoeday of course  who finally came up with the name Fat Fairy (soon to be copyrighted…)

Lemon Drizzle Fat Fairy Cakes

Recipe Type: Cake

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 25 mins

Total time: 45 mins

Serves: 12-15 cakes

A small light lemon drizzle cake, ideal for afternoon tea parties for people who don’t like too much sweet buttercream.


  • 200g very soft unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 125g self raising flour
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 2 lemons
  • One cup fondant icing sugar
  • Muffin tin with cupcake wrappers


  1. Firstly zest both the lemons separately using a microplane grater for preference or an ordinary grater if you don’t have one. Put each lemon’s zest separately to one side. Then juice each lemon, again, keeping the two lots of juice separate.
  2. Then make the fondant icing so that you can see how much lemon juice you will need for that. Sift approximately one cup of fondant icing sugar (the kind sold specifically for fondant with added glucose, this is easier to use and more opaque than ordinary icing sugar, although you can use that if that is what you have) into a small saucepan. Add lemon juice by the teaspoon until you have a smooth thick paste. Put to one side.
  3. Prepare a muffin tin by lining with cupcake wrappers.
  4. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180C (reduce slightly if you have a fan oven)
  5. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add eggs gradually.
  6. Sift flour and almonds over and add the zest of one lemon. Fold in.
  7. From the lemon juice left over after making the icing, add and fold in until you have a good dropping mixture. You will probably not need all of it.
  8. Fill one heaped tablespoon into each cupcake wrapper.
  9. Bake for 25 mins until golden and springy.
  10. Remove from the oven and prick the top of each little cake with a skewer or toothpick. Drizzle the juice of the other lemon evenly over the cakes.
  11. Allow to cool slightly and remove cakes to a cooling rack.
  12. When fully cook, warm the fondant icing and using the tip of a teaspoon drizzle the warm icing over the cakes, and sprinkle with the zest from the 2nd lemon.