These are one of my favorite treats for Midsummer. They're light, not too sweet (I actually use 1 tablespoon less sugar than the recipe calls for), and perfectly satisfying little cakes.
Nigella Lawson's Fairy Cakes
Recipe yields 12 regular size cupcakes
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
7 Tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup self-rising cake flour *
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
(May use 1/2 teaspoon almond extract instead of the suggested 1 tsp.vanilla extract.)
2-3 Tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (I bake them at 375* F)
Line a 12 cup muffin tin with baking paper cups.
Bake for 15-20 or until they are golden on top. (These are perfectly baked in 14 to 15 minutes @ 375* in my oven) It's best to start checking them at 12 minutes.
For the Icing ~
Note: Some don't like this icing because it hardens in less than a day. I don't mind because the cakes usually don't last an entire day around my house. They are delicious with a soft buttercream, chocolate ganache, or simply softly whipped cream, too.
Enough for 12 fairy cakes
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg white
3-4 drops lemon juice
food coloring, if desired
Mix the sugar, egg white and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth and creamy, it should have the consistency of heavy cream. Nigella suggests dividing the batch of icing into smaller portions so you can add different colors to each, if you like.