Monday, 29 April 2013

Tea Time Treats: Honey and Orange Blossom Fairy Cakes

I've never been one for creating fabulous, fancy cupcake icing. This is not for lack of kit. I have more piping gizmos and gadgets than the average Lakeland store. Heck, I have more cupcake piping paraphernalia than Mary Berry has cookbooks to her name.  

It's just on the occasions I've practiced, unless under close expert supervision (see Eric Lanlard's cupcake decorating class four years ago) I've been, honestly, rubbish. 

It quite frankly looks like someone half my age three years of age has had a good go decorating these cakes. 
Yes I need to practice. But I also have lists of lists of cakes and recipes I really, really want to try first. That don't involve piping bags. Not even those beginner piping bags that offer the most control and the most convenience since Mary Berry first published 'One Step Ahead'.  
Therefore most of the cupcake recipes you'll see on What Kate Baked have a rather more simple, shall we say 'rustique' water based icing. 

(By saying the French 'rustique' rather than 'rustic' I hope to convey far more of a sophisticated, refined icing. Hasn't worked, has it?). 

With this month's Tea Time Treats (hosted by yours truly, master-piper me) being 'Cupcakes, Muffins and Fairy Cakes' I was inspired by the warmth of the Spring to create these Honey and Orange Blossom Fairy Cakes.

For the cakes:

 150g butter, softened
 75g caster sugar
 75g honey 
 2 medium eggs, beaten
 1 tsp orange blossom water
 150g sifted plain flour
 2 tsps baking powder

 For the decoration:

150g sifted icing sugar
1 tsps orange blossom water mixed with 2 tbsps water
Sugar strands to decorate

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C (fan)/Gas Mark 5. Line a 12 hole cupcake tin with paper cases
2. Beat together the butter, sugar and honey for 7-10 minutes until light, soft and fluffy
3. Slowly beat in the eggs and orange water, adding a tbsp of the flour if the mixture begins to curdle
4. Fold in the flour and baking powder. Add a splash of milk if needed to ensure the mixture is of 'dropping consistency' (in that the mixture drops easily off a spoon when raised from the bowl). Divide the mixture between the paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden
5. Set aside to cool. To make the icing: gradually add the water mixture to the icing, mixing to create a smooth thin paste consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cakes and decorate with the sugar strands

Baker's Notes...
  • These are simple but oh-so-sweet little Spring cakes. Orange Blossom Water should be available in most large supermarkets. If you can't find any, you could substitute the Blossom Water for the zest of a couple of oranges, divided between the cakes and the icing
  • The kind folk at the 'Rediscover Italy' Project sent me this artisan honey from the Emilia Romagna region (a part of Italy where you can find UNESCO District) to sample and use in these cakes. Lovely it was.
  • There are still twenty four whole hours to enter this month's Tea Time Treats. Simply add your entry here


  1. I bet these taste delicious. I'm not a fan of too much icing so I like the rustique look you've gone for!

  2. Hi Kate,

    I love the use of orange blossom water in your muffin. I will try these muffin in mu little kitchen in the future. Do not worry about the decoration, your stomach can not see it.


  3. These do look lovely and sound a great recipe for Spring. I love the orange blossom water, too. :)

  4. Give me those old-fashioned iced cupcakes any day. The sweet icing is much better than all that butter in frosting, anyway! And the word you really need to use is artisanal! Love your cakes.x

  5. These sound delicious :) good old fairy cakes!

  6. Sometimes those fancy decorated cupcakes are all style and no substance - they just taste of too much sugar and butter. Your cakes on the other hand look rustiquely (!) beautiful and I'm sure they taste even better :-)

  7. I really like the drizzle effect - it looks delicate. Like others, I sometimes find icing a bit overpowering.


Thank you very much for your comment- I appreciate every single one of them!