Eggless fairy cakes

Eggless fairy cakes

There is nothing quite like a batch of fairy cakes to bring back those happy childhood memories, whether you remember them as an after school treat, a comforting staple at your school bake sale or as your initiation into the world of baking. Fairy cakes are so simple to make, whilst being incredibly delicious and comforting to eat.

Despite being a classic English bake, I have to say that unfortunately egg free fairy cakes are not sold in the supermarkets. But fear not! For I have the perfect recipe for you. I have adapted the recipe for my popular eggless victoria sponge cake for these eggless fairy cakes, so if you love that one you will love this too!

Golden brown baked fairy cakes without any icing

These eggless fairy cakes are:

  • Soft and fluffy
  • Homemade, with ingredients you can already find in your cupboards
  • So quick to make with no advanced planning required
  • Topped with an easy to make glace icing, and colourful sweets to please little ones

Overview of ingredients

  • Self-raising flour – helps to lift the fairy cakes for a fluffy texture
  • Baking powder – again, helps to lift the fairy cakes for a lighter sponge
  • Caster sugar – sweetens the cakes
  • Whole milk – replaces the moisture that egg would usually provide
  • Apple cider vinegar – creates carbon dioxide as it reacts with baking powder in the absence of egg, which again helps the cakes to rise
  • Vanilla extract – adds a lovely vanilla flavour
  • Sunflower oil – provides moisture to the cake and a soft crumb
  • Icing sugar – essential to creating the glace icing that is synonymous with fairy cakes
A pictorial image of the ingredients on a marble surface

Best fairy cake cases

Fairy cakes are smaller than cupcakes, and so the liners should also be smaller, as should the cake tray. Small fairy cake cases can be quite hard to find, so I would recommend finding the smallest cupcake cases you can.

Traditionally, simple white fairy cake cases like these would be used. However with these type of cases, you can usually feel the oil on the case after your cakes have baked. To stop this, add a tablespoon of rice to the bottom of each cup in the cake pan, place the case on top and fill with batter as usual. This will absorb any grease.

Alternatively, I use these pastel cupcake cases, which are pretty small, at 5cm in diameter and 3cm in height. They are great because they are foil lined. This stops you from feeling the grease at the bottom of the fairy cakes after they have baked.

Flat tops

When I first started baking fairy cakes, the tops would always peak into little mountains, and it took me some trial and error to correct this!

Obviously it doesn’t matter how your cakes look, as long as they taste divine, which these definitely do! But if you are baking these eggless fairy cakes for a party or a bake sale, I think a flat top is so much nicer for a neat and professional look.

If your fairy cakes peak, it is because your oven is too hot.

This causes the sides of the cake to bake quickly, and forces the centre of the cakes upwards into peaks.

So its important to bake these fairy cakes at a very low temperature!

If you have a conventional oven, bake these fairy cakes at 150°c for 25 minutes.

If you have a fan oven, or just a hot oven generally, bake these fairy cakes on 130°c for 25 minutes.

Only fill your cases 2/3 full. This is to avoid any muffin tops. Fairy cakes just want to reach the rim of the cases once they are baked.

Fairy cake batter images

Can you make these eggless fairy cakes vegan?

Yes absolutely. By swapping the milk for a plant based alternative, these cakes will be suitable for anyone following a vegan diet. I think oat milk works particularly well in baking.

Image of fairy cakes, with a bite taken out of one

More eggless baking recipes to love

Try these classic bakes that would traditionally contain egg, but I have successfully adapted for an egg free diet!

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between cupcakes and fairy cakes?

Fairy cakes are a smaller version of cupcakes, small enough to be served to fairies in fact, hence the name! Fairy cakes have a drizzle of glace icing on top. This is contrast to traditional American cupcakes, which have lashings of frosting. Fairy cakes are a British classic, whilst cupcakes are an American variation. Whilst cupcakes come in different flavours, fairy cakes are almost always vanilla flavoured.

Can you use plain flour instead of self raising flour for fairy cakes?

It is important to use self raising flour to keep the fairy cakes light and airy. You can make your own self raising flour by using 150g plain flour, and an additional 2 teaspoons of baking powder in the batter.

How do you make fairy cakes rise?

Self raising flour and baking powder give cakes their lift. Use the proportions of self raising flour and baking powder as described in this recipe, and your fairy cakes will be sure to rise.

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Iced fairy cakes on a cake stand

Eggless fairy cakes

  • Author: noasmodernkitchen
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 fairy cakes 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


These eggless fairy cakes are buttery, soft and moist. Using just a few simple ingredients, you can whip these up in no time at all.


  • 150g self raising flour, sieved
  • 3/4 level teaspoons baking powder, sieved
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 150ml whole milk, or plant based milk to make the sponge vegan and dairy free
  • 7ml apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 50ml sunflower oil, or any other other cooking oil with a mild flavour
  • 100g icing sugar, sieved
  • 4 teaspoons water


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°c (for a standard oven) or 130°c (for a fan assisted oven). Line a 12 cup fairy cake tin with paper cases.
  2. Mix together the sieved flour, baking powder and caster sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Add the whole milk and beat until smooth. Add the vinegar, vanilla extract and golden syrup and mix well, it is normal for little bubbles to begin to form as the vinegar and baking powder react.
  4. Add the oil a little at a time and mix well after each addition.
  5. Pour the mixture into the cake cases until they are half full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the cakes are golden brown.
  6. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  7. When the cakes are completely cool, it’s time to ice the fairy cakes.
  8. Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl, add the water a little at a time and mix well. The icing is ready when it is smooth and thick.
  9. Drizzle the fairy cakes with icing and sprinkle with decorations.


Bake the fairy cakes on a very low heat (150°c for a standard oven and 130°c for a fan assisted oven). This will help the cakes to bake evenly with a flat top, rather than forming peaks.

These fairy cakes will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature, in an airtight container.

The iced cakes can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bring back up to room temperature before serving.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: British


  • Serving Size: 1 fairy cake
  • Calories: 153
  • Sugar: 17g
  • Fat: 4.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.6g

Keywords: eggless fairy cakes

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