fairy cakes

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~ fairy cakes ~

“Flowers add romantic history to our food. They lend a charming, healthy, and unusual dimension to our tables. During Queen Victoria’s reign there was a Primrose Day. A fanciful recipe for fairy cups called for a peck of flowers pounded with ladyfingers, three pints of cream, sixteen eggs and a little rosewater, buttered and baked with sugar on top.” ~ from The Epicurean website

This past winter my friend Karen Toocheck, the owner of the lovely Crystallized Flower Company out of Willoughby Ohio, asked me to collaborate with her and create a recipe for Fairy Cakes. We had to wait until blooming season, and in the middle of winter that can seem like forever….but finally the time has come!

Karen sent me the original article that inspired her idea for the fairy cakes. (quoted above under the photogrphs)…and that’s pretty much all we had to work with. She calculated a general recipe for me to refer to, and after a little tweaking, I think I got it. These little cakes are flowery, and dense, and really nothing at all like a cupcake except for their appearance. They remind me of kuchen. Eggy and moist. I added a little drizzle of fresh orange zest glaze to the tops of them…and a little rose salt for a sweet/salty contrast, but other than that I stuck to the ingredients in the original recipe. If you make these, be prepared for a completely different experience. We enjoyed them with iced tea and they really were lovely.

for one dozen fairy cakes:

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup milk

4 cups lady finger cookie crumbs

3 eggs

1 teaspoon rosewater

1/4 cup edible, unsprayed flower petals chopped into “confetti”

(I used pink rose petals, orange marigolds, yellow violas, and purple pansies)

a variety of crystallized or fresh flowers for decorating

Place broken ladyfinger cookies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to produce crumbs. (approximately 36 ladyfingers.) Combine the cookie crumbs with the cream, milk, eggs, rosewater and flower petal confetti until all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Line 12 muffin tins with cupcake liners and spoon the batter into the liners. Bake at 365 for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes clean. allow the fairy cakes to cool a bit before lightly buttering the top of each. Sprinkle a little coarse sugar over the tops and allow them to cool completely before drizzling with icing and decorating with fresh or crystallized flowers.

for icing:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon fruit juice (I used lemon)

2 teaspoons orange zest



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  11 comments for “fairy cakes

  1. Karen Toocheck
    June 26, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Holy Yum, Yum!!! You did it! They look awesome! You truely are a flower fairy! XOXO <3

    • Melissa
      June 26, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      they are quite yummy! so pleased you like them Karen. xoxo πŸ™‚

  2. June 27, 2012 at 1:38 am

    They are so beautiful and full of fairy tales πŸ™‚ Thats a beutiful and very interessting recipe. As soon as I can get hold of edible flowers I wil try this recipe. You know I am always trying new cupcake recipies.
    Love to you both xx

    • Melissa
      June 27, 2012 at 9:21 am

      thanks Misbah! love you back πŸ™‚ xo

  3. June 28, 2012 at 7:50 am


    Enough said.

    • Melissa
      June 28, 2012 at 10:56 am

      Thanks so much Movita! πŸ™‚ xo

  4. Jann
    April 14, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    this looks wonderful. I’m not familiar with lady finger cookies. Where I live we have lady fingers that are found in the freezer that are very light and the consistency of sponge cake. Is there a brand of cookie that I need to look for? Thanks for sharing. I think my two granddaughters would love this at our tea parties.

  5. Larissa
    June 13, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    Hi, I’m writing from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean.
    I have a few questions for you:
    Where can I get the unsprayed flower petals?
    do they come already chopped into β€œconfetti”?
    where can I get the crystallized or fresh flowers?

    Are this products available through the internet?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Mel
      June 19, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      Larissa, The best unsprayed flower petals are ones you can grow yourself although I know Amazon do dried organic flower petals – namely lavender and rose petals which are both edible. It’s easy enough to chop them yourself or even just tear them up as they are going to be baked anyway. Finally if you can’t get hold of crystallised flowers they are very easy to make – egg white and sugar on the petals and then into a fridge.

      • arosvi
        June 22, 2015 at 9:38 am

        Thank you, I’m going to look them!

  6. arosvi
    June 21, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Where did you buy the edible petals?

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