Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Rainbow fairy cakes

I've had a busy week getting ready for my eldest daughter's fifth birthday party. She was keen to have a rainbow theme so I've been having lots of fun sourcing colourful decorations and doing some very colourful baking.

These rainbow fairy cakes are very simple but take a little more time then regular fairy cakes. The children (and grown ups!) loved them. Because they are so colourful I kept the icing simple, with retro-style 'wings' but you could ice them and have the colourful sponge as a surprise.

Rainbow cakes - ready to eat!
Ingredients: (makes 14 - 16 cakes)
150g self raising flour
150g softened butter
150g caster sugar
3 large eggs (or eggs equal to 150g, a bit over won't hurt at all).
1/2 tsp baking powder
food colouring gel or paste - I used red, blue, green and purple

Couple of tbsps icing sugar
Hot water
food colouring

Arrange cases in fairy cake tin. Beat all the ingredients with an electric beater until it is pale and fluffy.
Divide the ingredients equally between four bowls (or however many colours you are using).

Gradually add food colouring to each bowl until you get the colour you wish - it will go darker when cooked. Be careful not to add too much, especially if you are using gel, or you will make the cake mixture too wet. If you are using eggs from hens fed on grass the yolks will be very yellow so you will find it difficult to get a true blue colour, mine were quite greenish.

Now to fill the cases! Use about half a teaspoon of each colour, in separate blobs in each case. I like to weigh each case as I fill it to get cakes of an even size, I used a total of 25g of mixture in each case, about 6g of each colour. If you are a carefree and relaxed baker do it by guesswork! I always take a minute to check that the cases are flat on the bottom of the tin and a nice round shape, if not the cakes will be uneven.

Bake for about 8 minutes until firm and springy but not browned. 180 deg C (fan) or top oven of aga with the deflector sheet on the top rungs.

While the cakes are cooling make some simple sugar icing. Place a couple of tbsps of icing sugar in a bowl, gradually add hot water (from the kettle) and stir until you have a smooth, thick paste. Colour as required.

When the cakes are cooled slice the tops off in a neat circle and cut in half, put half a tsp of icing on the cake and stick the two halves a cook top back on tilted up to look like wings. Put some sprinkles on the 'body' if you wish.

These cakes are best eaten within 24 hours - not that you'll have any left over anyway!

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