Dessert: makes 16. Total time: 1 hour
It was almost painful watching my three-year-old first pick the dolly mixtures off some 10 fairy cakes, and then lick off the green icing. But having made them with his own pudgy hands it seemed churlish to intervene. These are a tad more tasteful, if there is such a thing as a tasteful fairy cake.


3 medium eggs
150g caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
75ml double cream
150g plain white flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp lemon juice
a few drops of yellow food colouring


150g icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp lemon juice
a few drops of red & yellow food colouring
miniature dolly mixtures or little fruit jellies for decoration

Heat the oven to 170C fan oven/180C or 350F electric oven/Gas 4. Lay 16 paper cases out on a baking tray. Whisk the eggs, sugar, and lemon zest together in a bowl, then add the cream. Sift the flour and baking powder together and gradually fold in. Stir in the melted butter, the lemon juice and the food colouring. Spoon the cake mixture into the paper cases, half-filling them, and bake for 20 minutes until golden and risen. Transfer the cakes to a rack, and leave them to cool.

Whisk the icing sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl. Transfer half to another bowl, and colour one a sunny orange with a few drops each of red and yellow colouring, and the other primrose yellow. Coat the top of the cakes using a spoon, half with the orange icing and half with the yellow, and decorate with dolly mixtures or orange and lemon jellies. Leave the icing to set for an hour or two.