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fairy cakes on a cooling rack
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5 from 2 votes

Easy Gluten-Free Fairy Cakes

Gluten-Free Fairy Cakes are light, fluffy little cakes which are perfect for baking with kids. Simply made with gluten-free flour, ground almonds and no weird gums they deliver a delicious buttery vanilla flavour. Glazed with an easy lemon icing Fairy Cakes are the best reason to usher your children into the kitchen.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12 fairy cakes
Calories: 352kcal


  • 200 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs medium
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 100 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Lemon Icing

  • 225 g icing sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon


  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cases.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. About 6 minutes in a stand mixer, scraping the sides down occasionally.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and then add the vanilla extract.
  • Whisk together the gluten-free flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt.
  • Add the flour mixture to other ingredients and beat well.
  • Divide the batter between the muffin cases.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until the surface is just turning golden.
  • As soon as the tin has been taken out of the oven, then lift out the fairy cakes and leave on a cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
  • Make the icing by beating together the lemon juice and zest with the icing sugar until the icing is a thick paste.
  • Drop a teaspoon of icing on each fairy cake and use the back of a teaspoon to swirl around to the edges.
  • Decorate the fairy cakes with plenty of colourful sprinkles.



  • Gluten-free flour - You can use any gluten-free flour blend. I use this one.
  • Ground almonds - I recommend using supermarket bought ground almonds rather than grinding your own as they are softer for a lighter bake and relatively flavourless.
  • Vanilla extract – this is a must for a true deep vanilla flavour (not vanilla essence).
  • This recipe uses a regular 12-hole muffin tin.
  • Use muffin cases. Traditional fairy cakes are quite small, however I recommend using muffin cases as they are less fiddly for your child to fill with cake batter. 
  • Sprinkles! Check your labelling as some sprinkles contain gluten.
  • Flat surface – you want your fairy cakes to have a flat surface once baked which makes them easier to decorate. You can achieve this by getting as much air into the batter as possible. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes in a stand mixer. Then beat well as you add each ingredient.
  • Use a trigger release ice-cream scoop for filling the muffin cases.
  • Remove the fairy cakes from the baking tin as soon as you take them out of the oven so they don’t retain the heat and become soggy.
  • Icing consistency – Add your lemon juice gradually, you may not need the whole lemon. The icing should be the consistency of a thick paste which doesn’t drip off a teaspoon.
  • Freezing the fairy cakes - you can freeze the fairy cakes very well in a ziplock bag prior to icing.


Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 92mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 496IU | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1mg