Spring Time Fairy Buns

In Ireland we have several names for American Cupcakes. We call them Queen Cakes, Buns and, of course, Fairy Buns. I think Fairy Buns are appropriate for March when we are celebrating being Irish and conjuring up green images of fairy folk, leprechauns and of course the patron Saint of Ireland, Patrick. {Conjuring up green this year is much needed in NYC where the ground is still covered in snow}

The Fairy Buns recipe I used is from a wonderful book Avoca Tea Time.


This book is one of several from Avoca Cafe. I am fortunate to have grown up near the magnificent Powerscourt Estate where one of the Avoca Cafes is located within the house and has truly amazing views of the gardens and the surrounding Wicklow landscape. It is definitely worth visiting there on a trip to Ireland and especially on a sunny day when you can dine outside on the terrace. There they use fresh Irish produce to make delicious lunches, snacks and cakes.


  • 120g Unsalted softened butter {remove from the fridge a few hours before use and leave out at room temperature}
  • 120g sugar {the recipe calls for caster but that is not sold locally where I live}
  • a drop of vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour {I use all purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon of baking powder which I sieve together}
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder if using self-raising flour


I normally pre-heat the oven 10 minutes or so before I finish making the buns at 200C/gas mark 6 or 375F. Fill cupcake/bun tins with approximately 16 cases.

Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla together until they are light and fluffy, doesn’t take long in my KitchenAid.

Gradually add 1 egg at a time with a generous tablespoon of flour as this helps prevent curdling. Finally add the remaining flour.

I use an ice-cream scoop to place the mixture in the paper cases. I usually get 16 buns from this recipe as I only fill the cases 3/4 of the way up.


If not icing the buns I usually separate the mixture into three batches and add chocolate chips to one and raisins to the other and leave one plain.

In our oven they usually take between 10-12 minutes to bake, however, I think it is important to check them before that time as temperatures can vary depending on your oven. I use a toothpick to check if they are done. I also use the Speed bake setting when baking as it gives the buns a nice golden colour, if I don’t use that I find that they come out very pale.


For the cake toppers:

I used a heart punch on green paint samples from the hardware store, which I like to do frequently. I put some double sided tape on a heart then placed a wooden toothpick on top and then add another heart on top of that, pressing firmly together to make sure the hearts and toothpick are stuck down. I pop the finished hearts on the buns when they are cooled down.


Note: I bought the shamrock bun cases and heart punch at Michael’s Arts and Craft Store. they carry great seasonal merchandise for all types of decorating and craft making.

This entry was published on March 5, 2015 at 2:22 am. It’s filed under Baking, Food and Drink, KitchenAid, Michaels Arts and Crafts, Spring, St Patrick's Day and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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