Lemon Fairy Cakes, Gluten Free


I’ve always wanted to make fairy cakes – it’s a way better name for a small little cake than cupcake. Cupcake is about as literal as one can get. Cake in a cup. B.o.r.i.n.g.  But fairy cake? Perfect.

We made these using Doves Farm Gluten Free White Self Raising Flour  – the only one I could find and get shipped here easily (translated, affordable).  Doves Farms also makes other gluten-free flours that are available in the UK and most of Europe.

We have lots of blog readers from the UK (waving hello) and the Canteen kitchen was curious about the popular GF flours from that region of the globe. The ingredients information, link and conversion weights to volume for this Doves Farm flour are listed in the About Flours tab on the home page.

About these fairy cakes. In our house, someone who is not me loves anything lemon. Those lemon loving genes come from ancestors who immigrated here from jolly old England back in 1700 something making this recipe a nod to Mr. Canteen’s family history.

And this fairy cake is all lemon. Lemon cake. Lemon buttercream, topped with a tiny peel of lemon zest.

On behalf of all his British ancestors, Mr. Canteen pronounced the fairy cakes quite lemony as he stuffed one cake after another into his mouth. I’m pretty sure that is what he said, at least.

Who knows. I was already busy baking chocolate something fairy cakes.

Stay tuned.

Lemon Fairy Cakes
These little fairy cakes made with Doves Farm GF self rising flour were incredibly light, almost like sponge cake. The lemon was a perfect pairing for the texture and flavor. Lemon oil can be found in most markets - it is a little bit more flavorful than an extract. A little goes a long way. Makes about 12 fairy cakes.
Fairy Cake
  • 175 grams flour (I used Doves Farm self rising) or any GF AP flour (87 grams superfine brown rice flour plus 44 grams each superfine white rice flour and tapioca flour/starch) (1⅓ cups)
  • 175 grams granulated sugar (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder (use 1 teaspoon for flours that are not self-rising)
  • 145 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 88 grams milk (1/3 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon oil (Boyajian)
  • zest of two lemons
Lemon Buttercream
  • 170 grams unsalted butter, room temperature (1.5 sticks)
  • 400 grams powdered sugar, sifted (3.5 cups)
  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon oil
  • zested lemon peel
Fairy Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Place liners in a muffin tin (12). Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl whisk flour, sugar, salt, baking powder. Melt butter in a microwave safe container. Cool slightly. Add eggs, milk and stir. Add lemon extract, lemon oil and zest. Stir. Add to dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Scoop into liners about ⅔ full. Bake about 15-18 minutes or just until a toothpick comes out without crumbs. Completely cool fairy cakes on a rack before frosting.
Lemon Buttercream
  1. In the bowl of stand mixer whip butter. Add sifted sugar and mix on low until mostly combined. Add lemon juice, one tablespoon at a time. Add flavorings and whip on high until light and very fluffy. Pipe on cooled fairy cakes.
  1. Zest a fresh lemon cutting small strips. Add to the top of each fairy cake.


  1. so cute will try over this weekend

  2. These are delicious. I spent a lot of time researching GF lemon cupcake recipes before settling on this one for a friends birthday dessert. They are very light and airy… Just the texture I wanted. Few notes– I used Glutino all purpose flour plus double baking powder as suggested. I also used coconut milk instead of regular milk which added a nice compliment to the lemon….I also added a bit of fresh lemon juice and an extra tablespoon of flour. I wanted a bit of natural lemon flavor in addition to the extract. Also I used just lemon extract instead of both oil and extract. Thanks again for the recipe!