What’s the difference between a cupcake and a fairy cake? 

Well, it’s #NationalCupcakeWeek so the perfect time to figure out what the difference is between a cupcake and a fairy cake.


You would be forgiven for thinking that fairy cakes are just the English version of a cupcake, typically American, but when you get down to it the differences do mount up.

Throughout my childhood, my Dad would constantly ‘correct’ me when I said I was making cupcakes, little did he know – no correction needed.

1. Fairy cakes are SMALLER than cupcakes

When visiting any supermarket, this should be obvious when you go down the home baking aisle as you can easily find different sized cases for both fairy cakes and cupcakes

2. The toppings are different

A fairy cake is drizzled with a runny royal icing and let to set with perhaps a few funky sprinkles. Cupcakes however, are a lot more fun and creative. You can pile them high with buttercream, topped with a vast range of decorations including meringue kisses, truffles, sparkles, glitter dust and really anything you can think of

3. Cupcakes have fillings!

When I am making a cupcake, most of the time, I cut out the centre and add a little surprise. Maybe a little chocolate, or salted caramel sauce to give a real zingy/powerful addition. It just adds to the yumminess and the theatre. It does mean that cupcakes are more premium and this is often reflected in the price!

4. Fairy cakes can have fairy wings

Traditionally, the centres are cut out of a fairy cake and filled with jam or buttercream. The cutting from the middle can be cut in two and positioned in a way on the buttercream that they look like fairy wings. Probably the fairy cakes that you associate with your childhood

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