Before the chocolate chip muffin and the buttercream icing cupcake, before red velvet cake and the “cronut”, and indeed before macaroon and “cake pop” epidemics swept the world, there was the humble “bun”. It seems there is a new craze every month with some other cakey notion that is sweeping kitchens everywhere, but before Great British Bake Off and Masterchef made us feel the need to up our game in the kitchen, we were all pretty happy with a sponge bun or little cupcake.
My mum used to make little cupcakes most weeks with a little lemon icing (no not the 2 inch high butter-cream sort, but the really runny, simple glaze) or maybe a chocolate button squished on top and we were delighted. When she had people coming over or had a party she would make these easy little “fairy cake” buns which are essentially just buns with a little jam and cream in them. I think they are amazing, but all the old fashioned plain cakes seem to be falling out of favour as we try and one up each other with saffron infused sponges (what?) and chiffon cakes (I still don’t know what they are, but they sound complicated). Anyway, here I am trying back to bring back the tasty little sponge bun for those of us who are just not bothered spending the whole day slaving over one cake, when you can spend 30 minutes whipping these impressive looking little beauties up with the easiest fairy cake recipe ever, and they taste amazing!
I am slightly obsessed with Flynn’s Kitchen, a company in Cork making the most amazing jams and dressings. On other blog posts you have probably heard me harp on about their basil oil (which makes everything taste better), but their jams are incredible and bursting with flavour. Their plain raspberry jam is my favourite, but today I decided to go wild and use their Mixed Berry, Black Pepper and Kirsh Jam… incredible. If you live in Cork you should try seek them out, you won’t look back.
150g self raising flour
115g caster sugar
115g butter (at room temperature)
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Good quality jam (enough for 12 tsps)
150ml cream approx (enough for 12 tsp) whipped until thick
Any assortment of berries.
1. Mix together all bun ingredients with a mixer and spoon into 12 cupcake cases (preferably in a cupcake tin so they hold their shape). Pop into an oven preheated to 180C and let bake for about 15 minutes until golden on top. Then let them cool on a wire rack.
2. When cooled cut off the top of the cake, this is best done by getting a sharp knife and cutting the top off with the knife pointed inwards so that the piece you are removing is cone shaped. My personal favorite knives come from SharpenedKnife.com, I have had them for a while now and I swear by them completely.
3. Into the section you have hollowed out, spoon in a teaspoon of jam, and then a teaspoon of cream, squish in a raspberry or a few blueberries for good measure and then pop the top of the cake back on. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar and serve with a nice big hot pot of tea.