A debate that has gone on for years in many households (including my own growing up), but they are different things - promise!
You would be forgiven for thinking that fairy cakes are just the English version of a cupcake, typically America, but when you get down to it, the differences mount up.
1. Fairy cakes are smaller than cupcakes
When visiting any supermarket, this should be obvious when you go down the home baking aisle and 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 (or made into butterflies, and we will come onto this later). Cupcakes are a lot more fun and creative (in our opinion!). You can pile them high with buttercream and top with a vast range of decorations including fruit, meringue kisses, truffles, sparkles, glitter dust, sauce - anything you can think of really!
3. Cupcakes can have fillings!
When I am making cupcakes, 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 zingy addition. It just adds yumminess and theatre! It does mean that cupcakes are more premium and this is always reflected in the price....
4. Fairy cakes can have 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 to make them look like fairy wings. Probably the fairy cakes that you associate with your childhood