Chocolate Fairy Cakes

Made with rice flour, these gluten-free chocolate fairy cakes are light as a button. Turn the top slice into butterfly wings and squidge together with lots of chocolate buttercream.

This is an easy, versatile recipe. By using rice flour it means that those with an intolerance to corn can eat them too. You can turn these into Easter nests by piping buttercream on top and filing with eggs, or just decorate with buttercream and sprinkles.

Chocolate Fairy Cakes

Chocolate fairy cakes, decorated as butterfly cakes


Makes 12 small cakes

For the fairy cakes:

  • 115g margarine or butter, softened
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 110g rice flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xantham gum
  • 4 tbsp milk

 For the buttercream:

  • 50g butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • ½ tbsp cocoa
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4.
  • Mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat the eggs.
  • Add all the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
  • Put paper cases into a 12-hole bun tin.
  • Spoon the mixture into the cases, dividing evenly.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • To make the buttercream, mix all the ingredients together until well mixed and fluffy.
  • To make butterfly cakes, carefully slice a layer off the top of a cake.
  • Cut the top layer in half to make two wings.
  • Use a teaspoon to scoop out a little cake from the middle. Discard or eat...
  • Spoon the filing into the hole and spread over the top of the cake.
  • Arrange the wings on top.
  • Repeat with the other cakes.

To make plain cakes, omit the cocoa powder and use 115g rice flour.

I find this recipe works just as well with margarine, so if you are after a cheaper version they are just as good.