French Fancies

Hey guys! I have a gorgeous little recipe for you today, French Fancies. A childhood favourite of mine but extra special! Soft vanilla sponge layered with buttercream then coated in a vanilla icing and finished with a chocolate drizzle.

A fun recipe for an absolutely favourite treat of mine. Very versatile so feel free to pick the flavours you would like to make. Keep them simple with vanilla in the buttercream and cake, maybe even add in a layer of jam! If zesty is for you why not try adding in lemon or orange zest to the cake and buttercream. You could even add in a layer of lemon curd! It’s totally up to you. Any flavour of jam or spread would work so well in here. If chocolate is your thing, swap out some of your icing sugar for cocoa powder.

When it comes to the colouring of the icing, I will always advise to use a food gel colouring. If you use a water based colouring it can effect your bake. You would need to use A LOT of water based food colouring compared to gel colouring which is very powerful!

If you have any questions Dm me on Instagram. Happy Baking! <3 Keep an eye out on my Instagram for a Reel of me making these French Fancies!

French Fancies

A childhood favourite of mine but extra special! Soft vanilla sponge layered with buttercream then coated in a vanilla icing and finished with a chocolate drizzle.
3.67 from 3 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: french fancies, lemon, vanilla
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Gill


  • Weighing scales
  • Bowls
  • Electric whisk
  • 8×8 Tin
  • Baking paper
  • Knife
  • Spatula
  • Piping bag
  • Wire cooling rack



  • 150 grams Unsalted butter
  • 150 grams Caster Sugar
  • 150 grams Self raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 Eggs Small or Medium
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon If you want to make them lemon flavour!


  • 100 grams Unsalted butter
  • 200 grams Icing sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Or half zest of a lemon if you want lemon flavour!
  • 3 tbsp Jam Optional
  • 1 or 2 tsp Milk


  • 450 grams Icing sugar
  • 70 grams Water or enough until thicken but pourable
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Your colour of choice food colouring gel
  • 1 tbsp Melted chocolate


  • Preheat your oven to 180C/160 C Fan. Grease and line your 8×8 square tray.
  • In a mixing bowl, Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  • Mix in eggs one at a time until combined.
  • Mix in your vanilla (and lemon zest if using) then fold in your sieved flour and salt.
  • Spoon the mix into your cake tin and smooth down. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake springs bake when you gently press it.
  • Leave to cool completely.
  • Once cool, level the top of your cake with a knife if needed then cut your cake in half down the centre so you have two long rectangles.
  • Now we are going to make the buttercream. In a mixing bowl, Cream your butter until pale and fluffy using an electric whisk. Whisk in your icing sugar in two batches till fully combined.
  • Whisk in your vanilla or lemon zest. Add in a teaspoon or two of milk if needed to get a spreadable consistency.
  • If using jam, spread a thin layer of jam on the top of one piece of cake. Spread half of your buttercream on the top of the other cake then place your two cake layers together to form a sandwich.
  • Trim your cake if need to get all your sides nice and straight. Slice into 8 squares by cutting in half then cutting each half into four. Place each cake onto a wire rack.
  • Place your wire rack on top of a baking sheet (This is to catch your icing)
  • Place the rest of your buttercream into a piping bag then pipe a small ball of buttercream on top of each cake.
  • In a bowl, add your icing sugar, vanilla and food colouring gel of choice. Add your water in bit by bit until you have a thick pourable consistency. Mix until you have a smooth icing with no lumps.
  • Pour your icing all over your mini cakes. Wait for approx 5 minutes for it to harden slightly then scoop the extra icing caught on your baking sheet back into your bowl then coat your cakes in icing once more.
  • Leave to set completely at room temperature then drizzle with melted chocolate.
  • Once your chocolate has set, tuck in and enjoy your beautiful pieces of work! You deserve it!

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