/ / Gluten Free Fairy Bread Slice

Gluten Free Fairy Bread Slice

This gluten free fairy bread slice is a fun twist on the classic party food. A quick and easy to make vanilla slice base topped with a lightly sweetened buttercream and covered in hundreds and thousands.

Triangular pieces of fairy bread slice - a light coloured slice topped with buttercream and rainbow sprinkles - on a mint green background.

I may be an adult now but there is still a small child in my head that loves anything sprinkle-related. I have a sprinkle drawer in my cake pantry. Give me a cake theme/colour and I will probably have sprinkles to match.

But my love of sprinkles started long before I started decorating cakes – it began with fairy bread.

Slices of white bread spread with butter and coated in hundreds and thousands – fairy bread has long been a birthday party staple in NZ and Australia – where it was first mentioned in a Hobart newspaper in 1929.

Now, if you’ve been gluten free for a while you know that gluten free bread is a far cry from the super soft, white, very gluten-y bread used to make fairy bread. The texture just isn’t the same, and gluten free breads often have quite a strong flavour that just doesn’t work well as fairy bread. It also often needs to be toasted first, or dries out quite quickly even when left untoasted.

So I wanted to make a party food that had all of the joy of fairy bread, but with a great texture, and something that could be made in advance – making it perfect for parties.

Triangular pieces of fairy bread slice in two rows on a white tray, with a green tissue paper fan and pink honeycomb ball party decorations in the background.

If you’ve made my gluten free Belgian slice or lemon slice recipes before then you’ll start to sense a theme here – this slice is a half batch of the same base recipe. This is perfect because it has a light, slightly cakey texture and I’ve flavoured it just with vanilla to keep a similar mild flavour to fairy bread.

The icing is only lightly sweetened – it’s not as sweet as regular buttercream, so the butter and sprinkles are still the stars of the show.

Since this recipe is designed for younger palates than mine, I enlisted some small taste testers to sample it for me – my little neighbours Zara and Kate. They gave it a thumbs up and both quickly asked for a second piece, so that means the recipe passes the test and I can share it with you.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it…

Ingredients

The gluten free fairy bread slice ingredients in white bowls on a mint green background.

Gluten free plain flour –  I used my homemade gluten free flour blend here, but you can also use a store-bought gluten free plain flour blend. I haven’t tested this exact recipe with Edmond’s gluten free plain flour yet but it works in my other versions of this recipe so I can’t see why it wouldn’t work well here too.
Xanthan gum – If you’re using a store-bought flour blend like Edmonds that contains a gum ingredient, omit the xanthan gum from the recipe.
Butter – You can use salted or unsalted butter. For the truest fairy bread experience, use salted butter in the icing, or use margarine (which I’m pretty sure is what all Mums in the 80s/90s were using on their fairy bread.)
Caster sugar – I like caster sugar in this recipe as it gives the slice a light, fine crumb, but regular sugar will also work.
Vanilla extract
Eggs – You’ll need one large (size 7) egg
Icing sugar
Hundreds and Thousands – aka 100s and 1000s, sprinkles or nonpareils. The rainbow-coloured variety is traditional for fairy bread, but if you want permission to use different coloured sprinkles then here I am to give it to you – use whatever you like as long as you check that they’re gluten free. Chocolate hail is also a nice option.

How to Make Gluten Free Fairy Bread Slice

The slice batter in a large glass mixing bowl, with a blue spatula.

The base is very easy to make, simply beat butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until creamy, add the egg, then the flour and xanthan gum.

The baked base in a square pan.

Spread the mixture into a lined 8″/20cm square cake pan, and bake until lightly golden around the edges. Leave to cool before icing.

The icing in a small glass bowl, with a purple spatula.

Make the icing by beating the butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy. This icing is designed to be less sweet than regular buttercream, but you can sweeten it with a bit more icing sugar if it’s not sweet enough for you.

The slice in a square cake pan, with the top covered in rainbow sprinkles.

Spread the icing over the slice, and then immediately sprinkle over the hundreds and thousands (if you let the icing set too much before adding the sprinkles, they won’t stick). Shake the cake pan to settle the sprinkles into an even layer.

Let the icing set before cutting the slice into pieces. I went with triangles, but you can cut it into whatever shape and size you prefer.

Close up of a piece of slice on a mint green background, with hundreds and thousands sprinkles scattered around.

More Gluten Free Party Foods You May Like…

Gluten Free Lolly Cake
Gluten Free Rice Bubble Marshmallow Slice
Gluten Free Melting Moments

Are you new to gluten-free baking?

Or just need some tips on how to make the most of the recipes on GFKF? Check out my start guide to learn how to bake safely and successfully gluten free.

Allergen safety ✔️ Gluten free flour info ✔️
Accurate measuring ✔️ Tools + Equipment ✔️

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Triangular pieces of fairy bread slice - a light coloured slice topped with buttercream and rainbow sprinkles - on a mint green background.

Gluten Free Fairy Bread Slice

This gluten free fairy bread slice is a fun twist on the classic party food. A quick and easy to make vanilla slice base topped with a lightly sweetened buttercream and covered in hundreds and thousands.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 18 pieces

Ingredients

For the Slice

  • 100 g butter, at room temperature
  • 100 g caster sugar, or regular white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 150 g gluten free plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum, see notes

For the Icing

  • 75 g butter, at room temperature
  • 125 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons hundreds and thousands, or other sprinkles

Instructions

Make the Slice

  • Heat oven to 160°C and prepare an 8" (20cm) square cake pan by spraying with oil spray (or rubbing well with butter) and line with two criss-crossed strips of baking paper.
  • With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl until just combined and creamy 1-2 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined.
  • Sift in half of the flour and the xanthan gum and mix until just combined. Add the remaining flour and stir by hand until well combined.
  • Spread the batter into an even layer in the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden at the edges and the middle springs back slightly when pressed. Leave the slice in the pan and allow it to cool completely before icing.

Make the Icing

  • Beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Sift in the icing in two additions, mixing on low speed to combine. Increase speed to medium and beat for 1-2 minutes until fluffy.
  • Spread the icing evenly over the slice. Make sure the surface of the icing is still soft before adding the sprinkles – if it's not, run a spatula under hot water, dry it and then smooth over the surface of the icing.
  • Sprinkle over the hundred and thousands, and gently shake the pan to settle the sprinkles in an even layer. Allow the icing to set – pop it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so if you're in a hurry.
  • Remove the slice from the pan and cut into pieces. I cut mine into thirds each way and then each of those squares into triangles.
  • Store the slice in an airtight container for up to a week.

Notes

  • Gluten-Free Flour – I used my homemade gluten free flour blend, but you can also use a store-bought gluten free flour blend.
  • Xanthan Gum – If you’re using a store-bought flour blend that contains a gum ingredient, you can omit the xanthan gum from the recipe.
  • Butter – I like to use salted butter as it gives more of a true fairy bread flavour to the icing, however if you don’t like salted butter in buttercream, then you can use unsalted butter.
  • Sprinkles – Hundreds and Thousands (aka 100s and 1000s) – rainbow nonpareils are traditional, however you can use any sprinkles you like. Make sure they are gluten free, as not all sprinkles are.
 
If you prefer a sweeter icing, or if you’re making this in hot weather, add an extra 25-50g of icing sugar to the buttercream. This will stiffen the icing and make it more stable/less soft at room temperature.
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