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Giant Yellow French Fancy

Rated 94.47%
169 votes




700g Butter


700g Sugar


12 Eggs


800g Flour


20ml Vanilla extract


120ml Milk



400g Butter


800g Icing Sugar


15ml Vanilla extract



1.5kg Icing


Paste colour

Cupboard item (tubs can be bought for £2 a go and last forever!)

Total Cost


French fancies (or fondant fancies if you get the supermarket’s own brand) are made from little cubes of wonderfully light sponge, topped with a bulge of vanilla buttercream and coated in crisp fondant icing. If you tried to make a giant version then it would collapse under its own weight, so I used a madeira cake recipe to give it more strength!
Beat the butter until light and fluffy (my trusty mixer saving my arms with this one). Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until even more light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time to stop the mixture from curdling. Fold in the flour and milk (by hand to keep the air in) and you are ready to bake! Split in to two large, lined baking tins (mine are 30cm x 19cm x 5cm).

Bake for an hour on 180 and you are done!

Allow the cakes to cool completely before cutting or stacking as they firm up as they cool. I wrapped mine up in Clingfilm and left them over-night.
So, next morning…

…cutting (my favourite part…off-cuts and cake skin!)… …and assembling.

Now to stick this calorific cube together! Beat the butter until soft (again with the trusty mixer), add the icing sugar and vanilla and CAREFULLY mix. I put the mix up to pulverise and icing sugar went everywhere!
Fondant fancies don’t have layers of buttercream in the middle so I only used thin layers; just enough to make the cake layers stick together.

When it was all stuck together I finished off the neatening (more offcuts!) and applied a coat of buttercream all over for the roll-out icing to stick to.

Now for the characteristic bulge on top. Apparently this is just a solid lump of vanilla buttercream icing. Great on a tiny 1 inch cube of cake…scaled up it was enough icing to put you into a sugar induced coma!

I lined a mortar (bowl) from a pestle and mortar set with Clingfilm and filled it with the leftover buttercream. It went in the freezer to chill while I mixed colour into the white ready to roll icing.

French fancies are actually enrobed with pourable fondant icing that is liquid to begin with but I went for roll-able sugar-paste icing to give a better finish on such a large scale.

I was disappointed to see that most giant French fancies seemed to be the pink sort (my least favourite as a kid). I was sure that the different colours had different flavours but apparently the yellow ones are not lemony at all! The brown ones are covered in chocolate flavoured fondant though so I was half right. I decided to go for a yellow one. One massive lump of yellow icing and a small ball of dark brown for the stripes on top.
Add the buttercream bulge to the top…

…followed by the rolled out yellow icing…

This was the hardest bit. The icing kept creasing but with lots of smoothing and trimming it finally looked OK.
Roll out thin strips of the brown icing and stick to the top.

In total it weighed 5.6kg…224 times as much as its little cousin!

Calories: 23,436kcal
Sugar: 2,803g
Fat: 1,012g
Saturated fat: 385g
Salt: 21g


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