fairy bread

A few months ago, the Australian tradition of fairy bread crossed my radar. White bread, crusts off, slathered with butter and covered with nonpareils. It sounded revolting.  And yet... intriguing.

So, after last week's adventure with Bubble Tea, I determined to continue widening our culinary horizons and subject... I mean... expose... my children to this exotic delicacy.

Of course, what's not to like about bread covered with brightly colored, crunchy, sugary bits? My children took to it immediately with gusto and delight. (Was I surprised? Not in the least.)

My favorite thing about fairy bread (besides the pretty nonpareils) is the origin of the name.  It's said to be called after a poem by Robert Lewis Stevenson.

Fairy Bread
Come up here, O dusty feet!
Here is fairy bread to eat.
Here in my retiring room,
Children, you may dine
On the golden smell of broom
And the shade of pine;
And when you have eaten well,
Fairy stories hear and tell.

My older son preferred a variation of fairy bread which substitutes Nutella for butter, however my little one was happy either way.  If you would like to read a precise (and very funny) recipe for fairy bread, have a look here.  And for an entertaining discussion of this (ahem) scrumptious & nutritious snack click here.

Addendum :: It is implied in the article linked above that, in Australia, fairy bread might be substituted for cake at children's birthday parties, however I have been informed by Australian readers that this would never be the case!  To read further about treats (besides fairy bread) served at children's parties in Australia, you can have a look here and here.


  1. Oh my, this brings to mind a long ago friend (we were teenagers and trust me that was long ago), when desiring a treat would pour sugar in middle of white bread, fold up the corners and stuff the whole thing in her mouth. Umm, I've never wanted a treat that bad. My son love crustless jelly sandwiches, which he called jelly angels. I know not why. I love the using more than reasonable butter in the article. Too funny.

    1. That article was very funny indeed, and your sugar-bread was not so very outlandish either. It reminds of a sometimes-treat around here: buttered toast sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar!

  2. Thought fairy bread was universal. Haven't offered this delicacy to H&T for ages. To make it a bit more "nutritious" (read guilt free) use fruit bread/fruit loaf/raisin loaf. Not sure what you would call it in the US - basically white or sour dough bread with dried fruit in it. Toasted with butter or if more adventurous butter and cinnamon sugar. Stale it is great as French toast (dipped in mix of egg milk cinnamon and a bit of vanilla; drained then cooked in a nonstick pan with a dash of butter to brown it. Serve warm, for the really decadent a slop of maple syrup (and who would say no to ice cream or cream?). I have diverged into the other wicked after school winter snacks and sometime desserts - back to fairy bread for a party treat I use large cutters to make shapes after buttering (to fiddly otherwise & leave on crusts as cutter missed these) then dipping in 'sprinkles' (some people use sweet jelly crystals for a sparkle factor). The helpers of course can dip the leftover crusts in the remaining sprinkles as a treat while you frantically decorate the birthday cake. For boys, with shapesit is no longer fairy bread and can become dragon cakes or star bread. Warm wishes and much love; owe you a letter. Back to the chemistry report/essay....


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