It's Mother's Day in Ireland this Sunday, so why not try this "Mammy bun" recipe to celebrate?

A staple of any Irish kid's party growing up or any Irish family get-together, these simple sweet treats will bring a smile to your inner child.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always referred to buns as ‘Mammy buns’. That’s what our mammy made and if you went to a friend’s house as a kid and there were buns, you could be assured they were made by their Mammy. But no matter what you call them – fairy cakes, queen cakes, cupcakes or buns – these little classics were a staple growing up, especially at a party.

Mammy's buns recipe

Makes 12 large cupcakes or 24 small traditional buns


  • 165g butter, very soft
  • 165g caster sugar
  • 165g self-raising flour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla

To decorate (choose one):

  • Jam and desiccated coconut
  • Jam and buttercream frosting (see the note) or whipped cream
  • Buttercream frosting (see the note) and sprinkles


Preheat the oven to 180°C [356°F} fan. Line your cupcake or bun trays with paper cases (12 cupcake cases or 24 smaller bun cases).

Put all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix everything together until you have a smooth, well-combined, fluffy batter. This will take a minute or two.

Divide the batter between the paper cases. Bake in the preheated oven for 18–20 minutes for the larger cupcakes or 14–16 minutes for the smaller buns, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely, then decorate as desired:

Spread a little jam across the top of each bun and roll in desiccated coconut.
Cut the top off each bun. Decorate with a little jam and frosting or freshly whipped cream. Cut the top in half and place back on the bun to look like butterfly wings.
Pipe on some buttercream frosting and decorate with sprinkles.

Top tip!

Buttercream is a simple frosting that’s perfect for decorating the mammy buns or for filling a Victoria sandwich.

Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, start on a slow speed (or you’ll have a big mess!) and beat 150g of very soft butter with 300g icing sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Continue to beat for about 5 minutes, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of milk if you would like to make the frosting a little softer.

* "Bake: Traditional Irish Baking with Modern Twists" by Graham Herterich, published by Nine Bean Rows, is available, at all good bookshops and many independent retailers throughout Ireland s well as online at

Graham Herterich.

Graham Herterich.

About Graham Herterich

Graham Herterich learned to cook as a young child at his Granny’s side and developed his love affair with baking. He continued his training in Culinary Arts at Waterford Institute of Technology and his studies included stints at well-known restaurants and hotels like Kilkee Castle, Marlfield House, Mount Juliet, Chapter One, Peacock Alley and The Commons. Graham briefly left the industry to spend two years as part of the Carmelite community before returning to it aged 21, ultimately founding The Cupcake Bloke in 2012 and opening his first retail store, The Bakery in Rialto, Dublin, in 2018. Graham is passionate about flavor and quality while bringing an element of fun to his food. "Bake: Traditional Irish Baking with Modern Twists" is his first book.

*Originally published in September 2022. Updated in March 2024.