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Fairy Bread: Celebrating the Magic & Unleashing Creative Variations on a Classic Australian Snack

The origin of fairy bread can be traced back to Australia, where it is a beloved and iconic childhood snack. The exact origins of fairy bread are not well-documented, but it is believed to have emerged in the early 20th century.

The concept of buttered bread topped with sugar sprinkles can be found in other countries, such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand, but the term “fairy bread” itself is predominantly used in Australia. It has become a quintessential part of Australian food culture, especially at children’s parties and school events.

Fairy bread’s popularity in Australia can be attributed to its simplicity, affordability, and visual appeal. The vibrant colors of the sprinkles combined with the soft texture of the bread and the creamy butter make it an enticing treat for kids and adults alike.

While the exact origins may be uncertain, fairy bread has become a cherished Australian tradition, and it continues to be enjoyed by generations as a nostalgic and fun snack.

Image by dre2uomaha0 from Pixabay

Fairy Bread Recipe

Let’s dive into the details of this delightful treat!


  • Sliced white bread (typically, a loaf without crusts)
  • Butter or margarine (softened)
  • Sprinkles (also known as hundreds and thousands or nonpareils)


  1. Start by spreading a thin layer of butter or margarine on one side of each slice of bread. Make sure to cover the entire surface area.
  2. Next, pour your choice of sprinkles onto a plate or shallow bowl. You can use traditional rainbow-colored sprinkles or any other variety you prefer.
  3. Take a buttered slice of bread and press the buttered side onto the plate or bowl of sprinkles. Gently press down to ensure the sprinkles stick to the bread. Lift and tap off any excess sprinkles.
  4. Repeat the process with the remaining slices of bread, buttering one side and then pressing it into the sprinkles until all the slices are done.
  5. Once all the slices are prepared, you can cut them into various shapes, such as triangles or rectangles, or leave them as whole slices.
  6. Serve the fairy bread on a plate or platter, and it’s ready to be enjoyed!

Traditionally, fairy bread is served at children’s parties and often accompanied by other snacks like sausage rolls, party pies, and mini sandwiches. It’s a nostalgic and whimsical treat that brings back fond memories for many Australians.

Fairy bread is simple, colorful, and fun, making it a delightful addition to any gathering or a quick and easy snack to enjoy at home.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Fairy Bread Variations

While the classic fairy bread recipe consists of buttered bread and colorful sprinkles, there are various ways you can add your own twist and create delightful variations of this beloved Australian snack. Here are a few ideas:

Chocolate Fairy Bread

  • Substitute the traditional rainbow sprinkles with chocolate sprinkles or chocolate shavings.
  • Spread a thin layer of chocolate hazelnut spread, such as Nutella, on the bread instead of butter.
  • Press the chocolate-covered bread onto a plate of chocolate sprinkles or gently roll it in the sprinkles to coat.

Fruity Fairy Bread

  • Use slices of fruit bread instead of plain white bread. Popular choices include raisin bread, cinnamon swirl bread, or bread with dried fruit.
  • Spread butter or cream cheese on the fruit bread and sprinkle with diced fresh fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries, or bananas.
  • For added sweetness, drizzle a small amount of honey or maple syrup on top.

Nutty Fairy Bread

  • Replace the regular butter with almond or peanut butter for a nutty twist.
  • Roll the buttered bread in crushed nuts like chopped peanuts, almonds, or pistachios.
  • Optional: Add a touch of honey or sprinkle some cinnamon on top for extra flavor.

Savory Fairy Bread

  • Instead of sweet toppings, opt for savory ingredients for a different take on fairy bread.
  • Spread cream cheese or a savory spread, like pesto or garlic butter, on the bread.
  • Top with grated cheese, diced vegetables (such as cherry tomatoes or cucumber), or even small pieces of cooked bacon.

Gourmet Fairy Bread

  • Elevate the traditional recipe by using artisanal bread, such as brioche or sourdough, for a richer flavor and texture.
  • Experiment with high-quality flavored butters, such as honey butter, lavender butter, or truffle butter.
  • Sprinkle with specialty toppings like edible flowers, crushed freeze-dried fruit, or edible gold or silver sprinkles.

Feel free to get creative and mix and match different flavors and toppings to suit your taste preferences. My personal favourite is to for go the margarine and swap it for icing and then add sprinkles on top of that. 🙂 It just goes to show that Fairy bread is a versatile snack that can be customized to create a variety of delightful and unique combinations.

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