Fairy Bread Is An Abomination

Fairy Bread Is An Abomination
Image: iStock

Sometimes in life you lack perspective. Sometimes you’re just too close. To the situation, to the person. Sometimes untenable attitudes or ideas become normalised. Like they’ve always existed, like they cannot be questioned.

In cases like these it often takes a fresh set of eyeballs, a rogue outsider. It takes that radical voice in the crowd to shatter the illusion. The emperor has no clothes.

Today I am those eyeballs. Today I am that outsider. Today I am that voice in the crowd.

Australians, far and wide, I am sorry. This is the harsh truth I must bestow upon you. It’s going to be difficult, but you must hear this now.

Fairy Bread is an abomination.

Search your heart. Search your palate. You know it to be true.

Fairy bread. It is bread — white bread for that matter — doused in butter and drowned in sprinkles, a bizarre concoction that is literally sugar, cornstarch and vegetable oil. Australians eat this. Australians celebrate this.

Australians feed this to their children.

The first time I saw Fairy Bread was at a children’s birthday party. The fairy bread’s natural habitat. Next to the cupcakes, sandwiched between the red cordial and the party pies.

This is a P-A-R-T-Y situation, I recognise this. A moment for kids to cut loose, snort that pure cane sugar through their nostrils and feel fucking alive. As a parent of two kids under the age of five I would never deny them this carnal pleasure: to eat things that are terrible for them; activate fucked parts of their brain so they can get on that bouncy castle and make it their bitch. I am not the party police.

But Fairy Bread? Really? Is this what we’re gonna be feeding them? If we’re giving our kids carte blanche to get buck wild in the club we at least owe them a better class of snack. We at least owe them cupcakes or jelly and ice cream. We owe them a Golden Gaytime.

Fairy Bread is trash. It’s bread, which is shit. White bread, which is even worse. It’s bread combined with an otherwise forgettable ice cream topping. For no good reason butter is involved, presumably for its adhesive qualities, which is also overrated because if you’re making Fairy Bread at home you best prepare to be finding sprinkles in your carpet for months to come.

Flavour-wise, Fairy Bread is an odd choice. Nutritionally speaking it’s a bizarre living nightmare from which Australia refuses to wake. I grew up in Scotland, I know all about poor diet choices. From the age of 14 to 20 I drank literally nothing except milk and Irn Bru. We deep fry Mars Bars.

But I am in a unique position. I did not grow up in this cult. My childhood has no trace of Fairy Bread or its influences. My nostalgia is contained to Spectrum 48ks, Trapdoor and Fizzy Dizzlers. Fairy Bread has no power over me. I can bring you this important message and it doesn’t feel like a betrayal of my national identity. Fairy Bread is wrong, it’s a catastrophic, culinary error and that error must be rectified.

I cannot abide. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. Fairy Bread is an abomination and Australia deserves better.


  • When I was growing up Fairy Bread was considered haute couture and to this day I find it irresistible. It’s certainly no worse than some of the other crap kids shove down their throats these days, there is enough sugar in a can of fizzy drink to kill a dog. I will note though, that the bread in the above pic has no butter/margarine, that is a definite no-no in my book.

      • That’s is so Australian that despite how bad it sounds I’m almost tempted to try it despite how god awful it sounds.

        Then I thought of nutella

      • That could work.. The saltiness of the vegemite & the sugar of the sprinkles combined might be nice. Then again I enjoyed that vegemite chocolate that cadbury put out, so i’m a little bit weird.

  • Chocolate crackles are another birthday essential in my experience. Don’t know that I’ve ever been to a party that hadn’t had both fairy bread and choc crackles!

  • Ahhh I hate fairy bread, I just don’t get it. What is about shitty shitty white bread and some barely tasteful sprinkles that do it for some many Australians.

  • Look, I understand that you have a deep-seated need to be wrong about everything. That’s fine. It’s your prerogative. This is cheap and lazy.

    Parties are a chance to go nuts. To do something bonkers and unwind. Giving kids sugar rushes from food devoid of nutritional value is an Australian institution. It’s as natural as footballers doing cocaine. We don’t give footballers fairy bread and we don’t give kids cocaine.

    This is a good thing. Don’t mess it up just to be a contrarian.

  • Don’t forget the copious amount of butter to make it oh so toilet bowl licking tasty!
    Gross as. Can I come to your parties, as I think your food would be on the money!!

    • You’re talking to a man who spent an entire year eating porridge. Maybe not the best source of party food inspiration. Honey Joys or Porridge Joys? Chocolate Crackles or Porridge Crackles?

  • I guess it does take an outsider to see how strange this “thing” is. I am in a extraordinarily similar shoes like Mark I grew up overseas so I can see where he is coming from and I complete agree his point of view. Even as a pure party food I don’t see the attraction of it. Hopefully I boys (also both under 5) feel the same way I do.

  • GTFO – NOW!

    In all honesty, it is pretty shit. Dutch chocolate sprinkles are the way to go rather than 100’s & 1000’s.

  • For once I agree with the “love it or leave” slogan.

    I think Mark it’s time for you to leave.

  • Are they sprinkles? I thought they are called hundreds and thousands in Australia and sprinkles in the US?

  • It is shit – it completely flatters to deceive with it’s pretty colours and meaningless taste. It only exists on party menus because we’ve somehow been programmed. Own-up now – have you ever really honestly loved fairy bread? Mark is right – if the kids must have junk food (and they should), at least make it decent junk food.

    I’m going to up the ante here and also declare that Nutella is shit. It’s a crappy cheap chocolate imposter.

    Nostalgia has a lot to answer for sometimes.

    • Yeah nostalgia has more to do with it than anything I expect. I was brought up with fairy bread as a tradition for birthdays, and I assume it was passed down through the family, and all started as a result of the great depression back in the days when my parents where children. They didn’t have a lot of money in those days, so I think fairy bread was a cheap, fun, colourful alternative to expensive cakes etc.

  • Them’s fightin words!!

    As a Aussie I don’t mind some critique of our ways but this is bang out of order. Fairy bread is a right and we must fight for our right to fairy bread. Every child in this country has the right to eat a sub-par snack while at a party (or when I’m too lazy to actually cook dinner. Fairy bread dinner FTW).

    With that said I’m not big on butter so let me blow your minds, Nutella fairy bread.

  • I was born in Italy and came to this great country as a youngster, and I love fairy bread. And nutella. And I’m generally a food snob.

    Regardless of any that, was it really necessary to write an opinion piece of fairy bread? It’s not a lifehack, or a tech thing, or news, or anything.

  • When you are a kid they taste amazing. When you are an adult they taste like sugar suspended in margarine on white bread.

    Could be worse, I always had double salted licorice at my parties (and still do) and kids used to throw up on that gear. Just one taste… Love the stuff!

  • Bread and butter. Literally staples of diets of so many people, it becomes a phrase that means a means of livelihood.
    Now pour some sprinkles on top and you have the staple party snack of Australia.

    And therein lies the appeal. You get a colourful tasty treat which fills up the kiddies (as much as kiddies can ever be filled up), with practically no effort. It’s the quintessential Aussie treat. No cooking, baking, freezing or even leaving to set for a period of time. Just whip some up while the party pies are in the oven. No worries!

    Chocolate crackles on the other hand – we can have a discussion about them.

    • Exactly. Fairy Bread is not some culinary masterpiece, its a cheap and easy way to add colour and flavour to dull bread & butter… its for feeding the masses of children at a celebration.

      Its a classic from a time long ago 50s and 60s… in the modern new century, yes, with all the packaged foods and variety we have, this seems like an odd item to have. But its cultural icon everyone grew up with. Could be worse, before then, we just drowned bread in FAT and ate that.

  • Let’s put Fairy Bread in context. It comes from a time when many Australian homes lived by more modest means. Children would have received much simpler gifts and parents could not afford lavish parties for their children. Enter Fairy Bread, a cheap and colourful treat to brighten a birthday party.

    • Exactly, as I said above – it’s poor bogan party food. Never liked it, still don’t like it.

      • Just because someone doesn’t have a lot of money, doesn’t mean they’re a bogan. But if we’re going by that ruling, I guess we should say people who are well off are snobs who look down upon everyone for being poor, right?

        • Yes, that’s right. None of this fascinating social commentary changes the fact that fairy bread is disgusting.

          • I have the same opinion of rice, I don’t like the texture or bland taste.. but I’m not going to insult the billions of people eating it with a title saying it is ‘poor peasant food’. Unlike you, I am not such a narcissist to impose my views on as many people as I can.

      • … it’s poor bogan party food. Never liked it, still don’t like it.

        Fine we’ve heard your opinion. Now shut up about and let the rest of us live our lives. No one cares if you or Mark don’t like Fairy Bread. Go do something with your life like, oh I don’t know, leave people the hell alone to enjoy whatever the hell they like.

        This is the problem with issues today – large and small. Everybody thinks they have a goddamned right to tell me what to think and denigrate my favoured institutions.

        As someone said earlier in the piece, and I’m quoting from my time living in the US – If you don’t like it here – then leave.

        • Certain degree of irony that you come here to espouse your opinion about how I shouldn’t have an opinion. Nice logic fail.

          But hey, you and your bogan mates can enjoy all the disgusting fairy bread you like. It’s a free country.

          EDIT: In case that was too subtle. Yes, I’m trolling you. I would have thought an IT geek would recognise trolling… apparently not.

      • I’ve known people who were alive during the Great Depression and spent much of their lives pretty poor, and they were FAR from being bogans. I prefer to think of modern bogans as being those who often make a pretty decent living doing pretty easy jobs, but still complain about being poor, and still hang shit on ‘elitist’ underemployed uni grads who are often poorer than they are. In other words, it’s more about lack of taste than lack of money.

  • I celebrated my 40th Birthday less than twelve months ago, Fairy bread was on the snack list, fairy bread will be on the snack list for my 41st in a couple of weeks … you sir are a disgrace and i don’t know how you got your citizenship 😛

  • Fuck you! You are!
    32 year old male proud to say i look forward to taking my daughter to kids parties soley for this amazing cullinary delight.

  • Fairy bread is a disgusting abomination to the taste buds, right up there with pineapple on pizza and nutella anything. If you are going to give kids sugar at parties make them chocolate crackles, and frogs in ponds, or jellied cupcakes or lamingtons.

    Party pies, sausage rolls, sandwiches if you must, but never never fairy bread.

  • It was something one did when asked to bring a plate and you weren’t up to lamingtons.

    My mum would bake a chocolate cake with a hole in it, a toroid shape.

    Yes I remember chocolate crackles and the honey and cornflakes in paper cups.

    • Yes I remember chocolate crackles and the honey and cornflakes in paper cups.


      [Laud crunch rings out.]

      Dammit! Look what you’ve done to my hip!

  • I’m reporting you to ASIO and the immigration department for un-Australian thoughts. Leave this country now sir before they come for you with the cuffs and the deportation order.

    • There is no such thing as ASIO, we don’t need one. Americans will tell us what to be scared off through tweets from the president.

  • But Fairy Bread? Really? Is this what we’re gonna be feeding them? If we’re giving our kids carte blanche to get buck wild in the club we at least owe them a better class of snack. We at least owe them cupcakes or jelly and ice cream. We owe them a Golden Gaytime.

    What Golden Gaytime? The brand name maybe still about but the product has long been replaced with an undersized, poor imitation!

    Australians feed this to their children.

    Yeap, we sure do. Some grow up to be fantastic surgeons; especially those who specialise in detaching tongues from cheeks.


    On a serious note, thanks for the article, @markserrels. With this heat I’ve been in an irritable mood and this is just the laugh I needed.

  • In culture as in science and history there is never one view and the perspective is an outcome of the framework in which it analysed. As an outsider you may missed the subtlety of the framework from Australian’s analyse party consumption : i.e.: “Eating is cheating”. Therefore the nutritional value of anything consumed at a party is quite irrelevant. It then comes down to whatever substances tickle your fancy to , as you rightly say, “activate fucked parts of your brain”. As abhorrent as fairy bread is in nutritional principles, its just one of those illegal combinations that taste awesome, a bit like creamed butter and sugar from the uncooked cake mix mmmmmm and its oh so pretty. As one of my children’s friends said to ma at preschool party some years ago now…”man dried bananas are not party food and where are the party bags”

  • Mark Serrels is obviously an illiterate, un-educated, gutter-dwelling cretin who learned how to push letters on a keyboard, writing about a a children’s ‘once-in-a-blue-moon’ treat using several words relating to sexual intercourse.
    Children do not eat fairy bread all day, every day of their lives.
    I am amazed at Lifehacker allowing the un-interesting jibberish on this site!

  • I grew up in Scotland

    Ah well, that explains it. I guess you also don’t appreciate Vegemite.

  • we need to have fairy bread as part of the visa program for Australia !

    we need to keep those anti fairy breaders out of our country because they insult a national treasure and im sure do horrible things to monuments

  • Just want to point out that like a lot of ‘Australian’ things (beer, pies, loving sport, egalitarianism), fairy bread is neither intrinsically Australian nor are we the best at it. In the Netherlands they have DIFFERENT flavoured sprinkles (“Hagelslag”) and they eat it for BREAKFAST.

    That means there are people eating premium fairy bread, hypothetically their entire lives!

    If another country is doing it, and more hardcore then us, then maybe we’re not the weird ones.

  • Fairy Bread is a must at parties.
    Next, you will be saying we shouldn’t eat chip sandwiches.

  • Serrels feels like a fight again…

    I say we ban the Scottish accent. It’s not real anyway, it’s a big put on by cry babies in tweed skirts that cant do anything but whine all day about cultural issues that are beyond their ken.

  • Mark,

    During Oz Comic-Con MELBOURNE the Cosplay Central Team lived on “Fairy Bread” on that weekend.

    Is it the best choice NO, but you can always switch out the White Bread for an Artisan Sourdough w/ a Sunflower Oil spread instead of butter or margarine and edible pearls.

    • bradley be careful of non fairy bread insurgents that want to dilute the purity of true fairy bread with sourdough or sunflower oil!

      report them to the national fairy bread hotline today!

  • Try Dutch (chocolate) sprinkles instead, not less sugar but 10x better tasting! Adults each it too in Holland.

  • Seriously?!?!

    In comparison to the fat, salt and sugar filled party staples, like lollies, cakes, chips and soft-drinks, Fairy Bread is almost healthy!!!

    And anyway, It’s a party food… Let kids be kids and stop being the “Fun” Police…

    You can feed yours on Kale Slushies if you want but mine can enjoy Fairy Bread at any party they go to…

  • Nutritional advice from Scottish People should ideally be confined to opinions on Scotch and venison. And Eccles cakes, but only in season.

    That is all.

  • The only problem was they used butter – that’s just way too fancy. You’re supposed to use the cheapest margarine available in the biggest tub you can find.

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