Butterfly cupcakes add that 'extra sparkle' to a party table because they are more three dimensional than the average cupcake. Also, they look interesting and more complicated to make than they really are. People will wonder how you made the little butterfly shapes in the center of the cakes too.
The trick is that you need to cut out a small circle from the center of the top of the cupcake, and cut this in half with a knife to form the wings. Fill the hole in the cake with soft and fluffy butter cream filling and carefully replace the delicate wings on top.
I like to add edible glitter for the ones I make for parties, or silver balls and a dusting of icing sugar to add a more sophisticated touch. They are great for special occasions, and sharing cakes at family gatherings is always a better way to go than eating them by oneself.
The recipe for butterfly cupcakes is essentially a simple ‘Victoria sponge’ recipe. However, it can be customized in many different ways, and you do not even have to use it to produce cupcakes. You could simply use this recipe and the below steps to make a large delicious marble effect cake instead if you prefer. So without further ado, let us get into this tasty and easy recipe.
- 175g self raising flour
- 150g caster sugar
- 150g butter or margarine, softened
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (or hot chocolate powder)
For the Filling
- 200g icing sugar
- 200g butter or margarine, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Icing sugar to dust
- Optional edible glitter, silver balls and other edible decorations if desired.
Place eighteen paper cupcake fairy cases on two bun trays. Depending on how deeply you fill the cases you may be able to make as many as twenty-four or as few as twelve cupcakes using the quantities in this recipe.
Using paper cases can look very aesthetically pleasing at parties or events. This also saves you time not having to grease up cake tins or trays. However, as an environmentally friendly alternative, you could use re-usable silicon cupcake cakes. These can last for years and saves on using paper ones. I find they also make the cupcakes very easy to turn out of the cases. It also means less wastage and mess at party tables. This can be one less small thing to worry about at a large children's party for example.
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Next up, preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Preparing the cupcakes does not take very long, so you will have them in the oven very quickly.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar thoroughly. Use a handheld electric whisk to speed things up if you wish, but a wooden spoon will get the job done equally as well. Add the eggs gradually a spoonful at a time, whilst whisking the mixture with the other hand. Once the eggs are fully incorporated to the mixture, you will not need your hand whisk again so this can be set to one side.
Next, sift the flour into the mixture and hold the sieve high up so that the flour gets a good airing. This will help to ensure that you have a good and even rise to the cupcakes. The more air that can get into that self raising flour, then the fluffier your cupcakes will be. Fold the flour gently into the cake batter. Use small circular motions with your wooden spoon to help retain the air quantity.
This is the step where we create the exciting marble effect. It is much easier than it looks, so do not worry as it is not a complicated process. Simply divide your mixture into half by putting half into another mixing bowl. Now add the two tablespoons of cocoa powder to one half and stir this in with a wooden spoon. This is all you need to do to turn this half of the batter into a nice milk chocolate color.
Next up, simply scoop the vanilla half of your mixture into all the cupcake cases. You only want them to look about half full because you need to leave room for the chocolate half. Once you have done this, then using another wooden spoon, scoop the chocolate half into all the cupcake cases. Try to evenly distribute the mixtures if you can, but do not worry if you are not massively accurate. This is okay because it can add to an individualistic and creative touch if they are not all the same and uniform looking. Bake them in the oven at 180C/Gas Mark 4 for twenty minutes.
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Use the ‘knife check’ to assess if the cupcakes are cooked thoroughly by inserting a knife into the center of one of the cakes. If it comes out clean, then you can rest assured that the cakes are cooked throughout. Visually, they should also appear to have a nice, soft golden color on top. Leave them to fully cool on a wire rack for at least thirty minutes before progressing on to step number four.
Now you are ready to take on the most creative part of the process! Firstly, to make the delicious butter cream, simply combine the icing sugar, butter and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Stir the mixture together with a wooden spoon to help ensure that there are no lumps.
An additional trick is to always sift your icing sugar in to help prevent lumps in the texture. The mixture should be creamy and smooth and drop off a wooden spoon slightly. I like to allow the butter cream to chill in the fridge for thirty minutes or so whilst I carry on with the next step, but this is not essential.
Next up, you need to make the butterfly wings themselves. Taking a sharp knife, carefully cut out a circle out from the center of one of the cupcakes. Use the knife to help prise the circle out gently. Cut this circle into half and you have made the wings. Fill the remaining hole in the cake with the butter cream filling, and replace the wings back on top of the cupcake.
Then you need to repeat this process for how ever many cupcakes you have made! The most enjoyable part is putting the edible glitter on top, or adding a dusting of icing sugar instead.
The marble effect of these cakes adds a real change in both taste and appearance from a standard Victoria sponge. I hope that this simple recipe encourages you to try out making these at home for yourself, family and friends today.