Now that the summer holidays are finally here, we’re sure you’re looking for fun things to keep your kids occupied and our book My First Cupcake Decorating Book is packed with loads of ideas. Flicking through, we reached this particular recipe and were immediately transported to school holiday baking of our youth and we knew we had to share it! If butterfly cakes don’t take your fancy, how about these super fun Ice Cream cupcakes or Cheeky Monkey cupcakes which we shared with our MAKE youtube channel earlier this year?
A butterfly surprise! A slice of cake forms the butterfly wings and they hide a layer of gorgeous buttercream frosting.
You will need:
¾ cup (175 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (175 g) superfine (caster) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¾ cup (175 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
1 stick (125 g) butter, softened
1 tablespoon milk
3 cups (375 g) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
12-hole muffin pan, lined with paper cupcake cases
Ask an adult to turn the oven on to 350ºF (180ºC) Gas 4. Line the muffin pan with paper cupcake cases.
Put the soft butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until the butter is soft, creamy, and pale (if an adult is helping, you could use an electric beater).
Break the eggs into a small bowl. Beat the eggs with a fork until the yolks have broken up and the mixture is bit frothy.
Add a little egg to the creamed butter mixture and beat with the wooden spoon until the egg is all blended in.
Then add a little more egg and beat again. Add a small sprinkle of flour if the mixture looks as though it is starting to separate (becoming bitty rather than smooth). Keep adding the egg until it is all used up and scrape any mixture down from the sides with a spatula.
Add the vanilla extract and stir it into the mixture.
Sift the flour and baking powder together into a separate bowl.
Add the flour to the mixture in two halves. Fold the first half gently into the mixture with a big metal spoon. Don’t beat or over-stir it—gentle folding traps air into the mixture and will make the cakes lovely and light. When this is mixed in, add the second half and do the same.
Carefully spoon the cake mixture into the paper cases in the muffin pan. Put the same amount into each one, so they are about two-thirds full.
Ask an adult to help you put the cakes in the oven and bake them for 15–20 minutes until they are risen and golden and the cakes are springy to touch.
Ask an adult to help you take the pan out of the oven and let it cool a little. Then lift out the cakes and put them on a wire rack to cool down. While the cakes are cooling, make your buttercream frosting.
Put the butter in a mixing bowl. Add the milk.
Measure the confectioner’s (icing) sugar into another bowl. Place a strainer (sieve) over the butter bowl and sift a little of the sugar into the bowl.
Remove the sieve and beat the mixture together. Then sift in a little more sugar and beat again. Keep going until all the sugar has been mixed in and the frosting is light, fluffy, and smooth.
Add the vanilla extract and stir it in evenly. If you would like to color your frosting, add a little food coloring paste or a couple of drops of liquid food coloring to the mix and stir it in well to get an even color.
When the cakes are cool, slice a small disc off the top of each (just the top point—don’t cut right to the edge of the cake). Cut this disc in half and put the halves to one side.
Cover the circle you have left on the cake with a blob of buttercream frosting.
Push the two halves of cake into the frosting to form the wings of a butterfly. Decorate with sprinkles.