Butterfly cakes cooling on a wire rack

Butterfly cakes

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(16 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 15 mins


Makes 10

Treat family and friends to pretty butterfly cupcakes. Ours easy buns are topped with a light vanilla buttercream, jam and sprinkles, but you can decorate any way you like

Nutrition and extra info

  • sponge only
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal419
  • fat23g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs50g
  • sugars42g
  • fibre0g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 110g butter, softened



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 110g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 1 tbsp milk, plus 2 tbsp if needed, to loosen the buttercream



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • strawberry jam (optional)
  • sprinkles (optional)

For the buttercream

  • 300g icing sugar
  • 150g butter, softened



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 2 tsp vanilla paste


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a cupcake tin with 10 cases. To make the sponge, tip the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder and milk into a large mixing bowl and beat with either a hand whisk or electric mixer until smooth, pale and combined. Divide the batter between the cases and bake for 15 mins until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle of a cake comes out clean. Leave on a wire rack to cool.

  2. While the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream by beating together the icing sugar, butter and vanilla until pale and fluffy. Mix in the extra milk if the icing feels too stiff.

  3. Once the cakes are cool, use a sharp knife to slice off the tops, then cut the tops in half. Pipe or spread the buttercream on top of the cakes, then gently push two semi-circular halves into the buttercream on each cake, doing this at an angle to look like butterfly wings. You can serve the cupcakes at this stage, or decorate them with a little blob of jam in the centre and a scattering of sprinkles, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Rochelle Elise's picture
Rochelle Elise
19th May, 2020
Lovely fluffy buns everytime. I however find the icing too runny so add less Marg to thicken it
Bertie Goult's picture
Bertie Goult
2nd Jun, 2020
The reason it's runny is because you're using marg and not butter. Butter sets harder.
4th May, 2020
I tried this recipe with gluten free flour .The mixture was very wet so I had to add more flour over and over again. They then collapsed in the centre. The cakes themselves didn't taste bad but since they collapsed there was no spare cake to make the wings with .
Kentmum23's picture
2nd May, 2020
Mixture far too wet. One egg would be better.
Cat Docherty's picture
Cat Docherty
17th Apr, 2020
Added ingredients like it said, absolutely the worst cake I have ever done, too much egg in the mixture for the amount of other ingredients, 1 egg would suffice
Kentmum23's picture
2nd May, 2020
Wish I’d read your comment before I wasted all my ingredients. Completely agree with you
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