what mariel made: butterfly cupcake cake

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Recently I’ve had the privilege of getting to know 4-year old twins, whom I will call mr. i and miss c. However, it’s been quite some time since my youngest sister was 4 years old, and I’ve rediscovered how simple it can be to please these youngsters, especially when sugar is involved.

It was the twins’ birthday not too long ago, and I had eagerly offered to help make a cake for miss c. Since a fire truck-themed cake had already been ordered for mr. i, we decided to mix things up and save money by making miss c her own “girlier” cake—a butterfly cupcake cake.

Thanks to an image from Google, some help from Betty Crocker (ma home girl), and a funny movie called Safety Not Guaranteed, a butterfly cupcake cake was born at 2:30am the day of the party.

This is how we did it.

What you will need:

  • 24 cupcakes (I used Betty Crocker Supermoist Cake Mixes to make mine, you can make them from scratch, if preferred)
  • large piece of sturdy cardboard/poster board for cake base (optional: you can cover yours in tin foil, decorative paper, parchment paper, etc.)
  • frosting in as many colors as you’d like (we used mint, pink, and lavender)
  • candy or chocolates to decorate the butterfly (I used chocolate covered sunflower seeds & dark chocolate edamame)
  • something flexible to create antenna for the butterfly (I used 2 twisty ties that I had laying around)
  • optional: piping bags and tips to frost the butterfly (I used a regular round tip & star tip)

I have attached a document with the layout of the butterfly cake for a printable reference at the bottom of this post.

Betty Crocker Super Moist Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix (my all-time favorite chocolate cake mix)
Betty Crocker Super Moist Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix (my all-time favorite chocolate cake mix)
Betty Crocker Super Moist White Cake Mix (one of my favorite white cake mixes)
Betty Crocker Super Moist White Cake Mix (one of my favorite white cake mixes)
Pink Polka Dotted Cupcake Liners (from Wilton, I believe)
Pink Polka Dotted Cupcake Liners (from Wilton, I believe)
Cooling the cupcakes on a cooling rack.
Cooling the cupcakes on a cooling rack.

Once you have 24 cooled cupcakes, place them on your cake base in the shape you would like your butterfly to be.

The shape of the butterfly cupcake cake pre-frosting. *Try to remember where you put the chocolate and white cupcakes.
The shape of the butterfly cupcake cake pre-frosting. *Try to remember where you put the chocolate and white cupcakes.

Go on to frost the cupcakes in any fashion you prefer. For miss c’s cake, we frosted the head and body in mint green frosting with a star tip and frosted the wings in pink and lavender frosting with an offset spatula. *TIP: To form a more cohesive, cake-like appearance, frost the cupcakes separately and generously around the edges so that you can gently press the cupcake edges together to create the illusion of a seamless cake.

post-frosting butterfly (used a star tip for the head and body) (piped along the wing edges with a regular round tip)
post-frosting butterfly (used a star tip for the head and body) (piped along the wing edges with a regular round tip)

After composing the main body of the butterfly, go crazy and use your imagination to decorate the butterfly. We used white icing in a piping bag with a smaller round tip to pipe a white border around the butterfly’s wings. This also helps to create the illusion of butterfly cake rather than a vaguely butterfly-shaped congregation of cupcakes. For the eyes of the butterfly, we used Dark Chocolate Covered Edamame from Trader Joe’s. The beautifully colored Chocolate Covered Sunflower seeds were used to add a bit more interest to the butterfly’s wings. *TIP: If you are using little candies to make shapes on the wings, outline the shape you want first with your candies and then fill them in with the rest of the candy to ensure a clean line.

twisty ties shaped into butterfly antenna (just gently press them into the sides of the cupcake top)
twisty ties shaped into butterfly antenna (just gently press them into the sides of the cupcake top)
Trader Joe's Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds
Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds
The separated sunflower seeds.
The separated sunflower seeds.
Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Covered Edamame (used for the butterfly's eyes)
Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Edamame (used for the butterfly’s eyes)
2:30AM: completed butterfly cupcake cake picture (hence the horrible lighting)
2:30AM: completed butterfly cupcake cake picture (hence the horrible lighting)
Butterfly Cupcake Cake (morning of the party)
Butterfly Cupcake Cake (morning of the party)

This cake was so incredibly fun to make, and miss c loved it. I am already thinking of making another one that is white with very intricate “candy embroidery” on the wings. This cake idea is honestly so versatile and open to your imagination. You can even have the birthday girl or boy help you decorate the cake or make decorating the cake a party activity. Please run with this idea and fly! (pun intended)

*Practical note: It’s much easier to give guests extra cupcakes as opposed to unwieldy chunks of cake.

{mini} what mariel watched: Safety Not Guaranteed

image from Rotten Tomatoes: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/safety_not_guaranteed/
image from Rotten Tomatoes: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/safety_not_guaranteed/

This movie stars Aubrey Plaza (from Parks & Rec), Jake Johnson (from New Girl), and many other funny people you will recognize.

I highly recommend the movie, Safety Not Guaranteed, for anyone who wants to enjoy a quirky indie comedy. It is a really great movie for date night, lazy night, pizza night, baking night, any night…it is also readily available to watch via Instant Play on Netflix.

For more reference, here is the link to the imdb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1862079/

Thank you, thank you, thank you for stopping by! Have a lovely morning, day, and night.

❤ mariel

printable guide: Butterfly Cupcake Cake Layout

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4 Comments

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  1. aw this is adorable mariel! 🙂
    and omg trader joe’s choco covered sunflower seeds are the best!!! although i can no longer eat them due to giving up sugar 😦
    keep up the cute work~
    – Joy

  2. Mariel,
    This cupcake cake is so adorable and cute and just made me smile. I’m so glad you are blogging your wonderful creations! Congrats and keep up this amazing blog. If you ever need a taste tester or assistant let me know.

    Pascale

  3. Love that! And i love that you use sunflowers seeds (even if they are chocolate covered 🙂

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