A family baking together.

How to Make Butterfly Cupcakes

Baking with your kids is a great family activity to do. They’ll love making these butterfly cupcakes, as not only do they taste yummy, they’re also fun to decorate. When baking, children can learn essential measuring and cooking skills – who knows, they could become master bakers when they grow up! This simple cupcake recipe will leave your little ones asking to make even more butterfly cupcakes to share with their friends. 

Cupcake Recipe Ingredients

  • 195g all purpose flour/Maida
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 113g butter (unsalted)
  • 130g white granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 60ml milk (room temperature)
  • Cake decorations (e.g. small chocolate balls, sweets, or dried fruit)
  • 12 cupcake cases

For the buttercream icing:

  • 220g icing sugar
  • 110g butter
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence

To adapt this cupcake recipe so it is suitable for vegetarians substitute the eggs, milk and butter with the following ingredients:

  • Rice or almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • ½ cup / 8 tbsp. of oil (avocado oil is recommended)

For the icing:

  • Dairy-free soy margarine
  • Vanilla coconut milk or another dairy-free milk substitute

How to Make Cupcakes

These delicious vanilla cupcakes are easy to make, and once you get to step 11 you’ll start to see how they transform into butterflies! As you work your way through the recipe give each one of your little kitchen helpers a job to do.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Line a baking tray with the 12 cupcake cases
  3. Sieve the all purpose flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the lemon zest.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Alternatively, you can use an electric mixer to speed up the process.
  5. Add the eggs to your mixture one at a time and beat well. Then add the vanilla essence and mix.
  6. Gently fold in the flour mixture alternating with pouring in the milk until combined.
  7. Fill the cake cases with the batter up to 3 quarters of the way full.
  8. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Every oven is different so to ensure you don’t over bake check a few minutes before the stated time – Tip: Insert a toothpick or metal skewer into the centre of a cake, if it comes out clean with no mixture on it then your cakes are ready! If not give them a few more minutes in the oven.
  9. Once you’re cakes are ready, you can remove them from the oven and leave to cool on a baking rack.  

For the icing:

  1. Whisk together the butter and half of the icing sugar. Once they’re combined, add the rest of the sugar and a dash of milk. Continue to whisk together until you have a creamy, thick mixture.
  2. Once the cakes have cooled, it’s time for the best bit – making them into butterflies! Use a small pointed knife to cut a circle about 2.5mm wide out of the centre of each cupcake leaving a hole in the middle. Always supervise any little fingers around knives or cut the circles out for the kids yourself.
  3. Cut the circles from each cake in half and set aside. Fill the hollow of the cake with the icing and then place the two halves of the circle on top like butterfly wings. The butter icing will act as glue to hold them in place.

Finally, give your butterflies some colourful patterns with your chosen cake decorations. Dust some icing sugar over the top of your cupcakes to finish. And if your kids clothes get stained during the process, Surf excel Liquid Detergent is there to make the occasion sweeter!  

Did you try making butterfly cupcakes? Do you have more fun cupcake recipes to share? Let us know in the comment in the box below.

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