Try our butterfly cakes recipe then check out our vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes and strawberry cupcakes.

How to make the perfect butterfly cakes: cook's tips

  • Jazz them up by adding a teaspoon of jam on top and some colourful sprinkles.

How to store butterfly cakes: two to three days in an airtight container.

Can they be made in advance?: Make the buttercream up to a day in advance and keep in the fridge. Beat before using.

Butterfly cakes recipe


  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste


  • 250g icing sugar, plus 1 tbsp to dust
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ tbsp milk


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin or fairy cake tin with paper cases.

  • STEP 2

    Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the flour, baking powder and vanilla. Whisk briefly until incorporated, then divide between the paper cases. Bake for 18-20 mins or until well risen and springy to the touch. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

  • STEP 3

    For the icing, mash the icing sugar, vanilla and butter together in a bowl with a fork until combined. Beat with an electric whisk for 2-3 minutes or until it’s very pale and airy. If the mixture seems too thick, beat in up to ½ tbsp of milk to loosen slightly.

  • STEP 4

    Using a small serrated knife, cut a circle from the top of the cakes, going into the middle of the cupcake slightly to create a hollow for the buttercream to sit. Pipe the buttercream into the hollows of the cupcakes. Cut the reserved circles of sponge in half, then position on top of the icing like butterfly wings. Dust over some more icing sugar.


Anna Glover profile
Anna GloverSenior food editor

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