Friday, April 16, 2010

Butterfly Cupcakes

Has it really been over a week since my last post?...ACK! Sorry about that :(

OK, because of the long absence I'm posting something really good. I give you...BUTTERFLY CUPCAKES from Hello Cupcake!

How pretty are these? I actually made them a month ago for my friend's party. Needless to say, they were a huge hit! These might be a bit time consuming but the butterflies can be made up to 2 days in advance (which is what I did). Just store them in an air tight container till you are ready to assemble the cupcakes.

I followed most of the instructions in the book, except that I decided to put the dark cocoa into a squeeze bottle instead of a Ziploc for more control in tracing the wing outlines. This worked really well. I also decided to fuse my wings together instead of using chocolate candies for support. If my directions for this step are a little unclear, feel free to leave a comment or shot me an email and I will try to clarify.

What You Need:
Cupcakes baked in paper liners
Dark cocoa melting wafers
Colored candy melting wafers (I used yellow and pink)
White nonpareils
Vanilla Frosting
Food coloring (for the frosting)

You'll Also Need:
Ziploc bags
Squeeze bottle
Toothpicks (I liked the double sided kind)
Stiff cardboard-type paper
Wax paper

1. On a piece of paper draw the butterfly templates for the wings and antennas. Cut small squares of wax paper.

2. Place 1 cup of the dark cocoa wafers in a glass bowl and melt according to package directions in the microwave. Stir well to make sure it is all well melted. Pour into a squeeze bottle.

3. Add 1 cup of colored wafers into a Ziploc bag (do not seal bag), then microwave for 10-15 sec increments. Massage the bag as you go along till all the wafers are melted. Snip 1/16 inch corner from the bag for piping.

4. Working one wing at a time, outline the templates on the wax paper with the dark cocoa. Work quickly because the wafers will start to set. I also had a mug filled half way with very hot water nearby. I put the squeeze bottle in the mug to keep the cocoa melted in between each wing set.

5. Using the colored melted wafer, fill the inside. Use a toothpick to gently spread the colored cocoa to fill the wing.

6. While the candy is still soft, use a toothpick to pull the outside dark cocoa into the colored middle part, to create a pattern.

7. Add a few sprinkles before the wings set. Then set aside to dry.

8. Use the dark cocoa to make the antennas, set aside to dry.

9. Once the wings are completely dry, gently peal them from the wax paper. Fold a piece of stiff construction paper, then open and place inside a bowl to held hold it's shape. Fold the wax paper in half also and place on top of the stiff paper, then add the wings so they are touching each other. Pipe dark cocoa in between the two wings to make the body. Keep the butterfly in the two papers till completely dry.

10. Tint the icing with food coloring and pipe on top of the cupcakes. Add the butterflies and then the antennas. Voila!

Source: Hello Cupcake!


  1. So pretty! You did a fantastic job! Love these ...

  2. wow, these are beautiful! you made it look so easy, i'm thinking of trying it out!

  3. Those are lovely! I have that book; I've made the pandas and the alligator and I can't wait to try more!

  4. Absolutely gorgeous and so thoughtful of you to put that much work into these goodies! I have that book but have yet to attempt anything just yet. It's helping me to see you do it, thank you for the much-needed inspiration!

  5. These look great! I just wish I had an excuse to make them!

  6. These are just lovely! I'm tempted to try these soon. Your instructions are very helpful, thanks for posting!

  7. These look so pretty... Just beautiful!

  8. Those are adorable!!! And the photos and instructions were a huge help -- thank you!

  9. can i have the name of the book. and also ,could you please let me know what to do with the construction paper, i am a bit lost there. thanks

  10. The name of the book is "Hello Cupcake". A link is in the post above.

    The construction paper or any type of stiff paper (eg. cardstock) is folded in half then a piece of wax paper is folded in half and placed on top of that. the wings are placed on the folded paper and fused together with chocolate melt "body". This will give the wings that three dimensional, angled look, otherwise they would just lay flat on the cupcake.

    If this is still not clear, let me know and I will post a visual of this step.

  11. Thanks for this awesome tutorial. I was wondering how do you get the paper to stand up to hold the wings? Any help you can give on this would be great.

  12. Laura-
    I use a stiff piece of paper under the wax paper to hold it's shape. I am planning on a video tutorial for these soon.

  13. Ms. Maria, did you try the brown M&Ms to hold the wings in place? Wondering if you tried it, found they didn't work, and THEN decided the fuse them? Anna has requested these for her birthday. yikes.

  14. Now that I"m looking at your photo again, I can see where the M&Ms would interfere with "the look." The way they photographed them in the book, you can't see those sneaky candies! I suspect I'm going to be happier with your method.

  15. I originally tried with the M&M's but they looked messy. I really prefer the fused wings. The great thing about these is that you can make them in advance.

  16. I can't wait to see how they come out! Btw, the antennas are not fused to the butterfly body.

  17. I definitely understand why you didn't try to fuse the antennas (antennae?) - good thinking. But I have another question ... after fusing the two wings together, you say to leave them in the 2 papers 'til dry. You didn't leave them in the bowl, though, right? I mean, that would mean you'd have to have 24 bowls lying around! So, I take it you cut 24 pieces of the stiffer paper; it wasn't an issue to remove the papers and wings from the bowl before the wings were dry? Obviously, I'm still trying to work out the logistics in my head!

  18. Vanessa-

    You don't need 24 bowls or 24 pieces of stiff cardboard. The butterfly body (the fused part) won't take that long to dry....maybe 15 minutes?? You just don't want to move them till that time. Also, next time instead of a bowl I'm going to use a muffin try to hold the wings together while I pipe the body and allow it to harden. Haven't tried it yet but might work really well. When are you making these for??

  19. Excellent - I'm sure it'd take even less time if I threw them in the freezer for a few minutes. Might give the muffin tin a try - great idea. I'll let you know how it works!

    The cupcakes are for Monday. I bought all the stuff today ... will work on the wings and fuse over the next couple days, bake the cupcakes and make the frosting on Sunday, assemble early Monday morning.

  20. I was working on them tonight and had some trouble with the candy hardening before I could draw the toothpick through. I have a flat-top stove; I pre-heated the oven to 300, then turned it off. I set my cookie sheet work-station on top of the warm stove-top and it worked really well! Laying the ziplock with the melted color on the stove kept it warm and usable, and I laid the cocoa squeeze bottle on it's side on the stove-top, too. You have to be careful with the completed butterflies on the warm cookie sheet, but I found that switching off and on between two baking sheets (one on the cooler counter, one on the stove - removing hardened butterflies to a third sheet) helped with that issue.

  21. Vanessa-

    Thanks for sharing that tip :)


  22. hi maria this is super great and cute^_^ i just wanna know how long it will melt back if i served it outside of my house... as u know the weather in Malaysia is basically so hot..

  23. Hi Nisa,

    The chocolate melts won't melt like whipped cream would. I think you would be OK for an hour or two. I just wouldn't leave these out all day though.


  24. Hi Maria. I am transporting these cupcakes to a party, should I wait to put the butterflies on until I get there? Thanks.

    ~ Kim

  25. Hi Kim!

    I think it depends what kid of cupcake carrier your using. Do the cupcakes with the butterflies on top fit?? If so, transport them already assembled (I did)....if the butterflies will get smooshed in you carrier, then transport unassembled.

  26. Hi! I tried out these butterfly cupcakes. They didn't come out as nice as yours but it was so creative I had to try it!

  27. hi, your cupcakes look great! i want to make them for my friends birthday, and im just wondering why type of icing you used?

  28. I used a regular, homemade buttercream frosting. A Swiss meringue would also be wonderful.

  29. I love this recipe! I need to make these tonight!! They'll also be great for my friends birthday party next week!