Recipe: Butterfly cupcakes – The Cookbook Challenge Week 27 ‘Insect’ theme

by April@MyFoodTrail on August 3, 2010

in Baking, Cookbook Challenge 2010, Cupcakes, Recipes

Theme: Insect
Cookbook: Australian Women’s Weekly Bake

I think everyone struggled with ‘insect’ theme week. Kat contributed this theme to the Challenge but I am thinking of vetoing next year if the Cookbook Challenge runs again (sorry Kat!). The only thing I could think of was butterfly cupcakes so I went through my cookbooks to find a recipe. I turned to my trusty Women’s Weekly cookbooks. They are cookbooks I use time and time again because I know they are reliable and more often than not, the recipes work. Do you have a favourite ‘go to’ cookbook?

Butterfly cupcakes may seem weird to those not in the baking know, but just so we’re clear, no butterflies were harmed in the making of these cupcakes! 🙂 Made without butterflies, they are called butterfly cupcakes because the tops of the cupcakes are cut out and reinserted on some jam and cream to make ‘wings’. They are also referred to as fairy cakes.

The original recipe makes 24 cupcakes, but when I saw the quantities of the ingredients and the resulting batter, I thought I would only be able to make 12, so I divided the mixture into 12 paper cases. It ended up being a tad too much batter for 12 cupcakes and as a result, I ended up with volcano tops on my cupcakes. It didn’t really matter because they were going to be cut out into butterfly wings anyway!

I had other dramas where my hand held electric whisk broke while I was whipping the cream and sent a black powder down into the cream, rendering most of it unusable! I did manage to salvage a bit of the cream so I could make at least one butterfly cupcake.

Butterfly cupcakes
Makes 12-15

TCC - Butterfly cakes - Finished

125g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
3 eggs
1 ½ cups (225g) self raising flour
¼ cup (60ml) milk
½ cup (160g) jam
300ml thickened cream, whipped
Icing sugar, for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 180C (160C) fan forced. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.

2. Beat butter, vanilla, sugar, eggs, flour and milk in a bowl of an electric mixer on low speed until ingredients are combined. You could also use a food processor.

3. Increase speed to medium and beat about 3 minutes or until mixture is smooth and changed to a lighter colour.

4. Drop in batter into paper cases to about half full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the tops are golden. Turn out onto a wire rack for cupcakes to cool.

TCC - Butterfly cakes - Out of the oven

Cupcakes out of the oven

5. Using a sharp pointed vegetable knife, cut a circle from top of each cupcake, then cut the circle in half to make the ‘wings’.

TCC - Butterfly cakes - Cutting out wings

Cutting out a circle from the tops of the cupcake

6. Fill the holes in top of cupcakes with jam and cream. Place wings in position on top and dust with sifted icing sugar.

Results: The plain cupcakes tasted like a floury pound cake. I think they needed the jam and cream to help mask the floury taste, similar to a way a scone needs jam and cream. They do look cute though and would be a great addition to an afternoon tea.

Would I make it again? No, didn’t like the cupcake mixture.

Over & Out, April xx

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Iron Chef Shellie August 3, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Insect week is when I gave up. I really should get back into it, was just thinking about it before.

I was going to make these or snail scrolls but didn't have time for either!


Agnes August 3, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Haha I agree with vetoing this theme if we do it again! (My suggestion if we run it again is to do it fortnightly.)

At least you got one butterfly cake for photos!


penny aka jeroxie August 3, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Yeap. It was hard… but then I think it is one of the challenges that I had the most fun too!


Hannah August 4, 2010 at 10:28 am

I love this idea! I might have to join in, even though I am late in the game! It looks like fun. I am a new follower!


Kat (Spatula, Spoon and Saturday) August 5, 2010 at 6:19 pm

hey! you threw out other of the themes I suggested, why didnt you throw this one out instead? :p


Conor @ Hold the Beef August 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm

I've encountered that gross black powder before, it's possibly the last thing you would want to have in your nice white cream.

I like to think there are volcano butterflies out there somewhere, undiscovered by humans…


April @ My Food Trail August 12, 2010 at 10:25 am

Hi Iron Chef Shellie: Hehe, that's cute that you can remember the point you gave up! Snail scrolls would have been an awesome idea. I'm sure you'll get back into it!

Hi Agnes: Yes, if we run it again, fortnightly is a much better idea. Monthly seems like it's too little but weekly is too many!

Hi Penny: I guess the point of the Cookbook challenge is to push us to make something we wouldn't normally.

Hi Hannah: Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you would like to join!

Hi Kat: Well, we still needed 52 themes! 😛

Hi Conor: Haha, volcano butterflies?! 🙂


grub August 12, 2010 at 7:08 pm

wow these look so pretty ^^


April @ My Food Trail August 25, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Hi grub: Thanks!


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