Posts Tagged ‘Butterfly cakes’


It wasn’t until Kathleen left a comment on one of my previous posts asking for the recipe of the fairy cakes I had mentioned, did I, after a lifetime, realise that what I have always referred to as fairy cakes are in fact butterfly cakes.  Looking at them I can’t believe I ever thought they could be called anything else.  The cake tops are sliced off and cut in half to resemble the wings.

These little cakes are so easy to make and have a smaller margin for failure than a full size, Victoria sponge.   Even though they are made with the same recipe and formula.  Add to this that the vanilla frosting does not have to be piped as in cupcakes,  just applied neatly with a knife, make these perfect for baking with children.  Even if the wings are not precise or the frosting uneven a sprinkling of icing sugar forgives all.  I limited the decoration to a small piece of cherry but there is no end to what you could sprinkle and decorate them with;  chocolate buttons, hundred and thousands or even left plain.

When I made this batch I thought I would tart them up and pipe the frosting.  While I rummaged in my baking drawer to look for the icing nozzles I gave it some thought.   That wasn’t how they used to be made.  They were always slightly rustic with no two being the same, which is what gives them their charm.  As the saying goes ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fit it’ so I have not meddled and made them as I have always known them.  Perhaps, with the only difference being that I have finally got their name right.

I have given a generous recipe for the vanilla frosting.  I either use all of it on the 12 cakes or I am less generous and split it over two batches.  The frosting will keep in the fridge for a day or two if covered tightly with cling film but will harden so needs to be left out while the cakes are cooking to soften up.

There are two problems with these.  Firstly,  just one is never enough and secondly how to hide the pile of empty paper cases sitting in front of you.

Butterfly Cakes

makes 12


4 oz/110g butter softened

4 oz/110g caster sugar

2 eggs

4 oz/110g self raising flour

3/4 glace cherries for decoration cut into quarters

12 Paper cases

Turn oven to 190C/350F/Gas 4

In a bowl beat softened butter and caster sugar until pale.  Add one egg and beat.  If the mixture begins to curdle add a tablespoon from the measured self raising flour and beat until smooth.  Add second egg and mix well.  Fold in flour.  Divide up equally into the 12 paper cases.

For extra support I place my paper cases in a bun tin.

Place in the oven for 20/25 minutes.

They are cooked when a skewer is inserted in the center comes out clean.  They should be a light golden colour.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

When cool, cut out a disk from each cake with a knife.  This is then cut in half to create the wings.  Place a small amount of vanilla frosting to cover the hole and then gently push the two halves into the icing.  Finish with a small piece of cherry.

Sprinkle with icing sugar.

Keep in an airtight container.

Vanilla frosting


4 oz/110g butter softened

8 oz/225g icing sugar

3 tbs milk

1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a bowl mix together the butter and icing sugar until smooth and well combined.  Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix well.

Apply to cakes.


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