A couple of weeks ago, our babysitter’s youngest daughter Kendall had her sixth birthday. As with both of her sisters, I just had to celebrate with a batch of fun cupcakes. The other two girls are huge Twilight fans, which was reflected in their cupcakes, but since Kendall is a kindergartener, I wanted something more fun and whimsical. It didn’t take me too long to think of these butterfly cupcakes, which are the sole reason I wanted the book Hello, Cupcake! in the first place. The version in the book is made with orange butterfly wings, but I immediately knew I wanted a bright, colorful array of butterflies.
I was pretty shocked with how well these turned out. I was sure I would meet some sort of disaster in the making of these cupcakes, but they really came out just as I had hoped. The butterfly wings can be made up to a few days in advance and stored until the cupcakes are ready to be assembled. I will definitely make these again in the future when I’m looking for a fun, girly, visually impressive cupcake. They would be perfect for a birthday party, bridal or baby shower, girls’ night – whatever! I just LOVE them.
Dark cocoa candy melts
Colored candy melts (whatever color you would like the wings to be)
1 batch vanilla cupcakes (or any flavor you like)
1 batch vanilla buttercream (or other flavor frosting, colored if desired)
Canned chocolate frosting
Draw your butterfly wing template on a piece of paper. Place on a metal baking sheet. Cut out squares of wax paper large enough to fit pairs of wings, and some smaller ones for antennae.
Place about 1/2 cup of dark cocoa candy melts in a plastic bag, and 1/2 cup of colored candy melts in another plastic bag. Microwave in 10 second intervals, unsealed, massaging the candy melts in between, until the candy is completely melted and no lumps remain. Press out the excess air in the bag and seal. Push the mixture down to one corner of the bag and snip off a very small corner. Trace the outline of the wing template with the dark cocoa melted candy. (Do one wing at a time, outline and colored filling, otherwise it will be too set to swirl by the time you have outlined two wings.)
*Note – tracing the outline was definitely the thing I found most challenging initially, but eventually I got the hang of it. Keeping the tip of the baggie very close to the wax paper and going slowly helps keep things neat.
Use the bag of colored candy melts to fill in the outline. Be generous, so that it will spread all the way to the sides.
Rap the baking sheet against your work surface a few times until the filling and outline spread together.
Use a toothpick to swirl the edges and the filling together slightly.
Sprinkle the top and bottom of each wing with a few white nonpareils.
The melted candy will begin to cool and harden as you work. If it becomes to stiff to work with, microwave for 10 more seconds until melted again. (This step is very important – if you think you might need to reheat the candy, definitely do it. You will save yourself a lot of messed up wings by keeping the candy melted.)
Repeat this process with more candy melts until you have enough sets of wings for all your cupcakes. (I made about 16). Let set completely.
I completely forgot to take a picture of this part, but you also need to make pairs of antennae for your butterflies. Basically, just draw a template with a very narrow “V” shape, long stem and curved ends (see close up picture near the end of the post with antennae). Trace chocolate onto wax paper in the shape of the antennae as you did with the wings. Allow to set completely.
Frost your cupcakes as desired. (I think the frosting colored to match the butterfly wings looks great!)
Place two chocolate chips on top of each frosted cupcake, about half and inch apart. These will help support the butterfly wings.
Place the wings on top of the chocolate chips. (I wiped a small amount of frosting out from in between the wings to make room for the body.)
Place the chocolate frosting in a plastic bag with a tip cut off. Pipe it on in a line of small blobs to look like a body between the wings. Stick the chocolate antennae into the frosting at the head of the butterfly.
And voila! A beautiful bunch of colorful butterflies. My new love!
Source: adapted from Hello, Cupcake!