Butterfly Cake

This is actually the most popular pin on my ‘Recipes’ board, so I thought I’d give it a whirl and see how easy it was to actually DO.

See how self sacrificing I am? Doing the difficult things so you, my readers, don’t have to. Because of course it was oh-so difficult to make a yummy cake and eat it all. ;)

It turned out surprisingly well! And it took hardly any effort.

Butterfly cake

I didn’t follow the recipe from the website, I used my own, as is evident – I made a chocolate cake with a real cream + chopped cherries filling, topped with royal icing, Cadbury’s Gems (the Indian version of M’n’Ms) and a roll-up wafer for the body. It turned out lovely, light, and very satisfying.

I didn’t use the template in the recipe, I modified it a little bit – full recipe, with template and instructions for assembly, under the cut.

Butterfly cake

For assembly of the cake, I didn’t go by the instructions in the recipe, mostly because I didn’t like the way it looked when I was done. I ended up flipping it, and felt much more pleased with the end result.

Butterfly cake assembly

So, now for the recipe. There’s no need to follow the flavours and colours exactly, personalise it to your own taste. Go wild, and mix it up. =) Maybe you prefer a different flavour of cake – (vanilla? Mint filling?) or a different kind of icing (M’n’Ms, or buttercream!).

Confession: I used the readymade candy because I was too lazy to pipe out beautiful straight rows of icing, like in the original recipe.

Butterfly cake

You will need to make one round chocolate cake, at least 7″ in diameter. You’ll also need one roll-up wafer (match this with the flavour of cake you decide to make) and Cadbury’s Gems/M’n’Ms (if you decide to use them for icing).


Chocolate Chiffon cake

  • 200g flour
  • 150g sugar
  • 80 ml vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teapoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder – or a tablespoon of brewed coffee, if you have a coffee press
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder


  • 500g fresh cream (I used Amul’s cream for this)
  • A handful of cherries, chopped
  • A few tablespoons of icing sugar (to your taste)

Royal Icing

  • 100g Icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon juice
  • 1 Egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla essence


  1. Preheat your oven or microwave at 180 degrees centigrade and line your cake mould with baking paper, and/or oil or butter.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and the sugar until fluffy. Then break the eggs, separate the yolks and whites. Add only the yolks to the mixture and whisk till completely incorporated.
  3. Sieve the flour into the mixing bowl, along with the cocoa powder and baking powder. This adds aeration to the batter, and will ensure fluffy, soft cake. Add the instant coffee powder, also.
  4. Now add the three tablespoons of milk, and the vanilla essence. (Also add the brewed coffee, if you have it.) Mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl (preferably stainless steel), whip the egg whites till they become foamy, white and leave stiff peaks when you lift up the egg whisk. It’s important that not a drop or drip of oil gets into the egg whites, or they won’t stiffen.
  6. Once the egg whites are ready, fold them into the cake batter, a third at a time. Your batter should be of a slightly runny consistency now.
  7. Fill your cake mould with the batter, smoothing out the batter in the centre with the spoon, to make a little hollow in the middle. This will ensure the cake remains level once it bakes and doesn’t form a dome.
  8. Now bake the cake at 180 degrees centigrade for 28-30 minutes. If you use your microwave for your baking, like I do, set the mould on your low wire rack. I cannot emphasise this enough – it will make your cake fluffy and light and oh-so spongy.
  9. Once done, let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes, and then turn out of the mould.

Assembly – Step One

    • Cut your cake into two halves. Set the top half aside, and spread the fresh cream on the bottom layer. Whip some icing sugar into the cream if you feel it’s too bland.
    • Chop the cherries into small pieces. Now sprinkle the chopped cherries over the cream, and place the top half of the cake over the lower half so that it forms a cake sandwich.
    • Now follow the template, so that you are left with the four wings of a butterfly.

Royal Icing

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg white until it’s lightly frothy.
  2. Add in the icing sugar, a little at a time, while whisking.
  3. Add the lemon juice and essence, and whisk till incorporated. The icing should be smooth.
  4. When you lift the egg beater, the ribbon of icing that falls back into the bowl should remain on the surface for a few seconds before disappearing.

Assembly – Step Two

    • Cover each wing of the cake with the royal icing. Ideally, it shouldn’t drip over the sides. If you feel your icing is too runny, you can always add a little icing sugar to it.
    • Place the roll-up wafer in the middle of the wings, to form the body of the butterfly. Use a flavour that goes well with the flavour of your cake. For mine, I used chocolate.
    • Time to go crazy with your decorative icing! I used Cadbury’s Gems, as you can see. If you’re a dab hand at icing and piping, go for it – make crazy swirls and lines. You can even use icing to imitate real butterfly markings, if you’re so inclined.
    • Eat immediately! Or, if you’re better at controlling your temptation than me, you can place this in the fridge and eat later.
    • Sit back and enjoy the ‘ooohs’ and ‘aahs’ this cake will receive.

So there you have it! A beautiful Butterfly cake that requires a minimum of effort, but makes everyone think you’re a master confectioner and baker extraordinaire.

You’re welcome. ;)


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