How to Make Butterfly Cupcakes

In Cupcakes, How To by Simmie6 Comments

Butterfly Cupcakes

Lots of people have been asking me how to make the butterfly cupcakes I made last week. They really aren’t too hard, but do leave a nice impression. So, I’ll jump right in.

Let’s start with the butterflies. First, I (actually Elise) found an outline of a butterfly online. We figured about a 3″ wingspan would look appropriate on a cupcake. So we resized it to the appropriate size and printed it out on a regular sheet of paper. We then placed the outline underneath a sheet of wax paper.


Then we melted some dark chocolate candy melts in a piping bag and cut the tip off the bag. It would also be a good idea to melt some colored chocolate candy melts in a separate bag at this time. Using this, we traced the outline of the butterfly in dark chocolate.

Trace with Chocolate

Working quickly, we filled in each part of the wing with a small blob of colored chocolate.

Fill in with color

Then, taking a toothpick, spread out the colored chocolate and swirl the edge into the colored part a bit. Here’s where time is really critical. If you wait too long, the piped edge will start to dry and you won’t be able to swirl the colors together. (Please excuse my chocolatety fingers.)

Spread it Around

The final step is to sprinkle some white non-pareils at the corners. Those are some tricky little things…they were rolling all over my table. But then, ta-da! One swirly butterfly.

Swirl and Finish with Non-Perils

I made 6 dozen cupcakes, so I just kept making butterflies. I think I ended up with about 14-16 of each color in case any of them broke. By the end, each butterfly took me about 30 seconds to make and since the chocolate is so thin, they dried pretty quickly. But the time I was on the last color, the first ones were completely hardened. I also piped some “V” shaped pieces for the antennae.

So Many Butterflies!

I went back and forth for a long time on what color to ice the cupcakes themselves. I thought matching the icing to the butterflies would be a nice touch, but I was feeling kind of lazy and was considering just icing them all with white frosting. In the end, my aesthetics beat out my laziness and I decided to make six different colors of icing. I use gel colors to dye the icing.

Multi-Colored Icing

Each cupcake got a dollop of icing. After finishing this step, I was really glad I went with the different colors! So pretty!

Iced Cupcakes

Two chocolate chips were used on each cupcake to help support the wings.

Chocolate Chip Supports

Here’s a close-up. I spaced the chocolate chips about an inch apart from each other and stuck them in, pointy side down.

Close Up of Chocolate Chips

Then each cupcake got its wings!


Here’s a close-up of the wings. I had very few wings break. I think only two broke out of the 144 wings I used. Not too shabby!

Close-Up of Wings

Then, using some brown icing in a piping bag, I piped on bodies for each butterfly between the wings.

Added a Body

And the little chocolate antennae were stuck in near the head.

Close-up of Antennae

All finished! All-in-all, I think it took me about 3 hours to make all of the cupcakes including baking. I would pipe wings while the cupcakes were in the oven and by the time they were cool enough to frost, all of the chocolate was solid. It seems like a lot of steps, but once I got into a groove, it went rather quickly. This was the most excited I had been to make cupcakes in a long while, and I was quite happy with the results. They were bright and fun and whimsical.


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  3. Beautiful!! Could you please tell me where you bought the cup cake carriers? Thank you

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  5. You’re welcome to do the decorating for my cafe’s baked goods 🙂

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