Butterfly Cupcakes

Imagine making butterfly cupcakes with 3D butterflies made completely out of icing, without any cutters?

I have one such idea. These are my butterfly cupcakes:

The cupcakes were fairly easy to make - all that is needed is royal icing, a round icing tip and templates of butterfly wings drawn on parchment paper.  There is absolutely no need for any cutters for the butterflies. And best of all, with these technique, we can create butterflies in any shape or size!

Here how I made my butterfly cupcakes:

How to make butterfly cupcakes with 3D sugar butterflies

A friend of mine ordered these cute cupcakes for her daughter’s class party. She specifically requested for cupcakes with butterflies and wanted them colorful, so I thought a floral themed butterfly cupcakes will suit her.

I used my butter pound cake recipe for the cupcakes, and baked them in shiny silver paper cupcake casings. The cupcakes turned out slightly domed which was how I wanted them to be.

I iced the cupcakes with royal icing, half of the cupcakes in green-tinted royal icing, and the other half in white. 

And this was how I decorated the cupcakes:

  • Firstly, I drew the picture of the butterfly wings I wanted to use. I drew this freehand but the wings design can also be traced for a book or online images. Once I had the pattern sorted out, I traced them onto pieces of parchment paper. These were the templates for my butterfly wings. I made number of these templates so that I would have enough for the cupcakes and some extras for contingency. I then turned the paper over (so that my pencil markings do not get transferred to the icing) and using stiff white royal icing, piped the outline of the butterfly wings. I used Wilton round tip #2 for the outline.
  • Next, I used pink and yellow royal icing to fill the wings area inside the outlines. At this point the icing should be slightly runny so that it can fill up the outlined areas well and smooth. To achieve the runny consistency, I diluted my royal icing with a little warm water. This has to be done carefully as too much water will result in royal icing that is too diluted to remain in the the outlined area of the butterfly wings. 
  • Once done, I left the wings aside to set. I left them overnight to make sure they dry and set properly. This is very important because if the icing does not dry well, the chances of them breaking while being peeled of the parchment paper is very high. So once the wings were completely dry, I peeled them all off the pieces of parchment paper. And this was how I made my completely edible butterfly wings. The best part about these technique is that the wings can be prepared much in advance, so long as they are kept in a cool dry place.
  • To assemble the butterflies onto the cupcakes, I piped a thick line of stiff black royal icing onto each cupcake for the butterflies’ bodies and attached one pair of wings on both sides. It took quite a while for the black icing to set and hold the wings in place, so instead of holding them and waiting, I used small pieces of sponge to hold the wings in place until the body is fully dry and set. And finally I piped the stamens with the same black royal icing.
  • And for each of the cupcakes, I also added 2 small fondant flowers which I cut out using small petal cutters.
  • Here is how the cupcakes turned out. I alternated them with gumpaste roses (these were made without any wires attached to them as I did not want to risk any of the children biting into wires!!) to complete the floral theme I intended for the cupcakes. 

Hope you enjoyed this butterfly cupcakes decorating idea as much I enjoyed making them. Happy cupcake decorating :)

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