Made this butterfly birthday cake way back in 2007. This was one of the cakes I made very early in my cake decorating journey. I was very very new to cake decorating then, and the reason I never posted this cake was because I felt it was not good enough for a tutorial (until now, at least).
This morning, I was looking at all the cakes I have done in the past, and my eyes caught this birthday cake. I thought this might be an inspiration to those who are starting out with cake decorating. I was very new to cake decorating then and there was an obvious flaw in the butterfly wings design. If you notice, the yellow design on the bottom wings is not the same across both wings. But this was before I learned the technique of using templates to mark designs on cakes before piping. I thought I was good at piping that I could pipe the design freehand. And obviously I was wrong! And worst of all, I did not even think of correcting it!!
Other than that flaw, I think am generally quite happy with this birthday cake design, and the way it turned out. It was easy to decorate and I finished decorating within a few hours.
How to Make a Butterfly Birthday Cake
These were the supplies I used for this butterfly birthday cake:
- Cake – I baked a rectangle cake measuring 6.5″ by 10″ using my butter pound cake recipe. I baked two of these cakes and sandwiched them with buttercream.
- Buttercream – I used vanilla buttercream to fill the cake. I also used buttercream to crumb coat the cake. Click here for my buttercream recipe.
- Fondant – I used very little fondant on this cake. Only the top of the cake was covered in fondant. I used my homemade fondant. See how I made my own fondant here.
- Royal icing – Royal icing was the main icing used for decorating the cake. I also used royal icing to decorate the sides of the cake. For the butterfly wings, I used Wilton gel colors in red, golden yellow, royal blue, and moss green. I also tinted some of the icing in black for the butterfly body.
- Butterfly template – I searched the internet for a butterfly template, resized the image such that it would fit my rectangle cake, and printed it out.
- Piping tips and piping bags – I used Wilton piping bags for this project. As for the tips, I used Wilton round tip and star tip (I cannot recall the tip numbers, sorry)
And this was how I decorated the cake:
The butterfly template
- First was the butterfly template. I printed it off the internet (resized it such that it fit my cake size) and cut it out following its outlines.
Baking and carving the birthday cake
- Next was baking the birthday cake. I baked 2 rectangle cakes (6.5 inches by 10 inches), sandwiched both with buttercream and then, using the butterfly template, carved the cake out in the shape of a butterfly.
- I then placed the carved cake on a cake board, and crumb coated it with a thin layer of buttercream.
Covering the birthday cake with fondant
- Once the basics were done, I rolled out my fondant and again, using the same butterfly template I used for the cake, cut out the butterfly shape. I carefully lifted the fondant and positioned it on the birthday cake.
The cake sides
- Next was the sides of the butterfly birthday cake. For this, I used a star tip and white royal icing for the vertical lines of icing, all around the cake.
Decorating the butterfly wings
- And then I went on to decorate the wings. I had royal icing tinted in red, blue, yellow, and green and used round piping tips. I piped everything freehand here (which is why the design is not exactly the same on both wings. Had I used a template, I would have achieved a consistent pattern on both the wings, but for some reason, I did not. And if you intend to make a similar butterfly birthday cake, it would help greatly if you mark the designs on the cake using either a toothpick or small knife before piping). I started with the outlines in yellow. I used a round piping tip and made medium-sized dots all around the butterfly border.
- Next were the red and green dotted lines for the upper and lower wings. Again, I used round piping tips and made the medium-sized dots, following the shaped formed by the yellow dots earlier as close as possible.
The butterfly body
- And then I piped the butterfly body. I also used a round tip, piped the outline, and then filled the inside with black icing in horizontal lines. Using the same black icing, I made two antennae for the butterfly on the cake board.
- After that, I completed the rest of the butterfly wing design, piping the outlines first and then filling the insides. I also piped 2 yellow dots for the butterfly’s eyes.
And that was how I decorated the butterfly birthday cake.
Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed putting it together.
Happy decorating 🙂