Before we get started I want to wish a happy 4th July to all my American friends, I hope you have a great day πŸ˜€

Now back to todays post, nothing screams British summer more to me then the humble and rather simple butterfly cakes, pretty, effective and really tasty πŸ˜€

butterfly cakes

Lovely Vanilla

There is no hard and fast rule stating these should be vanilla. I have seen chocolate ones in the past but traditionally they are vanilla because they have a jammy little secret in the middle that tastes better with vanilla.

butterfly cakes

That’s what always makes these little cakes so special. When you were buying them you never knew what jam you will find! For these little beauties I have used a really delicious blueberry jam, but use whatever jam you have to hand.

Old Fashioned?

Nah I don’t think so! I think it’s time for a butterfly cake revival πŸ˜€

butterfly cakes

These little cakes have always traditionally filled the cake stalls and tables of church fates, school drives and bakery windows. Because of their simplicity kids can always get involved in the making of these. But sadly they seem to be dying out and you don’t see them as often now I partly put this down to the more showy cupcake revolution.

butterfly cakes

But showy isn’t always better. There is beauty in simplicity.


butterfly cakes

As I mentioned before these are pretty versatile and the flavours can be chopped and changed around. In the past I have added citrus zest, cocoa powder and even rose water once. And while all lovely, I just really like these when they are vanilla does this make me boring?

butterfly cakes

I dont think so πŸ˜‰

butterfly cakes

Small Batch

This recipe is not huge it will only make 8 to 9 cakes but can easily be doubled for a bigger batchΒ if so desired. Or even halved if you require only a few, but why do that after all 8 to 9 isn’t that many to get through πŸ˜‰

butterfly cakes

So grab your mixing bowl and help me start a little revolution to bring these beautiful little cakes back into fashion!

butterfly cakes

Butterfly Cakes

A lovely traditional British summertime cake topped with fruity jam and creamy vanilla buttercream.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cake / Cupcakes
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 -9 cakes
Author: Emma


For the cakes

  • 130 grams unsalted butter - at room temperature ((1/2 cup and 1/8 cup))
  • 130 grams granulated sugar ((1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon))
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 130 grams Plain flour (All Purpose, (3/4 cup))
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Baking powder

For the filling

  • 100 grams unsalted butter - at room temperature ((1/2 cup))
  • 150 grams Icing sugar (Confectioners sugar, (1 cup))
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon milk ((If you feel your buttercream is too thick))
  • 8-9 teaspoons good quality blueberry jam ((Or your preferred flavour))
  • A dusting of Icing sugar (Confectioners sugar)


  • Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4 and prep your cupcake / muffin pan with liners and place to one side.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time beating in between each addition.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract.
  • Gently fold in the flour and baking powder careful not to knock all the air out of the batter.
  • Spoon the batter into the cases till they are 2/3 rd's full.
  • Pop them in the oven and check on them after 20 minutes, if a pick comes out clean they are ready, they may need a few more minutes depending on your oven. Once baked take them out of the oven but leave them in their pans for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes take them out and place them on a cooling rack till cold.
  • While they are cooling make the buttercream. Beat the butter until it is very pale in colour and very fluffy. It takes me around 5-7 minutes in my mixer.
  • Add half the icing sugar and beat in till fully combined. Then add in the vanilla extract and the remaining icing sugar, beat till everything is well combined. If you feel it's still a little too thick add the teaspoon of milk.
  • Once the cakes are cold, you need to slice a disk from the middle out of them and cut it in half. You will need a sharp smooth edged knife. So do this step yourself if you are working with kids!
  • Add a teaspoon of jam into the hole.
  • Carefully spoon the buttercream on top of the jam and spread it to cover the jam completely. With the disk cut in 2 place them in the buttercream so they look like butterflies. Dust with a sprinkle of icing sugar.
  • Best eaten within 3 days, but kept in an airtight till they will last up to 5. Undecorated you can freeze these cakes for up to 2 months.
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