Butterfly Cakes - Bake Then Eat

Butterfly Cakes

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
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A lovely traditional British summertime cake topped with fruity jam and creamy vanilla buttercream.
Recipe type: Cake / Cupcakes
Cuisine: British
Serves: 8-9 cakes
For the cakes
  • 130 grams unsalted butter - at room temperature, (1/2 cup and ⅛ 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 ½ 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)
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4 and prep your cupcake / muffin pan with liners and place to one side.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time beating in between each addition.
  4. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  5. Gently fold in the flour and baking powder careful not to knock all the air out of the batter.
  6. Spoon the batter into the cases till they are ⅔ rd's full.
  7. 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.
  8. After 10 minutes take them out and place them on a cooling rack till cold.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
    butterfly cakes
  12. Add a teaspoon of jam into the hole.
    butterfly cakes
  13. 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.
  14. 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.


Author: Emma

Always Vegetarian and sometimes Vegan. I'm a Sugar & Banana addict. I make healthy treats when I have just inhaled my body weight in sugar!

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    • Hi Emma thank you πŸ˜€ I know they always throw me back to my childhood whenever I see one I love that jammy centre!

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  1. Your cupcakes look so gorgeous – I especially love the floral cupcake cases! I haven’t made butterfly cakes in ages but your post has definitely inspired me to make some. I agree that sometimes the simple flavours are best, although I must admit I’m quite a fan of lemony butterfly cakes too πŸ˜‰

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    • Hi Julie, thank you πŸ˜€ What a great idea making them lemony and some lemon curd instead of jam would be lovely!

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    • Hi Kelly thank you the blueberry jam was lovely but any fruit jam would work here πŸ™‚

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    • Hi Ashley thank you πŸ˜€ Vanilla is great I think we all secretly love a bit of vanilla. People just don’t want to seem boring and order it so they go for other flavours instead!

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  2. I love the surprise of jam in the center! I can see a revival happening…as these butterfly cupcakes look scrumptious!!!

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    • Hi Liz I would love to see a revival πŸ˜€ the secret jam filling was always the best part you never knew what flavour you would get!

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    • Hi Dina, thank you so much they are a great combination πŸ˜€

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  3. In Australia as a child, we called these fairy cakes. You’ve made me nostalgic so I need to make some now! Lovely pictures, too.
    pizzarossa Invites you to read…Baklava scrollsMy Profile

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    • Thank you, I hope you do make them! In the UK fairy cakes were like small cupcakes with icing or a little buttercream on top but sometimes these were also referred to as fairy cakes depending on who you spoke to πŸ˜€

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  4. I don’t think you’re boring at all for keeping these vanilla! When I’m baking I have fun mixing together the craziest combinations possible, but at the end of the day plain vanilla is actually my favorite. πŸ™‚ This looks like a fun and tasty dessert!
    Brianna Invites you to read…Blue Raspberry CupcakesMy Profile

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    • Hi Brianna thank you, I think we all love to play about with flavours but I think we almost always return to vanilla, it’s a great flavour and a real classic πŸ˜€

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  5. I’ve never had butterfly cakes before so I’ve always wanted to make them πŸ™‚ They’re so pretty! I think it’s because I’ve never seen that cake stalls, but only on blogs and cookbooks that I’ve never had them *sigh* They really are dying out! Yours look so cute and yummy too- I’d love the blueberry jam surprise!
    Von Invites you to read…ProfiterolesMy Profile

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    • Hi Von thank you, they are dying out and I think it’s because everyone want’s cupcakes these days, but they are still hanging in there and they are so simple to make!

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  6. Awww, how cute are these. Well….vanilla is a classic. I love the jam in the middle!

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    • Thank you I love vanilla too, I think its sometimes over shadowed by flashier flavours! And the jammy filling is divine πŸ˜€

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    • Hi Maureen thank you, there is something about them that make you smile πŸ˜€

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  7. These look so pretty and adorable Emma! I’ve never had butterfly cakes before but they sound like such a wonderful treat with the fruity jam inside πŸ™‚ Love them!

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    • Hi Kelly thank you πŸ˜€ They are a great simple summertime treat!

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Β All recipes are Vegetarian, many are Vegan & some are Gluten Free.Β 



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