Chocolate Butterfly Cakes

Chocolate Butterfly Cakes

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I originally planned to create an Autumnal inspired cinnamony bake this week, but when you’re hurting you need comfort food. And to me, comfort bakes are bakes that remind me of childhood. Humble chocolate butterfly cakes are a simple yet delicious classic that I’m sure everyone remembers making as a little-un.

Before writing this I had a little research into the history of butterfly and fairy cakes and it frustrated me. The history of the large, overly frosted cupcake seems to have overtaken all internet records of the humble fairy cake. Obviously I love cupcakes (I have a plethora of recipes dedicated to them here!) but their daintier cousin deserves a little context don’t you think?

chocolate butterfly cakeschocolate butterfly cakes

Butterfly cakes are so-named for their little sponge wings, that turn a pretty ordinary sponge into a cute little treat. The ratio of sponge to buttercream is also spot on with these cakes, and their cute size means you can definitely get away with eating two at once…right?

As I child I remember making vanilla cakes all the time, but these chocolate butterfly cakes are a real treat. My plan going in was to make everything super simple, but when you’re used to making more adventurous recipes I couldn’t resist a few extras. White chocolate chips for an added chocolate kick, and two tablespoon’s of freshly brewed coffee to really bring out that chocolate flavour.

chocolate butterfly cakeschocolate butterfly cakes

The buttercream I did keep really simple though, with the biggest effort being putting the buttercream into a piping bag. That was my own fault though, as I put it all in the bag before I’d attached a piping tip. Fail! I wanted to have a pretty swirl, so I had to decant and refill into another bag actually fitted with a tip. I used the Wilton 2D if you’re wondering.

So, chocolate butterfly cakes. A simple yet sweet treat that can be baked, frosted and eaten in less than an hour!

chocolate butterfly cakes

Chocolate Butterfly Cakes

Aimee Field
Humble chocolate butterfly cakes are a simple yet delicious classic that I'm sure everyone remembers making as a little-un.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Cupcakes
Cuisine British
Servings 12 cakes



  • 110 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 75 g self-raising flour
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp freshly brewed coffee
  • 75 g white chocolate chips


  • 75 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 45 g cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp milk/water
  • icing sugar to decorate


  • For the cakes: Preheat your oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4 and place 12 cupcake cases in a cupcake tin. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Once the mixture is fluffy, add in the eggs one at a time. You may need to add a little of the flour with the second egg to ensure the mixture doesn't curdle. Finally, add in the flour and cocoa powder and mix until just combined. Then add the freshly brewed coffee and the chocolate chips.
  • Evenly spoon the mixture into each cupcake case, and bake for 15 minutes or until the mixture is firm but still springs back to the touch. Place the cakes onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • For the buttercream: In a large bowl beat together the butter and icing sugar. Then add the cocoa powder until fully incorporated. Your mixture will be very stiff at this point. Finally, add in 2tbsp milk or water and continue to beat until your buttercream if fluffy and pipeable. Add more milk/water if necessary.
  • To assemble: Using a sharp knife cute a shallow cone out the top of the cake and then cut in half. Using a piping bag and star tip, pipe the buttercream into the hole and then place the two sponge halves onto the buttercream like wings. Dust all cakes with icing sugar to decorate.
Keyword butterfly cake, chocolate

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