How to make a Giant Butterfly Cake

I’m a keen baker, but lack confidence in my decorating ability, so I tend to go for simple styles. Occasionally I’ll bake something incredibly pretty, like my lemon curd cake. It was so pretty, it was featured in BBC Good Food Magazine, which was nice. For my birthday this year, I was low on time and energy, but needed something tasty but pretty to share with my family. I’m quite big on whimsy, so I decided to bake a giant butterfly cake.

Here in the UK, butterfly cakes are a bit of a birthday tea staple. Little sponge buns, with their lids cut off, filled with buttercream, and the top put back on in the shape of butterfly wings. They’re incredibly simple, but they are quite a joyful little bun. Whilst I was wondering what to bake for my birthday, I thought an upgrade to my standard Victoria sponge, but with a butterfly cake top would be simple but really quite fun. I was not wrong.

How to make a Giant Butterfly Cake

I know my Victoria sponge cake recipe is a good one, but this re-working of it really made it extra brilliant. It was as light and airy as a butterfly wing, but the vanilla buttercream and butterfly wings really made it extra special.

Giant Butterfly Cake

200 g caster sugar
200 g softened butter or margarine (I use Stork)
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp milk
200 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder

200g butter, softened
200g icing sugar
A large slug of vanilla extract, approx. 10mls

To finish
1/3 of a jar of good quality raspberry jam
Icing sugar for dusting

How to make a Giant Butterfly Cake

Heat your fan oven to 190c. Grease two 20cm sandwich tins, I also lined the bottom of each tin with a circle of baking parchment. In a large bowl, beat your butter and sugar together until fluffy (I used a hand mixer). Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and combine, then add the flour and baking powder and mix together until you have a smooth batter.

Divide the mixture equally between the two tins. You can weigh them to make sure they’re fairly equal if you’d like. Bake in your pre-heated oven for around 20 mins until golden and they’re cooked through. Remove from the tins and leave to cool on a cooling rack.

Once your sponge layers are as cool as they can be, thickly spreading good quality raspberry jam between them and sandwich them together on a cake plate or stand.

To make the buttercream, sift your icing sugar to make sure there are no lumps. Then beat the softened butter and icing sugar together with the vanilla extract until it is fully combined and fluffy.

Take a sharp knife and carefully cut a circle out of the top cake layer. Don’t cut all the way through, you’re looking to create a small crater for the buttercream to sit in. Carefully remove your circle from the cake and set it aside.

You can either pipe or spoon your buttercream into your cake crater, it’s up to you. I used a spoon. Fill the crater and smooth the buttercream, I sort of made a small ravine in the middle so there was a dip where I’d be putting the butterfly wings.

With a sharp knife, cut the circle of cake in half and place them onto the buttercream ravine. As this is much bigger than your average butterfly cake, I used my spoon to build up the buttercream underneath the wings to support them, which worked really well. Once you’re happy with how the wings look, you just need to sprinkle a tiny bit of icing sugar over the top, and it’s ready to be shared.

The cake did look awesome, everyone was oohing and ahhing over it, which is exactly the response I was going for. It’s a great, simple, fun bake and one I suspect I’ll be asked to make over and over.

How to make a Giant Butterfly Cake