These classic Butterfly Cupcakes are a nostalgic kids birthday party cupcake that is soft, filled with jam and cream and dusted with icing sugar. I have fond memories of my mum making these. They not only look great, but they taste amazing. The soft texture, the lighter than air cream and the raspberry jam (my favorite!) is what sticks out to me when I think of Butterfly Cupcakes.
These make a lovely afternoon tea treat, or a kids birthday party pick and eat cake. Either way you’ll love how cute these easy to make vanilla cupcakes are!
Speaking of Vanilla cupcakes, these are essentially my famous Vanilla Cupcakes (a reader favorite!). Other recipes you might like are these Chocolate Cupcakes (super moist!) or my favorite easy to make Sponge Kisses! Very high-tea couture!
Why you’ll love Butterfly Cupcakes!
These Vanilla cupcakes are such a delicious mix of classic English high tea flavors!
- Soft and fluffy Vanilla sponge – these use my Vanilla Cupcake recipe which taste great and are easy to make!
- Lighter than air cream frosting – I used my stabilized Chantilly cream recipe to top these cupcakes. So delicious. Classic American Buttercream would also work.
- Raspberry jam – you can make your own, or use store bought which is easier. Home-made always tastes better and you can control the sweetness.
- So cute! Let’s face it, these make a super fun addition or replacement to a cake for a kids birthday party!
Ingredients You Need To Make Butterfly Cupcakes
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.
- Cake flour – Cake flour is a low gluten flour which results in more delicate crumb and softer cupcake. If you can’t get cake flour, you can make your own by adding 1 cup all-purpose flour to a bowl. Take out 1 tbsp of flour and add 1 tbsp of corn flour (also known as corn starch). Sift at least once. Alternatively, you can replace the cake flour with all-purpose flour.
- Caster sugar – also known as superfine sugar is finer than granulated sugar and gives you a finer crumb when making cakes. If you don’t have access to caster sugar, you can use granulated sugar.
- Baking powder – is what helps these cupcakes rise. Make sure your baking powder is within its used by date.
- Salt – I used fine salt.
- Unsalted butter – make sure your butter is softened. I keep my butter in the fridge so I microwave it for 10 seconds at a time until my finger can go through it.
- Eggs – I used large eggs. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature. I keep my eggs in the fridge so I let them sit submerged in hot tap water in a bowl for 10 minutes.
- Milk – I used full fat cow’s milk, but plant based milks like oat, almond and soy will work as well. Make sure your milk is at room temperature (not straight out of the fridge).
- Vegetable oil – you can also use canola oil.
- Vanilla Extract – Always use good quality vanilla extract when baking, it makes a huge difference. I have a great recipe here for it if you’d like to try your own!
- Powdered Sugar – Also known as icing sugar. Go light on the dusting and make sure you dust before you add the raspberry stripe on top.
- Raspberry jam – you can use any type of jam you like but my favorite is raspberry jam.
For a full list and break down on ingredients and instructions for Chantilly Cream, I’ve created a separate, easy to follow blog post that you can check out here. The instructions and ingredient portions are included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make Butterfly Cupcakes!
- Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy
- Add the eggs one at a time until well combined.
- Add half the milk and dry ingredients and combine. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix until no dry ingredients are showing.
- Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cut the tops off each cupcake. Hold the knife on a slight angel so the center is slightly deeper.
- Gently cut the tops in half.
- Pipe a ring of frosting around the cupcake leaving a hole in the middle.
- Fill with raspberry jam.
- Add cupcake top halves. Dust with powdered sugar.
- Pipe a line of raspberry jam on top.
Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!
- Measure using kitchen scales, not cups – I’ve included cup measurements in the recipe card but using kitchen scales and measuring in grams/weight is a far better way to get consistent results like mine!
- Make sure butter is soft and milk is not cold – that way your mixes beautifully and uniformly giving you best results.
- Don’t overmix your batter – mix only until no dry ingredients are showing to get nice soft cupcakes. Overmixed batter can cause the cakes to shrink as they cool which may cause the cupcake liners to come away. Humidity can also cause this.
- Keep your cupcakes cool – especially if you’re frosting with Chantilly cream.
Frequently Asked Questions about Butterfly Cupcakes
How do I store these?
Store in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. These will last 3 days in the fridge.
Does the cream frosting melt in hot or humid temperature?
Yep. All frostings will melt with heat. On warm or hot days I always keep my cupcakes cool in the fridge until ready to serve. Cream frosting especially needs to be refrigerated at all times as it’s a high-risk ingredient like all dairy.
More recipes for your high tea or special occasion!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @thescranline on Facebook and Instagram!
- 2 1/2 cups (375 g) cake flour see notes
- 1 cup (210 g) caster sugar see notes
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/3 cup (85 g) unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) milk room temperature (see notes)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil see notes
- 1/4 cup (60 g) Greek yogurt or sour cream see notes
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) heavy cream, cold see notes
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar sifted, plus extra to dust (see notes)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract see notes
- 1/4 cup (60 g) mascarpone cold
- 1/2 cup (150 g) raspberry jam
- Preheat a fan forced oven to 120C / 250F (140C / 275F for no fan). Line two cupcake/muffin trays with cupcake liners. See notes for measurements.
- In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Use a whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add the softened butter, sugar and vanilla and mix on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl using a spatula. Next, add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds each time and scraping down the bowl after each addition.
- Add the Greek yogurt, vegetable oil and half the milk and mix until well combined.
- Pour in all of the dry ingredients and remaining milk and mix on medium low speed until no dry ingredients are showing taking care to make sure there are no dry ingredients showing at the bottom.
- Use an ice cream scoop or two tablespoons to transfer the batter into the cupcake liners filling them up 3/4 of the way. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely
- Begin by mixing your mascarpone cheese to smoothen it out. Some brands are smooth, some are a little stiffer. This will prevent it from making your Chantilly cream lumpy. Add all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (glass or metal, not plastic) and use an electric hand mixer fitted with beaters or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to whip until you reach stiff peaks. This usually takes about 3 - 4 minutes to achieve. What you’re looking for is a smooth but stiff whipped cream, not one that looks split. If it looks split or separated, congratulations, you’re on your way to making butter!
- Use a round cookie cutter about 1 cm smaller than the top of your cupcakes to gently indent the cupcakes. You’ll use a serrated knife to cut a cone shape into each cupcake about 2cm in depth (not all the way to the bottom of the cupcakes!). Go slow and cut them as neatly as you can using the circle as a guide of where to cut.
- Fit the end of a piping bag with an open star tip and fill with cream. Fill the hole in the cupcakes with a little bit of jam and then pipe a circle of cream. Fill the circle with more jam and place each half of your cupcake tops on top in the shape of butterfly wings. Dust with powdered sugar an hour before serving. These cupcakes are best served the day they’re made.