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Butterfly Cupcakes

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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.

Butterfly Cupcakes - laid out on a cooling rack and decorated

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.

Butterfly Cupcakes - ingredients image


  • 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 ExtractAlways 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.

Chantilly Cream

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!

Butterfly Cupcakes - steps 01
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy
  2. Add the eggs one at a time until well combined.
  3. Add half the milk and dry ingredients and combine. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix until no dry ingredients are showing.
  4. Scoop the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Butterfly Cupcakes - steps 02
  1. Cut the tops off each cupcake. Hold the knife on a slight angel so the center is slightly deeper.
  2. Gently cut the tops in half.
  3. Pipe a ring of frosting around the cupcake leaving a hole in the middle.
  4. Fill with raspberry jam.
  5. Add cupcake top halves. Dust with powdered sugar.
  6. Pipe a line of raspberry jam on top.
Butterfly Cupcakes - close up of unwrapped cupcake

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.

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Butterfly Cupcakes - thumbnail image

Butterfly Cupcakes

These classic Butterfly Cupcakes are a nostalgic kids birthday party cupcake that is soft, filled with jam and cream and dusted with icing sugar.

Serves 10

5 from 2 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian
Calories: 422kcal


Butterfly Cupcakes

  • 375 g cake flour, see notes
  • 210 g caster sugar, see notes
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 85 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature (55g each)
  • 375 g milk, room temperature (see notes)
  • 60 g vegetable oil, or canola oil
  • 60 g Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Chantilly Cream

  • 125 g heavy cream, cold (see notes)
  • 30 g powdered sugar, sifted, plus extra to dust (icing sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, see notes
  • 60 g mascarpone, cold (see notes)
  • 150 g raspberry jam, mix before using



  • 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.
  • Combine dry ingredients – In a large bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Use a whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Cream butter, sugar and eggs – 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 remaining wet ingredients – Add the Greek yogurt, vegetable oil and half the milk and mix until well combined.
  • Finish batter – 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.
  • Bake – 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

Chantilly Cream

  • Prepare mascarpone cheese – 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.
  • Whip all ingredients – 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!

To Decorate

  • To trim cupcakes – 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.
  • To decorate – 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.


Cake Flour – Cake flour is a low protein flour that is used to make desserts light and moist. You can use store bought which has a much finer flour consistency, or simply make your own with my simple recipe. Click here to get the recipe and learn all the tips and tricks.
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.
Milk – it’s really important that your milk is at room temperature for this cake to come out nice and fluffy. Room temperature is about 21C / 71F. You can warm your milk up slightly on the stove or in the microwave for 20 seconds.
Heavy cream – make sure you use cream labelled heavy cream for this recipe. Whipping cream will work but won’t be as stiff as heavy cream. Low fat cream will not work.
Mascarpone – is an Italian cheese that is similar in flavor to sour cream, but more creamy and less sour. Opt in for a better brand one as they tend to be thicker and make sure it’s cold straight out of the fridge! Make sure you give your mascarpone cheese a mix before using. Some brands are soft, some are firm and can cause your Chantilly cream to go lumpy.
Vanilla – I have a great recipe for Vanilla extract here on the blog which is alcohol based. It can be used for most recipes. However, I would advise against using it for whipped creams (yes, even stabilized ones like this one) or meringues as it can muck around with the air whipped in the mixtures. Instead use a syrup based vanilla extract. I find vanilla bean paste is best.
Storage – These cupcakes are best served the day they’re made but can be stored in an airtight container, in the fridge for one day. Always store these cupcakes in the fridge and thaw a little before serving. The cream can soften if it’s a warm day and go sour in warm weather.
Nutrition – is based approximate and is based on per cupcake. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes.
A note on measurements – this recipe is offered in weight measurements. This is in an effort to offer the most accurate way to get the best results. Cup measurements simply aren’t accurate enough for a recipe that needs precision and cup sizes differ depending on where you are in the world. Here is where you can learn more about how to measure ingredients using digital kitchen scales!


Calories : 422kcal
Carbonhydrates: 46g
Protein: 8g
Fat: 17g
Saturated Fat: 10g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
Monounsaturated Fat : 4g
Trans Fat : 0.3g
Cholesterol: 79mg
Sodium: 288mg
Potassium : 173mg
Fiber: 1g
Sugar : 15g
Vitamin A: 580IU
Vitamin C: 2mg
Calcium: 158mg
Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclosure
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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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