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Decorative butterfly cupcakes

Miranda Gore Browne / 02 June 2014

These pretty butterfly cupcakes by Great British Bake Off finalist and Dream Tea ambassador Miranda Gore Browne would make a lovely addition to a little girl's birthday party.

Butterfly cupcakes
Butterfly cupcakes

Cooking time

15 minutes




Sponge ingredients

  • 375 g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 375 g white caster sugar
  • 6 free range large eggs
  • 375g self-raising flour
  • 7.5 tablespoons of full fat milk
  • Zest from two large un-waxed lemons

Icing ingredients

  • 2 boxes of royal icing sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons

Butterfly decorations

  • 1 packet of pale lilac Sugar Florist Paste
  • 1 packet of white Sugar Florist Paste
  • Butterfly cutter


How to make butterfly cupcakes

  • Chop the butter into large chunks and place in a bowl of warm (not hot) water to soften gently.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together (in mixer or by hand or with large balloon whisk) the softened butter and sugar.
  • Whisk until creamy and fluffy.
  • In a jug gently beat together the eggs.
  • Add the eggs a little at a time to the butter and sugar mix – whisking in well with same whisk.
  • Beat well until creamy and combined before adding more egg.
  • Sift the flour onto the scales and then again as you add to the mix.
  • Sift the flour into the mix a bit at a time and gently fold in with a metal spoon.
  • Fold in the lemon zest with the last bit of flour.
  • Once all the flour is completely combined gently fold in the milk a little at a time.
  • Line a cupcake tray with cake cases and spoon in the cake mixture. Make sure each paper case is only about half full then gently smooth the tops.
  • Bake in a preheated oven 180 (fan) or 200 (normal) for approx 15 mins or until springy to touch.

Lemon soak

  • Sieve the juice of 2 lemons into a jug
  • Whisk in 3 tablespoons of icing sugar
  • As soon as the cakes come out of the oven, and they are still in their tins, prick the tops with a cocktail stick then spoon the lemon soak carefully over each of the cakes.
  • Leave the cakes to cool completely in their tins before decorating.

Lemon royal icing

  • 2 boxes of royal icing sugar mixed with lemon juice instead of water, beat in a mixer until stiff peaks form.
  • Take a few tablespoons of the icing and keep on one side in an airtight container to use for piping and decorating later.
  • Add a little more lemon juice to the remaining icing so it is smooth enough to spread.
  • Carefully spoon the icing onto each cupcake and use a palette knife to spread to the edges and smooth.
  • The icing must be completely dry before the decorations are added.

Butterfly decorations

Roll a small ball of the Sugar Florist paste on a worktop lightly dusted with icing sugar. Use the cutter to stamp out butterflies, leave them to dry over the edge of a food container to create the natural butterfly shape. Put the remaining stiff icing into a piping bag and use to attach the butterfly decorations.

About Miranda Gore Browne

Miranda Gore Browne is a Dream Tea ambassador for Dreams Come True, which asks everyone to turn at least one of their daily cups of tea into a special moment by adding delicious cakes and biscuits, and to take out with friends, family and colleagues whilst raising money to help bring joy to terminally and seriously ill children. For more information, visit

Miranda Gore Browne works with The National Trust, Squires Kitchen, Hobbycraft, Kenwood, Chalon Kitchens, AGA and regularly gives masterclasses and baking demonstrations.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.