The Best Butterfly Birthday Cake Recipe That Kids Will Love

Two children, a boy and a girl, wearing chef's hats are making a butterfly cake; the girl is pouring flour into a mixing bowl.

Image © vgstockstudio, under a Creative Commons license.

Making a butterfly cake is a great idea, and kids will love a cake shaped like one of the prettiest animals in nature.

With an easy butterfly cake recipe, some amazing butterfly birthday cake decorating ideas, and some useful extra tips for families, this guide to making a butterfly sponge cake is ideal for any parent planning a birthday party. So why don't you check out these brilliant butterfly cake ideas for a pretty and delicious birthday cake?


For The Cake:

250g caster sugar

250g butter

300g self-raising flour

4 eggs

2 teasp baking powder

Food colouring of any colour (optional)

For The Icing:

150g of butter

450g icing sugar

Raspberry or strawberry jam

Fondant icing sheet(s) in any colour (optional)

Tube icing

Decorations such as sprinkles or sweets (e.g smarties)


Electric mixer or large bowl and spoon



Medium-sized round cake tin (about 23cm in diameter) or a butterfly shaped cake tin

Baking paper

Cooling rack

Cake board

Ingredients needed to make a butterfly cake, including eggs, sugar and flour, laid out on a white table with a rolling pin and a tea towel.

How To Make A Butterfly Cake

1. Preheat your oven to 365F/180C.

2. Cover your cake tin or butterfly cake mould in baking paper.

3. Measure out your ingredients, and then cream the butter and caster sugar together by hand, or use an electric mixer. Once smooth and well blended, add in the eggs, flour and baking powder. If you have time, sifting the flour and baking powder into the mix will make for an especially light and fluffy cake. You could also add a splash of vanilla extract for a sweet extra touch.

4. Mix all the ingredients together until they become a smooth batter. If you want your cake to be a fun colour, add in a few drops of food colouring, and give one last stir or electric mix. A bright colour like blue, pink or yellow is an especially great idea for a vibrant butterfly cake.

5. Once you are happy with your batter, grease your cake tin all over with some butter.

6. Pour the batter into the baking tin, and make sure it is level. You can use the back of a spoon or spatula to do this.

7. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the cake is light and spongy on the inside. You can test this by sticking a fork into the cake. If no liquid mixture comes off on your fork, and instead a few crumbs come off, your cake is ready to remove from the oven.

8. Leave your cake to cool for about 15 minutes, before transferring it onto a cooling rack for around 25 minutes.

A young girl is mixing ingredients to make a butterfly cake, in the foreground there are butterfly cake ingredients: butter, flour and milk.
Image © user20303045, under a Creative Commons license.

9. If using a butterfly shaped cake mould skip straight to step 12. Otherwise, mix your butter and icing sugar together to make some delicious buttercream while your cake cools.

10. Once your cake has properly cooled and you have made your butter icing, slice the cake in half so you have two large half moon shaped cake pieces. Turn so that the curved edges of each piece touch one another.  Cut a small triangle out from the middle of the straight edge of each half circle. Transfer to a cake board.

11. Ice your cake all over with buttercream. If you want an especially professional looking cake, or some extra sweetness, cover the cake with a ready-rolled fondant icing sheet. Lay a fondant icing sheet carefully over each side and press gently down from the centre. Tuck the edges of the fondant underneath the cake.

12. You can now get creative with these wonderful butterfly cake design ideas! There are many different ways you could decorate your butterfly cake.

If Using A Butterfly Cake Mould:

If you are using a butterfly shaped cake mould, many of the butterfly's details should already be imprinted in your cake. This means there is little point in covering it in buttercream and fondant, as the details will get lost. Instead,  you could make some different colours of icing using icing sugar, water and food colouring, and then ice your cake, using different colours for the butterfly's various sections. You could also add some sprinkles or silver drageés.

If Making Your Own Butterfly Shape:

You could use some shop bought icing in a tube, or for fancier bakers, piped homemade icing (made from water and icing sugar) to outline different areas of the butterfly, such as the middle, and wings. You could leave these areas plain, or fill in with sweets and decorations.

For those who want straightforward butterfly cake decorations, using different sweets is an easy yet impressive-looking way to decorate your cake. You could outline the edge of your cake with multicoloured smarties or jazzies, and then fill in with sprinkles or your child's favourite sweets. You could use some delicious rainbow ribbons or a stick of rock for the middle of the butterfly.

Experienced cake decorators could even take inspiration from real life butterflies, and ice on the intricate patterns found on butterfly wings.

Fondant icing in a different colour to the layer you covered the whole cake with could also be cut out in the shape of the wings and middle  and stuck onto the cake to decorate.

A large butterfly cake covered in pink fondant icing with blue and white decorations.
Image © Mags under Creative Commons License

Extra Tips and Information

This cake will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes to make, including baking, decorating and cooling time. It serves 20 people.

Once baked, this cake can be frozen for up to three months. After you have iced it, the cake should be eaten within five days and kept in an airtight space.

Coconut flour is a good alternative to flour. Eggs can be substituted for one teaspoon of vinegar and one teaspoon of extra baking soda mixed together per egg, or a teaspoon of oil and two tablespoons of water per egg.  Butter can easily be replaced with margarine. It is a good idea to check the labels of all ingredients if anyone with allergies will be eating the cake.

Children of any age can make and eat the cake, though shaping it is best left to adults.


Written By

Mia Shindler

Mia is a student from London who loves spending time with her family and two younger siblings. As a History student, she especially enjoys family days out to museums, and loved reading all about the past as a child. Her favourite historical book series as a child was The Lady Grace Mysteries by Patricia Finney. Mia also loves exploring London’s restaurants, theatres and parks, and finding new and exciting things to do in her local area.

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