Nothing says spring more than butterflies! While today has been chilly with some snow for the most part this April has been warm. The flowers in my garden are growing and the tulips have bloomed. I have been waiting for the warmer weather for a long time. The one thing I do not like about Michigan is the long winters. I am not a cold person by nature. Though, I enjoyed making these butterflies!
These were super easy to make and I love my new Hello Cup Cake cook book. Though I did make the cup cakes, and butter cream frosting from scratch. The only thing that is not home made are the butterflies bodies that I have to thank Pillsbury for doing a great job :).
The first set I made only orange butterflies and put them on rounded tops, and I took to my Sociology class. The second set I made were orange, blue, and green on Yellow flowers with green leave I brought these to the family Easter get together.They were a hit at both places :).
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon (optional)
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup milk
1-1 ½ recipes easy vanilla buttercream frosting
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners. Set pan aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides and beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest, if using.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
Easy Vanilla Buttercream
20 tbsp. (2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. heavy cream
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Scrape down the bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds. Scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.
Dark cocoa candy melts
Colored candy melts –
1 batch of vanilla, or any flavor you enjoy, cupcakes
1 batch of vanilla butter cream
Canned chocolate frosting
Draw your butterfly wing(s) template on a piece of paper. Place on a metal baking sheet. Cut out wax paper large enough to fit pairs of wings, and some smaller ones for antennae.
Place about 1/2 cup of dark cocoa candy melts in a plastic bag, and 1/2 cup of colored candy melts in another plastic bag. Microwave in 10 second intervals, unsealed, massaging the candy melts in between, until the candy is completely melted and no lumps remain. Press out the excess air in the bag and seal. Push the mixture down to one corner of the bag and snip off a very small corner. Trace the outline of the wing template with the dark cocoa melted candy. You need to do one wing at a time, outline and colored filling, if you do not then the chocolate will set by the time you have outlined two wings.) Use the bag of colored candy melts to fill in the outline. Be generous, so that it will spread all the way to the sides. Rap the baking sheet against your work surface a few times until the filling and outline spread together. Use a toothpick to swirl the edges and the filling together slightly. Sprinkle the top and bottom of each wing with a few white nonpareils. The melted candy will begin to cool and harden as you work. If it becomes to stiff to work with, microwave for 10 more seconds until melted again. Repeat this process with more candy melts until you have enough sets of wings for all your cupcakes. . Let set completely.
Frost your cupcakes as desired.
Place two chocolate chips on top of each frosted cupcake, about half and inch apart. These will help support the butterfly wings. Place the wings on top of the chocolate chips. (I placed the antenna where the body would go and then I piped the chocolate body from the start of the antenna.) Place the chocolate frosting in a plastic bag with a tip cut off. Pipe it on in a line of small blobs to look like a body between the wings.