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Recently a neighbor asked me if she could hire me to do cupcakes and the cake for her daughter's First Holy Communion celebration.  I was flattered that she thought of me--but there was no way I would charge a friend for cupcakes and cake.

I only had a few days notice and had a hard time thinking of an appropriate decorating theme.  Then I remembered some flagged pages in my Hello Cupcake cookbook. I love this book.  It's filled with the cutest ideas for just about every occasion. Except, of course, a First Holy Communion.

But it does have butterflies. Beautiful and delicate, they look like they might flutter off the page as you're flipping through the book. And with three boys, I doubted a butterfly-themed party was in our future so here was my chance--how perfect. Because, you know, First  Communion ...butterflies ... get it? Fine. I was reaching but look how pretty.  


Supplies: At least two different colors of melting candy wafer or chocolate (I buy the melting wafers at craft stores like Michaels or A.C. Moore); wax paper; butterfly template; permanent marker; sandwich sized ziploc bags.

First trace a template of wings and antennae onto a sheet of paper (the book has a template so I just traced it over and over with a thick marker).

Lay a piece of wax paper over your template.

Place chocolate or other colored melting candy wafer in an unsealed sandwich ziploc and microwave in 10 second intervals until melted, squishing the bag between intervals.  In my high-powered microwave, it takes about 30 seconds. 

In another bag, place candy wafers in a contrasting color and repeat the melting process.

Snip a bit off one corner of each bag and outline your wings with your main color, trying to keep the two wings separate.  Squeeze a blob of your contrasting color in the interior of the wing.  Using a toothpick, draw in from your main color into the contrasting color, using a slight swirling motion, to bring both colors together.  Add sprinkles if you like.  It took some time for me to master and settle on a technique, but you'll get it. 


When starting out, I recommend you do one wing set at a time before attempting to "assembly line" the process (i.e., tracing all the wings then going back to do the interior).  Once I got the hang of it, I found I could do two or three sets of wings at a time--before the outlines set up too much to blend with the interior color--IF I worked quickly enough.  I did the antennas all at once.

Note that the baggies of melting chocolate will eventually cool too much to spread--just repeat the melting process, adding additional wafers if necessary.

Slide your wax paper off the template and set aside to harden.  Place another piece of wax paper on top of your template and repeat until you have enough wings.

The wings will harden at room temperature but you can pop them in the fridge if you need to speed things up.  You can make the wings several days in advance and store them in an air-tight container in the fridge (stacked between wax paper). 

When you're ready to decorate, pipe the body of the butterfly onto your cake or cupcake (just place your frosting in a ziploc, snip the corner, then make a motion that I will describe as push, draw, push, draw, push, lift.  You want your tip to make a segmented-looking butterfly body.  Yes, I just invented that description).  Now push a wing into either side of the piped body--the book says to place a mini M&M beneath each wing for support but I didn't bother and they held fine (I suspect this wouldn't work if your frosting isn't firm).  Add the antennae at the head.  Add more sprinkles if you like.

The boys were absolutely enchanted by the butterfly cupcakes, so I think I actually will get another chance to make them for a party of our own.  Maybe a bug party--the book has some pretty cool looking scorpions made out of Skittles.

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Reader Comments (1)

Randomly stumbled upon your blog. These butterfly cupcakes are adorable and so impressive!

August 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

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