This cute butterfly cake is super easy to make and just uses a basic round cake pan. Perfect for birthdays or summer parties!
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I don’t really know how it started, but somewhere along the way, I got hooked into the tradition of making our children a decorated cake for each of their birthdays. We keep birthday’s pretty low key around our house, typically just celebrating with a simple party with extended family.
So even though making a decorated cake for each child takes time, I kind of have decided that it’s far easier than planning a big birthday party, plus it’s an inexpensive way to make their day extra special.
I’ll be totally honest with you, I am not a crafty person at all. I do love to bake though, which is probably why I was brave enough to try making a special birthday cake in the first place.
But I always stick to birthday cakes that are very easy to make. In other words, if I made the cake, you totally can too!
This past year for our daughter’s 4th birthday, I knew I had to keep the cake even easier and more simple than I often do. Not only is her birthday in December, which is obviously a busy time of year, but I was also dealing with lots of morning sickness, too.
Plus, her birthday fell just 2 days after my husband graduated with his Bachelor’s degree at a college that is 1 hr. away, and so we had a weekend full of lots of travel and busyness related to his graduation on top of everything else.
Thankfully, I happened across the idea of a butterfly cake and after some brainstorming, figured out a way to make one that didn’t take much time and ended up being very easy, too. And the ultimate goal was achieved as I watched our daughter’s face light up when she saw her cake. She absolutely loved it!
Easy Butterfly Birthday Cake
- 9 in. cake pans (you’ll need two)
- Small Sized Blade Ultra Spatula (makes it easy to frost the cake nicely)
- Cake Board (optional, but handy to place the cake on)
- Cake mix or homemade cake recipe of your choice
- Icing of your choice and color (I used this buttercream frosting recipe, although one batch was barely enough)
- Candy for decorations- I used Twizzlers, M&M’s, Tic-Tac’s and Starburst’s
1. Bake the Cake
Mix up the cake and bake in two 9″ round cake pans. Once the cake has cooled, invert the pan and carefully remove the cakes from the pan. Flipping it onto parchment paper or saran wrap helps reduce mess.
2. Cut the Cake
Each layer of cake should be cut into four pieces as shown above.
I first drew a template using a piece of paper. To make the template, I simply traced around the bottom of the cake pan to get my circle. Then I cut out the circle and cut it into the appropriate sizes to make the butterfly wings.
I then laid these paper pieces on the cake so that I would know exactly where to cut. This made it easy for me to cut both cakes into the exact same size pieces.
3. Arrange the pieces
Take cake pieces and arrange the 1st layer of the cake as shown above to form a butterfly.
Frost the top of the 1st cake layer and also lightly frost the sides (you’ll finish frosting the sides later), then place the second layer of cake on top of the first layer.
Frost the cake completely.
Let your imagination run wild and come up with your own butterfly design. Or if you want, you can simply copy what I did.
Here’s what I used:
- Twizzlers (for the body)
- M&M’s and Tic-Tac’s (for the round and small oval spots)
- Starburst, flattened with a rolling pin (for the large red oval spots and the small blue square spots)
- Lining your pans with parchment paper makes the cake easier to remove.
- I also like to wrap my cakes in plastic wrap and then freeze them for several hours before frosting them. This makes it easier to frost because there are fewer crumbs due to the cake being frozen.
Thank you for putting this butterfly cake on here!!! I need to do one today for my grandaughter .. small second celebration for her tomorrow… This is simple and so cute love it ! She is turning six tomorrow.
Happy 6th birthday to your granddaughter! And so glad that this cake helped you have fun celebrating her. 🙂
She’s gotten so big! I still pictured your daughter as that little tike shoving pom poms through a hole in the top of a cottage cheese container. Anyway, I love how you do fun cakes that are realistic for everyone. Remember the snowman cake you posted last year? I made that and we had fun decorating it. It’s nice to have an alternative to some of the more elaborate homemade cakes. Simple and beautiful is just as tasty.
Monica, I just came across that old picture of her recently and felt rather nostalgic. 🙂 And thanks for the encouragement regarding the cakes. I like how you said that- simple and beautiful is just as tasty. And I love that you all had fun making the snowman cake. That would be a good one to make about now with the kids to help them use some of the energy creatively….what with all this snow we have.
Homemade cakes are always special I think. I made my childrens cake’s for years. I recently bought a Williams Sonoma cake pan that looks like an Oreo cookie. I paid a dollar for it at a thrift store. This will now be our new family tradition. The recipe calls for ice cream or butter cream filling so depending on the weather, we will assemble accordingly. The butterfly cake is adorable. Your children are blessed to have a mommy like you.
I love the Oreo cookie cake idea, Brook! I’m not a fan of most bought cookies, but Oreos are my weakness. 🙂 And I agree with homemade cakes being special. I have good memories related to the few that my mom made me when I was little. Thanks for your encouragement!
What a cute idea! I have to admit that cake decorating is NOT my thing. Lol. I’d love to see some of the other cakes you’ve made. 🙂
Missy, I am totally serious when I say that the cakes that I make are ones that I truly think anyone can make. I am as uncrafty as they come, but over time, I’ve come to actually sort of have fun making simple cakes for our kiddos. If you decide to try it, my best advice is to give yourself plenty of time because it always takes longer than you expect and also to be okay with imperfections. I used to think that every cake had to look like it came from a bakery, and then it totally zapped the fun from what I was doing. Once I relaxed and realized that I’m not a professional and my kids still love the cakes, I was able to be okay with the little flaws that were there and just have fun.
Oh, and I do hope to post more cakes in the future, so I guess you are in luck. 🙂 I have a fun robot one that I’ll be sharing in several weeks. And here is a super easy snowman cake that I did last year.
It’s so cute!! 🙂 I normally do cupcakes for my kids birthdays. Maybe I’ll look into trying a cake this year.