For Kaylin's butterfly birthday party today, I decided to attempt a butterfly cake. It turned out great and wasn't as difficult to make as I thought!
I made one box of cake mix in two 8" round cake pans and let them cool. They were the base for the "wings." Two Twinkies were put in the center for the butterfly's "body." (Quick tip: I put wax paper under the edges of cakes before frosting them. Any sloppy frosting gets on the wax paper, which is easily removed, instead of the serving platter or tray.)
To make the tops of the cakes flat, I took a serrated knife and sliced off the rounded tops.
I sliced the cakes in half, horizontally, a little more than half way down each round cake. Then I separated them to look like giant Pac Mans. Um, Pac Men - ? You get the idea...
Then it was time for the "crumb coat." If you've never heard of a crumb coat, it's a thin layer of frosting that catches all of the crumbs. Stick the cake in the fridge or freezer to let the crumb coat set, then frost the cake the way you want it. (I thought you'd be able to see all of the crumbs in this picture, but it didn't turn out as clear as I expected.)
It didn't look right to me, so I sliced off the corner edges of the "wings" and handed the scraps over to the kids. Much better...
The final frosting color didn't turn out the way I wanted. I ended up with leftover red frosting from the ladybug cupcakes and tried adding blue to make purple, but it turned out this weird, plum color. Oh well, no one seemed to mind and it all tastes the same, right?
I debated over how to detail the poor, plum-colored butterfly and decided on piping the edges (it hid the sloppy frosting job), bummed some giant Wilton confetti dots from a friend, added a face and pipe cleaner antennea and called it, "done."
And how cute are the ladybug cupcakes? They were so easy. Chocolate cupcakes, red frosting (using lots and lots of food coloring), brown M&Ms for the spots and mini Oreo cookies for the head.
Just those items alone didn't seem detailed enough, so I threw some chocolate frosting in a Ziplock bag, cut off a teeny corner, and drew a line down the center to create more of an illusion of wings.
Since I had the chocolate frosting out, and some of my brown M&Ms mysteriously disappeared, I played around with making my own ladybug spots. Hmmm...not nearly as cute.
I dipped cookie sprinkles in frosting to stick to the Oreo for eyes, dabbed on some chocolate frosting eyeballs, and added some red frosting to a Ziplock to make the tiny smiles. I think they turned out great!
I'm so glad I took pictures yesterday. Not only would I have forgotten, but the red frosting melted all down the paper liner this morning during the party. If you look closely at the picture at the top of the post, several of them are bleeding! That's what I should have expected on a 100+ degree day, I guess...