Butterfly Cupcakes

A couple of weeks ago, our babysitter’s youngest daughter Kendall had her sixth birthday.  As with both of her sisters, I just had to celebrate with a batch of fun cupcakes.  The other two girls are huge Twilight fans, which was reflected in their cupcakes, but since Kendall is a kindergartener, I wanted something more fun and whimsical.  It didn’t take me too long to think of these butterfly cupcakes, which are the sole reason I wanted the book Hello, Cupcake! in the first place.  The version in the book is made with orange butterfly wings, but I immediately knew I wanted a bright, colorful array of butterflies.  

I was pretty shocked with how well these turned out.  I was sure I would meet some sort of disaster in the making of these cupcakes, but they really came out just as I had hoped.  The butterfly wings can be made up to a few days in advance and stored until the cupcakes are ready to be assembled.  I will definitely make these again in the future when I’m looking for a fun, girly, visually impressive cupcake.   They would be perfect for a birthday party, bridal or baby shower, girls’ night – whatever!  I just LOVE them.

Butterfly Cupcakes
Supplies Needed:
Wax paper
Plastic baggies
Dark cocoa candy melts
Colored candy melts (whatever color you would like the wings to be)
White nonpareils
1 batch vanilla cupcakes (or any flavor you like)
1 batch vanilla buttercream (or other flavor frosting, colored if desired)
Chocolate chips
Canned chocolate frosting

Draw your butterfly wing template on a piece of paper.  Place on a metal baking sheet.  Cut out squares of 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.  (Do one wing at a time, outline and colored filling, otherwise it will be too set to swirl by the time you have outlined two wings.)

*Note – tracing the outline was definitely the thing I found most challenging initially, but eventually I got the hang of it.  Keeping the tip of the baggie very close to the wax paper and going slowly helps keep things neat.

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.  (This step is very important – if you think you might need to reheat the candy, definitely do it.  You will save yourself a lot of messed up wings by keeping the candy melted.)

Repeat this process with more candy melts until you have enough sets of wings for all your cupcakes.  (I made about 16).  Let set completely.  

I completely forgot to take a picture of this part, but you also need to make pairs of antennae for your butterflies.  Basically, just draw a template with a very narrow “V” shape, long stem and curved ends (see close up picture near the end of the post with antennae).  Trace chocolate onto wax paper in the shape of the antennae as you did with the wings.  Allow to set completely.

Frost your cupcakes as desired.  (I think the frosting colored to match the butterfly wings looks great!)

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 wiped a small amount of frosting out from in between the wings to make room for the body.)

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.  Stick the chocolate antennae into the frosting at the head of the butterfly.

And voila!  A beautiful bunch of colorful butterflies.  My new love!

Source: adapted from Hello, Cupcake!

185 Responses

  1. These are absolutely stunning! Thanks for the step-by-step guide on how to make the butterflies. I’ve been wanting to make these for a long time!

    • I made your butterfly cupcakes for my daughter’s second birthday, in pink and blue, and they were a huge hit! Thanks for the inspiration. I’d love to send you a photo. Any way to do that?

      • Amanda,
        Glad they turned out well! My email can be found in the “About Annie” section.

  2. your blog is amazing! love to see your recipes and the butterfly cupcakes are sooooooooooo pretty!

  3. Wow, Annie! Those are just awesome. I am racking my brain trying to come up with a good reason to make them 🙂 Fantastic job!

  4. Beautiful work, Annie!

  5. Those are absolutely gorgeous! I love all the bright colors!

  6. I am once again totally floored by your talent!! These are absolutely amazing Annie!!

  7. Annie, these are stunning! I love all the beautfiul, bright colors. I’ve wanted to make these ever since getting Hello, Cupcake! for Christmas, and this post was definitely what I needed to encourage me to do so!

  8. These are just amazing. Perfect for a shower (wedding or baby) as well.

  9. Wow!! Those are beautiful! Thanks for the how to photos. That will definetly make it easier when I try them.

  10. Impressed as always! Beautiful!!!

  11. Gorgeous! I do not know how you have the time to do everything you do!!

  12. impressive! these are little works of art!

  13. I’m in awe!!!!

  14. Annie! I L-O-V-E these! The look amazing! Out of all the ones you’re made these are handdown my favorite! Really they’re gorgeous!

  15. These are freakin’ AWESOME! They turned out beautiful! Great job! (btw, I make your apple pie cupcakes this weekend and they were a big hit!)

  16. I saw these cupcakes in the same cookbook and thought they were amazing. I need to throw a girly party because I don’t think my hubbie and four boys would really appreciate these. 😉

    Yours turned out just stunning, I love them with the pretty bright colors!

  17. Oh WOW! They’re stunning! I’ll be linking. Wow, wow, wow!

  18. Those are amazing!

  19. You have so much patience!!!

  20. How do you frost your cupcakes like that?

    They look amazing!

    • Hi Sara,
      I use a large star tip for frosting most of my cupcakes – it is my favorite! I don’t have an exact name or number because it came with my mechanical pastry bag from Williams Sonoma. Hope that helps!
      🙂 Annie

  21. what an amazing job.
    I know how hard that must have been. They came out perfect.

  22. How pretty! You’ve got some serious patience!

  23. Beautiful butterflies, and I love the step-by-step breakdown of how you made them. I don’t have Hello Cupcake yet, but I’m going to have to get it now!!

  24. Amazing!!!!! To say the least! Great job!

  25. So gorgeous! I love all of the colors. You have amazing patience.

  26. Once again – these are GORGEOUS! We had a butterfly cake for Katie’s birthday – but we bought it – I cheated this time!

  27. Those are amazing…..You are so talented!

  28. They look amazing!!! Thank you so much for the tutorial!!!

  29. Annie, these are the CUTEST cupcakes EVER. So springy & beautiful. Thank you for sharing! Love your blog & photos!

  30. Gorgeous work! Thank you for breaking down the process step-by-step. What kind of dye/coloring did you use for the icing?

  31. Wow! How pretty!!!! Thanks for the step-by-step on making the butterflies.

  32. What an amazingly gorgeous outcome you had! Those are so beautiful!

  33. GORGEOUS! You are so talented! And a mom and doctor to boot 🙂

  34. These are SO beautiful!!!!

  35. those are the prettiest cupcakes i have EVER seen!!!! you are quite the artist!!! 🙂

  36. Gorgeous! Too beautiful to eat.

  37. I *love* how you color-coordinated the butterflies and frosting. Absolutely gorgeous!

  38. I just wanted to say THANK YOU so much for deciding to make these! My daughter is having a butterfly themed birthday party and we had decided on butterfly cupcakes but with the orange Monarch butterflies. I had read how to do the wings on a few other sites, but to actually see it (I am so much more of a visual person) and to see you do it in different colors is just awesome. They are beautiful and I hope mine turn out as well!!

  39. You so need to open a bakery – your cupcakes always look so perfect! SO cute!

  40. You are the coolest mom ever!

  41. Wow! Those are lovely and it looks easy enough that I might actually be able to pull it off! Great job! I’m really impressed.

  42. WOW!! These cupcakes look amazing!

  43. These are stunning! “Adorable” comes to mind, but it doesn’t cut it!

  44. Annie, these are just stunning! I appreciate all the recipes you post as they are gorgeous and a bit involved but yet you make them seem so “do-able.” Most of the new recipes I’ve been trying have come from your blog. Thanks!

  45. Wow these look so stunning – cute, yet elegant! I can’t wait for an excuse to bake them – it’d be great as a birthday present for someone 😀

  46. Those are gorgeous! Well done!!

  47. DAMN are these incredible – So impressive!!

  48. These are absolutely breathtaking! Beautiful job!

  49. holy heck! those look amazing! so super impressive!

  50. WOW they look sooo pretty yet very easy too!:) I Love the different frosting colours too! (I would be waayyyy to lazy to do that!) lol but I think I will definitely make the butterflies!

  51. You do those incredible justice – kudos! (as usual!)

  52. Beautiful! I would like to try these for my daughters 12th birthday..

  53. Absolutely beautiful! Do the butterflies store well in the fridge if I made them a day or so ahead of time?

    • Hello Berrybox,
      Yes, I made the butterflies a day in advance. I just stored mine at room temperature but if your house is warm, you could refrigerate them as well.
      🙂 Annie

  54. amazing, amazing, amazing!! thanks for the step-by-step pictures. I’m loooking forward to making these one day soon.

  55. so so beautiful! I can’t wait to try this

  56. Those are so pretty!

  57. Wow Annie! These are so gorgeous! I’m jealous of your cupcake skills. 🙂 (Sorry for the late comment…I’m catching up from the honeymoon on the Google reader!)

  58. Wow… those are absolutely stunning! I’m definitely going to be using that idea, now to find an excuse to make them 😉

  59. OMG!!! I have to make some butterflys. These are just adorable. Your talent never ceases to amaze me. 🙂

  60. wow! i put these on a cake with buttercream flowers and it was amazing! Although mine did not have the same color as yours 🙂

  61. beautiful work! did you use food coloring or the chocolate melts to get the frosting to match the wings?

    • Hi Tre,
      I used Wilton icing colors for the frosting. You do not want to use candy melts to color frosting as they will drastically change the consistency.
      🙂 Annie

  62. These are adorable!

  63. Hi Annie,
    LOVE the butterfly cupcakes!!!! SO beautiful. How many batches of the buttercream did you have to make to frost the cupcakes? Did you make separate batches of buttercream for each different colour or would you half a buttercream batch and then make 2 colours? I guess my question is if i want to make 4 colours of buttercream..am I making 4 batches of buttercream?

    • Hi Michelle,
      Glad you like the cupcakes! I *think* I made just one batch of the buttercream, split it into four bowls evenly, and tinted each portion. It is possible that I did 1.5 batches – I can’t remember now. But you definitely do not need 4 full batches of the buttercream.
      🙂 Annie

      • thankyou ,Annie..I will try 2 batches and freeze the leftover if there is any. I was hoping to make these for some students who are graduating from gradeschool and am trying to work ahead and get organized.
        I love your pictures of all your desserts too. Yoo make it look so easy. Thanks for sharing.

  64. I just ran across your site last night and I just want to say I LOVE your stuff! I will be attempting to make the strawberry lemonade, strawberry lemonade cupcakes, and butterfly cupcakes for my daughters first birthday party on saturday. I was wondering what tip you used to decorate the top of these cupcakes with. Thanks for any info! Keep up the great work, i’m addicted to your site already!

    • Hi Vanessa,
      Thanks for the comment! So glad you enjoy my blog. I hope you have fun and enjoy all the recipes you try. I use a mechanical pastry bag from Williams Sonoma to frost most of my cupcakes, with a large star tip attached. I do not know what the equivalent would be in Wilton or other brands, but any large star tip would have a similar look. Enjoy!
      🙂 Annie

  65. WOW these cupcakes simply look stunning…there are literally no words to describe your amazing talent. I enjoyed every part of your blog and hoping more would be added soon!!! 🙂

  66. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I have never seen anything more creative and beautiful for something as simple as a cupcake! I am in awe and fully inspired. I just made a set for practice (Not nearly as good as yours). These absolutely perfect for my daughter party this weekend (75 cupcakes so I am enlisting some reinforcements)

    Thank you so much for your gift and talent.
    May God continue to bless you and prosper you in your gift!

  67. I love these. Once I saw them I knew they were perfect for my daughters first birthday! She even smiles every time she looks at the picture 🙂 I am wondering though, how far in advance can I make the wings and where should I store them? Her party is on July 5th..but we have company coming on the first..would love to have everything done before then and ready to just assemble that day. Any tips for me?
    Thanks….they are adorable..all of your cupcakes are inspiring!
    Rhiannon 🙂

    • Hi Rhiannon,
      So glad you like the cupcakes! They are so fun to make. You can make the wings well in advance…making them before your company arrives would be perfectly fine. Normally storing them at room temperature should not be a problem, but given the warm temperatures of summer, I would definitely store them in the refrigerator just to be on the safe side. (When I dropped them off at our babysitter’s house, she did not have the AC on. It was nearly 80 degrees in there, and the antennae drooped within the hour.) I hope that helps!
      🙂 Annie

  68. […] help on making the wings and assembling the final product, see Annie’s Eats post on Butterfly Cupcakes, which is where I found my inspiration for […]

  69. Thank you for the beautiful butterfly idea. I made these yesterday as a surprise for a first birthday party. I modified slightly by coloring white chocolate chips instead of the melting bars. All seemed to work fine. We’re in warm California, so yes, I kept refrigerated until display time. Our guests were very surprised and impressed.

  70. Those are simply gorgeous!

  71. i love these so cool i want to try it but i have no clue where to get the candy melts i was wondering if there was something else i could use and also would they be good if i make them a day before cause you said they can last a long time
    thanks for your time ,jessica =)

    • Hi Jessica,
      You can find candy melts wherever Wilton products are sold (typically at Joann’s or Michael’s craft stores). The butterflies can easily be made in advance – just make sure you store them in a cool place. I kept mine at room temp (in air conditioning) but if your home is warm at all, I would recommend refrigerating them. Hope that helps.
      🙂 Annie

  72. I love these. I just made my first batch of wings over the weekend and they seemed very heavy. They didn’t stand up like I hoped with the chocolate chips. I didn’t do the icing like yours, so I will try that next. I was wondering if you cut off the tops of the cupcakes to make them flatter so the wings would sit better (since cupcakes are usually rounded), or did the big blob of icing really hold them up? Also, does Wilton make chocolate melts and did you use those? I only found a different brand and don’t know how I will match the icing to the wings if they are not the same brand. Thanks.

    • Hi Anna,
      I definitely think the icing is key in helping the wings stand up. I did not level my cupcakes at all, so that didn’t have anything to do with how the wings sat on the top. Wilton does make chocolate candy melts, and that is what I used (though I’m sure regular chocolate would be fine). You should be able to match the icing to the wings with no trouble at all, no matter what brand of candy melts you have – the Wilton colors aren’t made to match the candy melts (or vice versa) – it really just depends on which colors you add, how much of each, etc.
      🙂 Annie

  73. Hi there — these are beautiful, and I plan to give this a try for my daughter’s first birthday at the end of the month. What tool/method did you use to apply your frosting so beautifully on top of the cupcake? Also, where did you find colored candy melts? Is there a brand that you would recommend? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Ruby,
      I use my mechanical pastry bag from Williams Sonoma to frost most of my cupcakes, as I did here. However, you really can just use any pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. I bought my candy melts at Michael’s, and they are Wilton brand. Those are the only kind I have ever tried, and you can find them wherever Wilton products are sold (Joann’s has them as well).
      I hope that helps. Good luck!
      🙂 Annie

  74. I made the butterflies today, and they came out beautiful. Thank you so much for this great idea! I plan to try your cupcake and icing recipe as a trial batch this weekend. You are very creative!

  75. These are amazing! I am going to try them out for my daughter’s second birthday, which is a butterfly/garden party theme. Could you give me a ballpark on how large the wings are? Is a two inch wing span (from top to bottom) too large? Just wasn’t completely sure on how to sketch the wings! Also, how long did it take to make the wings? I have a four month old, too, so, I’m a little time pressed…but these are SO ADORABLE…so I must try to make them! I can’t wait to explore your website more!

    • Hi Marie,
      I think the wings I made were probably closer to 3 inches long. Just imagine the size of a full size cupcake top – you don’t want them too much larger than that. Good luck, they are my favorite cupcakes ever!
      🙂 Annie

  76. I’m planning on making these for a baby shower for a friend. I want all my butterflies to be lavendar. What colored candies did you use and can you recommend some in lavendar, or pale green?

    You did a great job, so cute!! 🙂

  77. just found your earlier reply about the colored candy melts…thanks!

  78. do you have any ideas on “presentation” of the cupcakes?

    • Hi Janice,
      I’m not sure what you mean exactly – could you be more specific? These cupcakes are so gorgeous, I’m not sure much else needs to be done for them to present well.
      🙂 Annie

  79. did you leave them flat on the table, or a cupcake stand/tree?

    • Hi Janice,
      I gave mine away, so I delivered them in a bakery box to my friends. I’m sure they will look fine any way you choose to display them.
      🙂 Annie

  80. These are absolutely beautiful! What a wonderful idea. I love your site too. Found you through Stumble.

  81. […] with butterflies for Felicity’s cake and after searching the internet I came up with this. It seemed easy enough and I had the brilliant idea to do it ahead of time and have a very relaxing […]

  82. these are beautfuill!! xx

  83. Annie…..Where did you buy the chocolate and colored melts?
    My granddaughter requested butterflies for her 5th birthday so I hope I can pull this off as beautiful as yours
    Thanks for the complete instructions

    • Hi Judy,
      You can buy candy melts wherever Wilton products are sold (Michael’s, Joann’s, etc.) I recently saw them at Factory Card Outlet as well, though they didn’t have as many colors. They have chocolate melts also, so that’s what I used. Good luck!
      🙂 Annie

  84. You are great with everything (f).

  85. Oh my goodness, they are absolutely gorgeous – so so cute! What a great idea – thank you for blogging about it!

  86. I did these cupcakes for my daughter’s 9th birthday, we of course had pink butterfly cupcakes. I used the vanilla cupcake recipe and the buttercream frosting. They turned out too cute. I had some trouble with the antennas breaking but other than that it all went quite smoothly. I had never tried anything like that before so if you are nervous about this project, don’t be. It is time consuming to make the butterflies but well worth the expression on my daughter’s face 🙂

  87. Hi Annie,
    I tried to make my candy melts colorful almost as the ones show here, which by the way are SO CUTE, but it seems the more food coloring I tried to add the harder the chocolate was to spread. Do you recommend using the colored candy melts verses adding food coloring?

    • Hi Sara,
      I think I mentioned it in the post, but you need to use colored candy melts. You can’t use plain ones and just add food coloring. Adding any liquid to melted chocolate/candy causes it to seize up. Colored candy melts can be found at stores where Wilton products are sold (Michael’s, Joann’s). I’ve also seen them at Factory Card Outlet before. Hope that helps!
      🙂 Annie

  88. I made these will royal icing and they turned out great. They didn’t swirl like the chocolate but they were still adorable.

  89. hi there,
    lovely work annie.we dont have candy melts available as we dont have wilton or micheal in our country.is there any other way.or can we make our own candy melts.i just saw the last comment made by sam who made them with royal icing .can we store butterflies made out of royal icing?
    would appreciate your help :O)

    • Hi Amber,
      Yes, you could certainly make the butterflies out of royal icing. They will harden nicely and keep well at room temperature for quite some time.
      🙂 Annie

  90. Hi!
    I love, love, love the butterfly cupcakes and plan to make them this weekend for my four year old’s birthday treat. I tried to read all the posts (I know where to find the melting chocolate!) but I’m looking for the tip numbers to the decorating tips you used. I’ve been looking for that star tip but am not sure what number it is? Thanks!!

    • Hi Samantha,
      I thought I mentioned it in the post but maybe it wasn’t clear. You definitely don’t need a star tip (or any tip) for this project. I just used a plastic bag with a tiny corner snipped off. That’s the easiest way – just melt them directly in the plastic baggie and then cut off the corner and go to work. It’s easy! Good luck, they are so fun to make!
      🙂 Annie

  91. I also have my daughter requesting these for her 5th birthday. I can’t wait to make these. I know you said the butterflies can be made in advance but omce they are made can you store them at room temp or do they need to be put in the fridge? Thanks

    • Hi Shannon,
      You can store the butterflies at room temp as long as your house isn’t too warm. If it is over 75 degrees, I’d probably keep them refrigerated just to be safe but I stored mine at room temp with no problems.
      🙂 Annie

  92. Stunning, these beauties took my breathe away….. if you wanted to add a little sparkle I’ve discovered that you can buy edible glitter…!

    Keep up the good work. Love from the UK

  93. Hi Annie –
    These are the most beautiful cupcakes I have ever ever seen!!
    I’m going to make these as a part of my friends’ stocking fillers, and I tried to make some experimental ones last night. In England, we don’t have candy melts, so for the outside of the wing, I used melted chocolate icing & piped it and that worked fine, but for the inside, I used normal icing sugar, with food colouring and a tiny drop of water, and it still hasn’t set after 14 hours.
    Would it work if, for the inside, I melted white chocolate & then added food colouring for the inside of the wing? Will the consistency be right?
    Beth =D

    • Hi Beth,
      Just a solution of powdered sugar and water is unlikely to dry correctly. The white chocolate idea is not the best because chocolate tends to seize up when any liquid is added to it (like food coloring), and white chocolate can be difficult to work with in general. Several readers have told me they had success using royal icing. I have a recipe for royal icing featured in the top of my left sidebar right now (with sugar cookies), so that should work just fine. Hope that helps!

  94. To everyone in the UK, you can by candy melts online and in many shops in the UK, just check on Google



    I’m waiting for mine to come in the post so I can make these beauties

  95. I was searching for butterfly cakes to make for my daughters birthday when I came across this posting. They are so beautiful and I cannot wait to try and make them for her! I will be a frequent guest on your site searching for more wonderful ideas.
    Thank you!

  96. These cupcakes are fabulous! Martha Stewart look out! I just saw them on a Facebook entry by my daughter. My youngest granddaughter’s first birthday is coming up. They would be perfect, thanks.

  97. These are FABULOUS, I am in love completely! I am so excited to make these for my daughter’s birthday in May, perfect for a fairy birthday party…. Thank you for sharing. 🙂


  98. My mouth is hanging open at how awesome these look!

  99. I just finished making these for my friend’s bridal shower — thank you for the step by step pictures and instructions — they were easy (and a pleasure to make!) I love your blog — thank you for all the amazing recipes and instructions!! You are amazing!

  100. I’m going to attempt to make these for my niece’s baby shower. Have you tried using melted almond bark for the outline of the butterfly? These are just gorgeous.

    • Hi Donna,
      I haven’t tried that myself but I think it would be fine. I know some people have also used royal icing. Have fun!

  101. These are amazing! Is there any chance you have a template for the wings? I love to bake, but I can’t draw worth beans.
    Also, if I am transporting these to a bday party at a park, do you recommend that I put the wings on when we arrive? Or will they hold up okay in transport?
    Thanks so very much – you are an inspiration!

    • Hi Mary,
      You can get a template for the wings in the book Hello, Cupcake which is available in most bookstores. I highly recommend it, it’s a wonderful book! I think assembling everything ahead of time with these is definitely the way to go. It’s not as impressive if everyone watches you put them together, and they hold up just fine in transport. My one word of caution is that they don’t hold up well in warm temperatures (you mentioned that the party is in a park). I took mine to a friend’s house who wasn’t running the air conditioning so it was about 80˚ in the house, and they ended up wilting significantly.

  102. Dear Annie, Thank you for such a wonderful blog site. I am 70 years old and am new to the computer world and this blog thingy! Some how I found you and I love your recipes and the pictures of your beautiful family. I have years of cooking experience and am starting to pass it on to my granddaughter and three of her girl friends. They will love your blog also.
    Thanks from Grandma Sandy

  103. Wow, these look amazing! Great job!

  104. These are soooo beautiful…. I soo have to try this now… Wow!

  105. Thank you SO much for your step by step directions! My niece wanted butterfly cupcakes for her birthday, and ever recipe I found just seemed so ordinary, and then I stumbled across your blog! She was SO happy, and I was very proud of myself for being able to pull it off! I used neon food coloring because she wanted bright colors, and I used my own buttercream recipe for the first batch, but when that wouldn’t pipe right I used yours, and I must say it is the BEST for piping! I saw this recipe in hello cupcake, but I think yours are way cuter! Haha thank you again!

  106. I made these cupcakes for my daughters 1st birthday party and they were a hug hit. Since finding the recipe for the butterfly cupcakes on your blog, I have been following your blog and enjoying trying all your recipes. They are wonderful and my husband has been very happy. Thank you again.

  107. I am planning to make these beautiful cupcakes for my daughter 5th brithday and would it be possible to make the wings a month ahead and keep it in fridge until it is require. Thank you.

    • May,
      In theory that could work, though 1 month seems pretty far ahead of time. You could try it but I can’t guarantee how they will keep.

  108. Oh my goodness these are awesome!

    Would you mind if I posted a picture of these in my blog and linked them back to you?

    Ele ~X~

  109. Can you color the white Wilton’s wafers with gel coloring or is it advisable to buy the colors you need already mixed?

    • Lauren,
      No, unfortunately that won’t work. It causes the melted candy to seize up. You have to use the colors they have available.

  110. Hi! I love these cupcakes! I’ve seen a few other blogs where they made them following the “Hello Cupcake” template. However, yours are by far the most beautiful!
    I just finished making mine and did the multiple colors as you did. I’m so thrilled with how they turned out. I’ve never made candy using a template before and got the hang of it fairly quickly. These are going to be on our Easter table tomorrow and I can’t wait to see everyone’s faces.
    Since I’m traveling in hot Florida weather for almost 2 hours, I am assembling them once I arrive. However, I did pipe on the body and put the candy support in. I got a good laugh out if it because they are quite ugly without the wings. They look like strange alien elephants. I think I will let everyone think that’s what they are supposed to look like and see how polite everyone is 🙂
    Thanks so much for your wonderful photos and instructions!

  111. I just bought this book & spied the butterfly cupcakes for my daughter’s birthday – I love yours even more! Thanks for the extra tips & courage!

  112. I made the butterflies today. Once I finished the first one it became a lot easier to create the rest. Easy but time consuming for sure– I can’t wait to see the reaction for the baby shower I made them for.

    Thanks for the step by step pictures- really helpful!

  113. Hi! These are so cute! I am just wondering how you matched the icing color so perfectly to the wing color. Did make your own buttercream frosting and die it with food coloring?

    • Hi Kara,
      Yep, just made frosting and tinted it with icing color. No special tricks and I actually wasn’t even trying for a super close match, it just worked out that way.

  114. Hey Annie, you did an AWSOME job on these cupcakes…
    Yet i was wondering (and be as honest as u can) i am not a kitchen exper, yet i have fun while cooking, and for about a week now, ive been tempted on starting to try to do cupcakes… Ur’s seem simple professional… How should i train myself? With what should i stars? And when will i be ready to create ones like these?

    • Hi Laura,
      Just go for it. There’s no right place to start. You just have to give it a shot and the more you practice, the better you’ll be. Have fun!

      • Oh my gosh! These are georgeous! I haven’t made candy since I was in girl Scouts! I’ve been looking for something that I can do at home to keep the cost of my wedding down. I’m putting a red butterfly in my bouquet so these in red would really pull the theme together. The only problem is I’d need to make like 300!! Do you think it’s worth it? I’m afraid that after time and supplies (and my inexpertise) it will be cheaper to have something made. 😦 Do you think it’s do-able?

      • Hi Kelly,
        To be perfectly honest, no, I don’t think it would be worth it to make 300. Cupcakes are gorgeous even without candy butterflies on top, and can definitely stand on their own as a wedding dessert. Plus, not many guests would actually notice the coordination of the butterfly in your bouquet and those on the cupcakes. You could do some red velvet and some vanilla, to at least incorporate the color red, use pretty red sprinkles or quins, etc. You have lots of options, and if you need more suggestions or advice I’d be happy to give you some!

  115. I just made these last weekend for my step-daughter’s baby shower. They were a hit-everyone loved them! We had some issues when we first started, but after we got the hang of it, it wasn’t so hard. We did the cupcake stand/tower and they looked gorgeous all grouped together. I have people asking me how to make them now.

  116. Annie,
    I plan on making the cupcakes a week in advance. Do you think this will be ok? I’m a little uneasy about the wings considering they may crack in the refrigerator over time. What are your thoughts. Thank you.

    • Valerie,
      Just make the wings in advance and then assemble the cupcakes before you serve them.

  117. These are so cute! I love these and you’re lady bug cupcakes. I am making these for my birthday this summer. i made frog ones last year. 😀

  118. Stunning is the word that comes to mind! almost too pretty to eat!

  119. Wow, beautiful cupcakes!!! I’m a leader at my daughters daisy scouts and the theme right now is butterflies. I’m definately going to make these for her meeting on Wednesday. Thank you for posting the pictures also. Have a great day!!!!

  120. Those are absolutely beautiful! I definitely want to try these!!!

  121. Annie, you are a cupcake genius!

  122. These are just stunning!! yes to cupcake genius:)

  123. Hi Annie,
    What do you mean by “seize up”, or how would I know if it seized up? I read the comments after I made my butterfly wings and I did use white candy melts and used the Wilton coloring designed to color the white melts. I followed the directions on the coloring (which said to use the white melts) and I think my wings came out well. The color was a thick, deeply pigmented gel so there wansn’t much liquid added to the melts. Just wondering if I have a problem looming. Thanks! Emily

    • Hi Emily,
      “Seize up” means the melted candy solidifies from its melted state. Believe me, you would know. You correctly used the colors meant for coloring candy melts. The question by the previous poster was asking if they could use the icing gel colors (which you can’t).

  124. Annie,

    Thank you for showing these gorgeous cupcakes step-by-step. I made them for my daughter’s 1st Birthday Butterfly Party and they turned out amazing. I used Baker’s Dark and White Chocolate for the wings and several varieties of colorful sprinkles to decorate. I’m still getting compliments on them, even though they were no where near as beautiful as yours. They were a lot of fun to make, even my husband couldn’t resist helping me with them! You are very talented!!!!
    Love your work!

  125. just beautiful!!! what size tip did u use to pipe the frosting? and did u start from the outside? Thanks!

  126. These are beautiful! I am so excited to have found them for my daughters birthday on friday I just hope they turn out half as cute as these! Thank you for the detailed instructions. Now to figure out what to do for the cake (she wants both cupcakes and a cake)!

  127. Hi..just made the wings for my daughter’s 5th birthday. Should I store them right on the wax paper or can I peel them off and place them in baggies? I am afraid of breaking them!

  128. Stunning!


  129. Hello! These look fantastic! I have the book and haven’t yet tried anything but I have time coming up to practice. Looking at your butterflies, the internal color looks opalescent almost. Did you add luster dust, or do the candies just melt harden that way (or did you possibly buy candy melts that were luster-y)?
    Thank you!

  130. Hi! I’m a new fan! Your blog is amazing! Thanks for sharing your hobby with the world~
    I’m trying to make these for my dd’s 1st bday and I have a problem… The hot, melted chocolate is burning my fingers! Any tips on that?

  131. hi! where did you get the cute cupcake papers? and any tips on how to not burn your fingers with the hot chocolate?

    • The cupcake papers are Martha Stewart brand from Michael’s, but I don’t think they sell them anymore. The chocolate should not be so hot it burns your fingers, just melted enough to be useful.

  132. These look so wonderful and really pull at my artistic heart! Just a huge shame the candy melts are not sold in the U. K You have a lot more room for creativity in the U.S.A. Very lucky!

    You must be a very creative person to achieve such a wide variety of cupcake recipes. Very inspired.


  133. Thank you for this great tutorial! I made these for my daughter’s 3rd birthday party and they turned out wonderfully (not as good as yours but I was still very pleased!) Everyone thought they were really inpressive, and I had fun doing them, your instructions were very easy to follow. Many thanks again!

  134. Hi, I´m from Germany and I must say I LOVE your Cupcakes.
    Unfortunately I didn´t found an internet shop with Wilton stuff shipping to Germany.
    What Wilton Tip did you use for the swirl?
    Best Wishes

  135. Everyone has been asking about the tip you use to ice your cupcakes, and since you use a Williams-Sonoma Bag you don’t have a number for it… the wilton tip I use is 1M. I am attempting these cupcakes for my husband’s Grandma’s 80th Birthday (she loves butterflies). I think she is going to be super excited! 🙂

    • Believe me, this pastry tip has been discussed ad nauseum on practically every cupcake post I have. Some think the Wilton 1M is a good substitute, some don’t. Just the other day I was accused by a reader of withholding the tip information because she didn’t like the 1M at all!

  136. Annie, your blog is amazing. And these cupcakes are so special. I am going to try and make them for my friend daughter’s birthday party in 2 weeks, but I had one question. How big should the wings? 2 inchs?

    • Marcia,
      I don’t have an exact measurement. Just think of the size of a cupcake, and how big you want them in comparison.

  137. I started making the butterflies last night and I was having such a hard time making the chocolate look smooth. I cant seem to get the outline perfect enough. Do you trace it just once with the chocolate? I was tracing it over a cake board and taping the cake board down against the table to flatten it out but its still not looking as smooth as I want it. Your butterflies look almost all identical, they look perfect. Its a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. 😦

    • I just traced them once with chocolate. I think it just takes a steady hand, and maybe you get better with practice. I’ve had a lot of readers have great success and send me their pics, so I know it can be done!

  138. Stunning! Can’t wait to make these for my daughter’s 3rd birthday! She’s been requesting butterflies! 🙂

  139. Hi Annie

    These look fabulous. I live in Australia and I dont think I can buy Candy Melts or Bark, would I be able to use normal chocolate for these? And perhaps colour white chocolate?

    Thanks for the help

    • You can certainly try, though I’m not sure it will work quite as well. White chocolate can be temperamental to work with in the first place, and you have to have special kinds of colorings otherwise the chocolate will seize (regular food coloring or icing gels won’t work). Good luck!

  140. Hi Annie,

    Firstly, you’re website is now my new love! I am completely in awe at your food, and the photography- I love cooking/baking and photographing each step- although I have far to go to reach your standards! I am from the UK and having the same problem as Chloe- We don’t have candy melts. If I was to use chocolate for the outline but fill with royal icing, do you think it would work? Also I am not able to find merigue powder over here at the moment- do you have a royal icing recipe which uses the whites of eggs?

    Once again you-re website is amazing and your talent is absolutely amazing. Thank you for the inspiration and lifting the bar a lot higher!!!



    • I would probably use royal icing for the entire wing so the taste and appearance would be consistent. I only use meringue powder but you can Google for a recipe using egg whites. There are tons out there.

  141. Those are amazing!!!

  142. My butterflies are not looking smooth they appear grainy and resembles old chocolate. Is there anything to add to make them smoother? Or maybe just overheated?

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