I saw these cupcakes in this book, Hello Cupcake, a while back but never really had an occasion to make them.... until last Friday that is. My friend was having a party to celebrate Arts Fest that happens every summer in State College. I asked what I could bring and she said "an artsy dessert." Done!
Overall these cupcakes took a little bit of work, but they weren't hard, and they were a lot of fun to make. When I brought these to the party, everyone was really impressed and couldn't believe that I had actually made these.
Here's a rundown of the steps to make the wings:
- Get/make a stencil of a butterfly wing to use as your template. I just freehanded mine with the brush tool in Photoshop, then made a word document with 6 sets of wings on 1 page. (See below)
- Lay down your template, and put wax paper over it.
- Melt the dark cocoa candy melts. I melted them in a bowl then poured the melted chocolate into a squeeze bottle. I found the squeeze bottle was much easier to use when outlining the wing, and making antenna.
- Place about 1/2 cup of colored candy melts in a 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 the wings one at a time otherwise it will be too set to swirl 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.
- Use a toothpick/chopstick to spread the colored candy to meet the outline.
- Use a tooth pick to swirl the edges together slightly to form a pattern.
- Sprinkle the top and bottom of each wing with a few white nonpareils.
- Repeat this process until you have enough wings. I suggest making a few extra of each color, just in case.
- Make antennas. Again, I just freehanded a template.
Note: You may need to remelt the candy a few times during this process. To do this, just pop it back in the microwave for 10 seconds.
Once you are finished making the wings, let them harden. I actually put mine in the fridge for a couple hours because it was HOT out that day! You can definitely make the wings a few days ahead of time if you want.
Once the wings have hardened, frost some cupcakes. Place the wings into the cupcakes leaving about 1/8th of an inch in between them. Use melted chocolate (again in a squeeze is probably easiest) to draw a body to connect the wings. Place the antenna in the cupcake.
I had a heck of a time getting the antenna into the cupcakes without breaking. Again, I blame the humidity. I actually ended up breaking about 10 antenna so make plenty extra. I found that placing the antenna in the freezer helped their stability.
Now, if you've seen these cupcakes before, you'll probably notice that mine look a little flat. That's because it was super hot and humid the day I decided to make these. I tired to get the butterfly to form a V and look a little more 3d but it just wasn't happening so I gave up and settled for flat butterflies. Pretty, flat butterflies.
If you want to see some more butterfly cupcakes and another tutorial check out Annies-Eats. Her tutorial is great and inspired me to try it on my own!