I love making birthday cakes for kids for two reasons:
- they’re generally cute and fun and there’s not too much pressure to make them look flawless like a wedding cake
- I love being able to help out busy parents!
So when a friend asked me to make a cake for her 2 year old, I was more than happy to help out, even with short notice.
The low down:
- butterfly cake
- chocolate flavour
- everything else is free for interpretation!
Normally having too much freedom freaks me out – as much as I love baking, I really do not pride myself on my creativity – so in some ways I prefer being given a very specific cake to make, down to the decoration detailing. But this cake was different. I think because it’s a kid’s cake there isn’t as much pressure to make it look amazing – it’s more about helping out the parents.
So I got to, and went shopping and began planning this cake. One thing I do love to do is problem solving, and more than you might expect, baking and specifically baking birthday and wedding cakes can involve a lot of problem solving, so it can get pretty fun!
How do you make a believable and realistic butterfly-shape cake without baking a billion different cakes?
How do you decorate a butterfly cake, again making it look believable but fun and not just covered in a gazillion lines to try to make it look realistic??
So to solve the decoration problem I bought up on different coloured sprinkles, just to leave my options open! Plus pipe cleaners – because they make perfect antenna! I also bought some nice food dye, because sometimes using supermarket dye isn’t enough. Though I didn’t actually end up using it, but that doesn’t matter, because I’ll use it eventually! That’s one of the best things about baking a lot, I can buy lots of stuff in the knowledge that I’ll use it eventually. For instance, I currently have about 12 blocks of chocolate in the pantry, strictly for cooking purposes – and they will all be used within the next month (maybe…).
The next struggle, but the most satisfying to solve, was the shape of the cake. If you Google or Pinterest “butterfly cake” you either get insanely complex cakes that look like they would take several hours to decorate, or tiered wedding cakes that have butterflies on them…so that’s helpful. BUT! There are a couple of gems that show you how to make a butterfly cake out of one round cake! Exhibit 1:
So this was encouraging to find! I love that it’s economical, and doesn’t involve 5 different cakes! But, in the end it’s confusing and doesn’t look that great for what it is. Exhibit 2:
So eventually, I found this:
It’s perfect! It only uses one cake and is really effective and believable! It looks even better with a little tweaking, like the angle of the wings and making the cut out parts less angular!
The result: (after a few decorations and some serious indecision…)
I ended up spending much longer than I should have on the decoration because I couldn’t decide what to do. I’m pretty happy with the result, but I think next time I would change the colour of the sprinkles to make them pop a bit more.
- Google is great, if you’re willing to put some time in
- I think it’s just best to trust yourself and go for it when it comes to decoration
- When you begin to make or decorate the cake, just go for it and don’t overthink it! Overthinking is how it all falls apart, plus it means you waste time!