Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rainbow Butterfly Cupcakes, Plus Tips for Making Pretty Cupcakes

I had my biggest cupcake order yet this weekend.  6 Dozen butterfly cupcakes in a rainbow of colors.

Don't they make you happy?

For these cupcakes I had to make about 80 little fondant butterflies.  I know I only needed 72, but I made a few extra in case something happened.

To make the butterflies I tinted the fondant (I just said that like the cake boss in my head...Fon-Daunt) then I used a little butterfly shaped cutter to cut them out and laid them over the edge of anything I can get my hands on, like large cake pans and casserole dishes. 
Let them mostly dry and them lay them down so they can finish drying in the shape you want them.

I have made a few cupcakes in my time and I have a learned a few things about how to make a pretty cupcake.

So here are a few tips.

1.  Don't over fill you cupcake cups.  I use a cookie scoop and make sure to only fill the cups about half full, maybe a little less.
Please try not to notice my ugly cupcake pan. 

2.  Use a 3M tip (it is a little bigger than the normal tip) to make what is called a 3M swirl.  I just drop the tip in the bottom of the pasty bag.  You can get the 3M most places you can buy tips.  I think I got mine at Michaels.   
To make the 3M swirl, first you make a circle in one direction.  I go to the clockwise first.

Then going counter clockwise I do a smaller swirl.  I think switching directions is the key.  Anyway, practice.  In no time you will be swirling like a pro.

3.  Always use 2 cupcake papers.  Bake the cupcake in one and then once it is all cooked and frosted slip it into a second cupcake paper.  So if you are wanting a cupcake with a foil or printed wrapper, first bake it in the plain white paper and then slip it into the outer wrapper.

4.  Cupcakes are always prettier when there is a little something on them.
Sprinkle on sprinkles or edible pearls

mini chocolate chips

or some kind of cute little thing.

So that is it.  Get yourself a 3M tip and some extra wrappers. Oh and I ALWAYS make my own frosting.

Classic Buttercream
2 sticks of butter
2  cups shortening
a teaspoon vanilla extract
a teaspoon butter flavor
2 lbs powder sugar
milk to the consistency needed

Don't forget to go vote for me for the Vintage Revivals Epic Room Makeover!!   Please Please Please go vote.  Thanks


  1. Mmmmm those all look so tasty :) Great tips- thanks!! We would ♥ for you to show this off at our link party!

    Lolly Jane

  2. Your cupcakes are SO pretty! I have a tendency to "overfill"...I will try to be better next time!
    Thanks for visiting Red Hen Home!

  3. Hi there!
    Those cupcakes look delish!
    I’m a new follower from the hop. I've also got a page on my site that lists more than 150 hops for each day of the week. Check under the header for the link to that page.
    I hope you’ll visit me soon and follow back!
    Have a great week.

  4. Those cupcakes are beautiful, and a lot of work!

  5. Oh, those cupcakes are absolutely lovely. love them. I am your new follower. You can visit me at
    Have a great day!

  6. Oh, they look delicious! Following you from the Relax and Surf Sunday blog hop. Would love it if you LIKE my page:

  7. I am determined to have my cupcakes look like yours if it is the last thing I do! So beautiful!

  8. What adorable cupcakes! I dont think I could do that if I tried ;)

    Thanks for the follow! Stopped by to follow and vote for you in your room makeover contest.

    Be blessed

  9. Yum! What great tips! And thanks for the buttercream recipe - frosting is one of my favorite things and I have yet to find the perfect recipe. Can't wait to try it. Also I voted for you - good luck! I'll try and remember to vote again. :)

  10. Too beautiful to eat!
    2 questions: 1) in your buttercream recipe is that a teaspoon of butter flavoring or just an extra teaspoon besides the 2 sticks? 2) I have never worked with fondant and have no idea how to. Any tips or tutorials on that?
    I love it all, Laura!
    Kristen Nebeker

  11. Who could resist on these cupcakes? Even girls on diet would not be feel guilty to have a bite on this cupcake.

  12. @Kristen

    Kristen. Ummm good question. I have a typo in the recipe that I didn't notice. It is a teaspoon of butter flavor. The stuff I have it by Wilton and you can get it most anywhere that sells cake making stuff. It is not necessary, but I think it replaces so of the flavor lost by using shortening.
    There is a great fondant tutorial out there. I like the one here

    Good luck and give me a call if you need any help.

  13. Such a wonderful post! Thank you so much for linking up to Sister Sister, we will be featuring you on Sunday. Thanks again!

  14. Such excellent tips I shall definitely be trying, thank you! They look so beautiful!!