Sweet & Simple Buttercream Butterfly Cake Tutorial

Your little sweetie will swoon when she sees this quick, fun and delicious buttercream butterfly cake! No carving skills required — just two quick cuts stand between you and this fluttery cake. I used a 6″ round cake, but this technique will work with any size round cake. 

Make a sweet & simple buttercream butterfly cake

Easy Buttercream Butterfly Cake

Images via Erin Bakes


Step 1:

Round Cake Cut in Half

Cut you cake down the center. Reposition the cake parts so that the rounded sides are touching, flat sides facing out. You should already be able to see your butterfly taking shape!

Round Cake Half Arranged for Butterfly Cake

Step 2:

Cutting the Wings for a Butterfly Cake

Make a horizontal cut across both the cakes, about 2/3 of the way down. Separate the pieces of cake a bit to give the butterfly’s wings shape.

Cut Cake Arranged for a Butterfly Cake

Step 3:

Icing the Butterfly Cake

Ice the sides and outer portions of the tops of the wings with pink buttercream. Add blue buttercream to the insides of the wings.

Step 4:

Smoothing the Icing | Erin Gardner | Bluprint

Use a small icing spatula to smooth the buttercream over, slightly blending the two colors. Smear the line as little or as much as you like.

Smoothed Butterfly Cake WingIced Butterfly Cake | Erin Gardner | Bluprint

Step 5:

Outlining a Butterfly Cake with Black Buttercream IcingOutlined Butterfly Cake | Erin Gardner | Bluprint

Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round piping tip with black buttercream. Use it to outline the wings. Continue adding detail lines inside the wings. Use a picture of a real butterfly as your guide if you need help.

Adding the Detail Lines on a Buttercream Butterfly Cake

Coloring tip: The easiest, quickest, and tastiest way to make black buttercream is to start with chocolate buttercream, not vanilla! You’ll end up adding way less food coloring to achieve a deep black color. Read more here.

Step 6:

Adding Pearls and Nonpareils

Add sugar pearls and nonpareils to the outer parts of the wings.  

Step 7:

Adding the Pocky Body | Erin Gardner | Bluprint

Trim off the uncoated portion of the Pocky stick. Place the piece of Pocky onto the cake to make the butterfly’s body.

Ideas for customizing your butterfly cake

  • Change up the buttercream base colors. Use orange tones for a monarch butterfly or rainbow colors for a more whimsical look.
  • No time to pipe? Use cut pieces of black licorice rope to add details to the wings. 
  • I used a Pocky stick for my butterfly’s body, but you could use a hard candy stick, pirouette cookie or back licorice. (Pocky are thin, candy-coated cookie sticks that you can find in the Asian or international food aisle of most supermarkets.)
  • Try metallic sugar pearls or brightly colored nonpareils. 
  • Create a quick mosaic wing pattern by piecing together cut fruit roll-ups or other chewy candies that have been rolled thin and cut into shapes. 

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