Friday, 1 June 2012

Butterfly Cupcakes! 'Sweet Ones' Sweet Shop!

Hi there! My name is Amy and most of you have seen pictures of me on the blog as well as some pictures of my sweet creations as Joan has featured me a couple times. This is my very first solo blog entry...ever! I am Joan's daughter-in-law, and her son and I live in Seattle with our two pups.

 One of my hobbies is baking sweet treats! My passion is cupcakes. I love color, design and sweets...and really love bringing all three of those things together! This is the place where I will be sharing my creative passions with you. 

Today, I am sharing a cupcake recipe I recently did for a casual dinner party. I found this recipe via Martha Stewart. You want to start out making a basic white or vanilla cake mix. I used a box of the super moist Duncan Hines in classic vanilla.

You will need the following to make the butterfly: small pretzels, green M&M's, and black shoestring licorice (I couldn't find the shoestring so I used Twizzlers Bites and cut the antennas by hand--see below). 

Above are all the items you will need to decorate your butterflies.
 Next, I made one batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting, divided it and colored one batch green and one blue for the body of the butterfly. I find that the meringue buttercreams are perfect for spreading in thin layers or piping into thick mounds. 
2 1/2 cups sugar
10 large egg whites
8 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
Place sugar and egg whites into a heat proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch. Careful not to cook too long as you don't want the egg whites to cook. You should have these ingredients on the stove no longer than 3 minutes. You can test the mixture by taking some between your fingers and rubbing it -should be completely smooth. 
Transfer bowl to mixer stand and using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed glossy stiff peaks -about 10 minutes.

Add the butter, one piece at a time and beat until incorporated. Don't worry if the buttercream looks a little curdled once all the butter has been added. It will become smooth again with continued beating. Add the vanilla, and beat just until combined. 

Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed for 5 minutes to work out all the air pockets. If you are not going to use the buttercream immediately, place in an airtight container and place in the fridge for up to 3 days. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat on low speed with the paddle attachment until smooth -about 5 minutes.  

Divide the buttercream and using gel food coloring, bring the mixture to the color you are achieving. I purchase my gel coloring from Sur La Table or Michaels Arts & Crafts. It is especially formulated for using in frostings and fondants as it is very concentrated so you don't need much. 


  1. The first step to decorating is to frost all the cupcakes with the green colored batch of buttercream. Use a fair amount of frosting, making sure that it is relatively flat. Using a good amount ensures that the pretzels stand straight and are secure. I used a small frosting spatula which worked really well.
  2. Next, you want to adhere the pretzels which will be the wings. Stick them into the frosting making sure they are in well enough to ensure they don't fall down. They should be at a slight slant and not sticking straight up, see picture above. 
  3. Adhere the green M&M at the tip of the pretzels, this is going to be the head of the butterfly. 
  4. After placing the M&M, you will put the blue frosting into a piping bag. I used Wilton tip #7. Pipe small round dots, five or six of them in a row starting right below the M&M. This is going to form the body. Make sure that the dots get consecutively smaller. 
  5. The final step is to place the antennas at the top of the M&M. Stick them directly into the frosting to secure them.

There you have it! These were so much fun to make and would be a great project for kids to help with too! I'm certain the little ones would go nuts over these at a birthday party!

I look forward to doing another blog entry soon. I have so many different ideas I would enjoy sharing with you all. Until next time......ciao!


  1. Adorable cupcakes, Amy! And I love your meringue buttercream frosting. So light and not too sweet.

  2. Love your new site!

    1. Hi Fawn! Thanks for the comments! There are more changes and conveniences yet to come in the next few weeks! It is an ever evolving process, this blogging. But, it is my viewers and their comments, e-mails etc. that fuel me to charge forward!! I have so much in my head, and get inspiration from so many different experiences! Thanks so much for your continued support!

  3. Thanks, Laura!! I am concocting another batch of little cakes for the kids at grandmas party tomorrow. Can't wait to show you pictures of them...your going to love!

  4. Hi, Joan...My friend, Jojo from Arizona, pointed me in your direction...I'm so glad because my little girl, Roxzan is constantly And she has this passion for cup cakes! Nice site by the way...Rags Daniels (author)

    1. Oh thank you! Sweet One, my daughter in law, is making more cupcakes and cakes today!! My Mom is turning 92 tomorrow, we have a big party planned!! Sweet One will do a tutorial on her creations on Friday!! If you would like choose to follow, and you will get updates when I post. Thanks again! How old is your little girl? Would love to see her creations! You can e-mail at!

    2. Rags, Just looked up your book! I am on it!! Thanks for following!! JJ

  5. Thanks for the kind words, Rags! Tell your daughter to check the blog for some great cupcake ideas!


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