If you want to have an ex-pat Brit begin to wax nostalgic, just mention Butterfly Cakes or Fairy Cakes. However, mention “butterfly cakes” or “fairy cakes” to a non-Brit and it they will probably give you a tilt of their head and look of confusion.
As a child growing up in the UK, these were standard fare at birthday parties, and practically everyone’s mum made Butterfly Cakes; it was just a given. These are another example of a classic yet simple favorite food of many Brits which, like so many other creations “across the pond”, never caught on in the US.
Each time I’ve made these delicate, fairy-like creations, they are met with gasps of delight. And if you think they’re just another “pretty cupcake”, think again, because inside is a bit of raspberry jam hiding below a dollop of freshly whipped cream! The flavor is beyond fabulous!
Please don’t think that Butterfly Cakes are difficult to make as they are truly one of the easiest cupcakes to decorate; even children can make them. You can use any flavor of cake, but I think they look the nicest when using a white or vanilla cake (light colored).
NOTE: it appears (from comments on Facebook), that in England these are called
“Fairy Cakes”, whereas in Scotland, Fairy Cakes are cupcakes with plain icing on top.
Let me know if you have more insight on this in the comments below. Ta!