2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 and 2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups sifted cake flour
2 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/3 cups milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 pans of cupcake tins with liners. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 18-24 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. (Cooking time varies widely due to oven differences, so keep an eye on them. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.
5 sticks unsalted butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons whipping cream
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip softened butter with paddle attachment until butter is smooth, light and fluffy (about 4 minutes.) Turn off mixer, add sifted sugar, vanilla, salt and whipping cream. Slowly blend ingredients until sugar is incorporated and then mix on medium-high for 4-5 minutes or until frosting is completely blended and fluffy. Color frosting as desired, and place into pastry bags for piping onto cakes.
1 bag dark cocoa candy melts
1 bag of colored candy melts for each color of butterfly you wish to create
1 cookie sheet
1 butterfly wing template
Draw the shape of the butterfly wings and antenna on a piece of white paper. Cut 24 pieces of wax paper into a size big enough to cover the wings. Place 1 cup of both the color and the chocolate candy melts into a ziploc baggie, leave unsealed. Heat in 20 second increments in microwave until candy is completely melted. Seal the baggie and cut off a very small corner for piping. Put the wing template onto a cookie sheet, and place a piece of wax paper over the wing template. Use the ziploc baggie to trace the wing onto the wax paper with the chocolate candy. Immediately fill the chocolate outline with melted color candy.
Rap the cookie sheet on the countertop a couple of times to help spread the candy, and use a toothpick to fill in the gaps and swirl the candy for decoration. Sprinkle with white sprinkles and set aside to dry. Pipe the antenna, taking care not to make it too delicate (they break easily!!) If the candy gets too cool or thick to pipe, just pop it back into the microwave to continue. The candy will pipe much easier if it’s kept very warm. Once completely hardened, you can store in the refrigerator or in a cool place until ready to use.
Frost cupcakes as desired. Place two chocolate chips in the frosting about an inch apart to act as supports for the wings. Insert the wings carefully into the frosting, resting on the chocolate chips for support. Insert the antenna. Using the candy melts, pipe on a body between the wings.