The inspiration for the candy butterflies came from this fun book:
It's filled with tons of creative ideas for cupcakes, including the butterfly:
You might notice my butterflies look slightly different. I tried using the template provided in the book but didn't care for how it turned out (too many squiggly lines). So I decided to draw my own:
And a template was created (you can download it here if you like):
Then I gathered my materials and got ready to work. Now I'll be up front about this. I had my doubts whether I could do this. The book claims these are creations anyone can make. Well, I still wasn't confident I could pull this off. I practiced making these the weekend before the bake sale just to see if they were feasible. After the first few attempts, I was ready to can the idea and just make butterfly shaped cookies instead.
I guess my determination got the best of me. I made some adaptations (which included making my own template) and after a few more tries, I started to slowly get the hang of it and figured out what worked and didn't work. Some of the mistakes I made included snipping the hole too big (thus causing the chocolate to ooze out everywhere) and another blunder was trying to work with the candy when it started to harden. It really is important to keep it melted and soft while you're working with it. So make sure you're not too far from the microwave.
That being said, practice does make perfect. So don't give up if you try this and it doesn't work out the first few times. You'll just have a few less-than-perfect wings for you to enjoy. :) I had a bunch.
So here's how these butterflies came to life.
Candy Butterfly ToppingThe book suggests making antennas for the butterfly, but for the life of me, I could not get those to turn out well. The butterflies looked beautiful without them, and I strongly doubt anyone missed them.
Makes 12 butterflies
Inspired by Hello, Cupcake!
What you'll need:
12 chocolate cupcakes baked in liners
1 cup dark chocolate melting wafers (I used dark mint chocolate, available at A.C. Moore and Michaels)
1 cup candy melting wafer in any color (I used pink and blue)
2 tablespoons white nonpareils
3/4 cup dark chocolate frosting
1 can vanilla frosting (I made cream cheese frosting)
Three ziplock bags
Wilton Open Star Tip (I used star tip 199) - for butterfly body
Butterfly template (here's the one I created)
2. Cut out 12 sheets of parchment paper large enough to be placed over your template.
6. Softly rap (pull back and forth) the parchment paper to flatten the candy and help the colors smooth into each other.
- This might go without saying, but I'll say it anyway. Be certain to seal the bags once the candy is melted. I made the mistake of forgetting to do that and the candy just oozed everywhere.
- The melted candy dries quickly. If it doesn't flow easily and starts to harden, reheat for another 15 seconds. I found I had to reheat after every 4 wings.
Now time for the assembly when the frosted cupcakes are ready.
This is an elaborate and time-consuming process but very worth it in the end.
Come back for the next post and I'll share the recipe for the chocolate cupcake and maybe offer a copy or two of the Hello, Cupcake! book to readers. :)