Butterfly Birthday Cake

I’ve made this butterfly birthday cake design a lot for my kids when they were growing up and it is always a hit with them.

This butterfly cake is fun, easy to make and you can even let the kids decorate it. You can use candy, colored coconut, different colors of frosting (like I did), or a fondant icing.

If you have a chocolate craving this butterfly cake will satisfy it.  Extra rich and exactly what any chocolate lover would want. It’s sinfully delicious.

This one is made extra moist and tasty with applesauce.

As for the icing, I used a rich and creamy chocolate butter cream frosting that is perfect for this cake. You really have to be into chocolate to appreciate this recipe.

Butterfly Birthday Cake

Butterfly design in fondantButterfly design made from fondant


2 cups flour, either plain or a gluten free flour
(I use a blend of rice, tapioca, coconut, and almond meal flours for this cake)
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup milk
1/2 c shortening
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 oz melted chocolate, unsweetened, cooled. 


Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and and mix at high speed for 3 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 20 to 30 minutes.  For Design 1, use a jelly roll pan (approx 10 x 15 inches and 1 inch deep) or a 9 x 13 inch pan for Design 2 (see below for how-to instructions).

Note: When I make the gluten-free version of this recipe, it isn’t as tall as the wheat flour version. It’s more like a brownie, but it is still super delicious.

Fudgy Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

To frost this cake I had to double the recipe as it does take more frosting to do around all the sides of the butterfly design.

Chocolate Butter Cream Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

2/3 cup cocoa

3 1/3 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk, (you can also use cream, or sour cream)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cocoa. Add 1/2 cup of sugar, blend, then a splash of milk, alternating like this until all the sugar is used.  If it is too thick, add a bit more milk and the vanilla. 

This recipe as it sits will make about 2 cups of frosting.

Butterfly Cake Design Version 1

This design requires a 1/4 sheet or jelly roll pan, approximately 10 x 15 inches.

I'm sure you can make this cake with much prettier decoration than this quick design.  This was done by piping yellow frosting on top of the bare cake.  It would be gorgeous in a colorful fondant design, which I may try very soon.

Cake cut in butterfly shape

Here is how I cut out the butterfly shape... easy peasy!  Each side of the butterfly is about 7 inches wide.  You can vary the shape to fit your favorite butterfly, and vary the colors, too.

Yellow or orange, blue and black, even purple.  There are thousands of pictures to give you ideas.

butterfly cake template

Butterfly Cake Design Version 2

With the cake still in the baking dish, cut a 1 inch strip from the shorter side of the cake.

Then cut diagonally across the remaining cake to form the wings for this butterfly cake design as shown in the picture below.

butterfly cake design

You will need a cake board at least 18x12 (or poster board in a pinch). An inch bigger will be best. As you can see it just fits on this size. If you use a bigger size board you can spread the wings out more. You might want to cover it with tin foil.

Place the butterfly cake pieces as shown below. The 1 inch strip will make up the body which will go in the center of the board. The 2 smaller triangles are the bottom wings and the 2 larger triangles are for the top wings of this butterfly cake.

butterfly cake

Have fun making and decorating this butterfly birthday cake. Everyone will love it.

chocolate pudding cake