Orange and vanilla butterfly cakes recipe

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makes: 12
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 25 min
Cooking: 20 min
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  • These traditional cakes are totally irresistible with light vanilla and orange flavoured sponges filled with sweet orange buttercream. They really are the ultimate party cakes and children will have great fun helping to make and eat them. The cakes are made by the all-in-one method – all the ingredients are simply whisked together until smooth and creamy. Extra raising agent in the form of baking powder is added as not as much air is incorporated as in the classic creaming method. Although they taste best eaten on the day of making you can store the fairy cakes in an airtight container for 2-3 days.


    • 115g butter, softened
    • 115g caster sugar
    • 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1tsp vanilla extract
    • 115g self-raising flour
    • 1/2tsp baking powder
    • 1tbsp orange juice
    • For the orange buttercream:
    • 75g unsalted butter, softened
    • 150g icing sugar, sifted
    • 2tbsp orange juice
    • Finely grated orange zest, to decorate


    • To make this cupcake recipe, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Fan 160C/Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole bun tray with 12 paper cases.

    • Place the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder and orange juice in a mixing bowl. Using a hand-held electric whisk beat together for 4-5mins until smooth and creamy.

    • Divide the mixture between the paper cases. Bake for 15-20mins until risen, golden and springy to the touch. Leave the fairy cakes in the tray for about 5mins then transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

    • To make the buttercream, place the butter in a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until fluffy. Sift in the icing sugar and add the orange juice. Beat thoroughly until smooth and creamy.

    • Cut a small circle from the top of each fairy cake and cut each circle in half. Spoon or pipe the orange buttercream into the hollows of the cakes then top each with two semicircles to resemble butterfly wings. Decorate with the orange zest and dust with icing sugar.

    Top tip for making Orange and vanilla butterfly cakes

    Use a small serrated knife to cut the circles from the fairy cakes, holding it at a slight angle to make a dip in each cake for filling with the buttercream.

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