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Butterfly cupcakes can add a sweet, final touch to garden parties, an afternoon tea, or summer barbecues. These individual treats may be made in any flavor but what usually makes them special are the butterfly decorations on top. A few tips to make nearly-perfect butterfly decorations every time include making a parchment butterfly pattern, using the correct icing, and allotting oneself the proper amount of preparation time. Cooks may also add sparkly cake decorations to the butterfly cupcakes to give them an extra-special touch.
The first way to ensure all the butterfly cupcakes match is to create a pattern. The basis of the pattern may be a hand drawing done on a piece of cardboard, a cookie cutter, or a page from a child’s coloring book. Cardboard patterns of the chosen design must be cut out and placed on top of food-safe parchment paper for use. Cookie cutters may also be placed on top of the paper, though coloring book pages should be placed under the paper so the baker can trace the pattern easily.
Then, the cook should trace around the pattern of his or her choice with a food-safe ink pen, spacing the butterflies about an inch (about 2cm) apart. This gives the baker many uniform butterflies to trace with frosting, ensuring that they will all be identical. Creating the patterns may take up to an hour, depending on how many butterflies one needs.
Allotting the proper amount of time to decorate all of the butterfly cupcakes typically helps the cook keep from feeling rushed, and can prevent hastily made, messy butterfly decorations. Even just a dozen butterfly cupcakes may take up to four hours to decorate, so giving oneself an entire day — or even a few hours on several days in a row — is generally prudent. Inexperienced cake-decorators should feel free to take two full days, if possible, to make the best butterflies they can.
Choosing the correct frosting for making butterflies is one of the most important steps to creating butterfly cupcakes. Fondant icing usually dries hard and stiff, making it perfect for decorations. Colored chocolate buttons also work well, and they’re generally cheaper than fondant. Chocolate must be melted before it can be piped, so choosing chocolate pieces labeled 'melting chocolate' typically works best.
Plastic bags with a hole poked in one corner can quickly become frosting piping bags if one has no store-bought pastry bag. After filling the bags, all one must do is outline each butterfly pattern with frosting or chocolate, and then color in the wings with a second color. Toothpicks dragged through the wings can create swirls and patterns, while candy beads and edible glitter give the butterfly cupcakes sparkle and dimension.
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