Friday, 30 December 2011

Amaretto Butterfly cakes and Goodbye 2011!

I spent a long time deliberating over my final post for 2011. Its been a rollercoaster of a year to say the least, what with illness casting a shadow on most of the year, moving house, a relationship break up, and more; I am honestly quite glad to see the back of it! I also learnt never to cook mushrooms, and then stir in polenta. Cement springs to mind both in texture and colour!

Whilst there were a lot of low points, there were also highs and new beginnings. I made beautiful macarons for the first time. Did battle with cake pops. I learned to love wholemeal pasta. My dearest friends celebrated the birth of their lovely little son. Plus I finally went back to college, something that had been on the back burner for a long time! And my recent visit to the oncologist was all good! What a year!!

So a big hello to 2012, may you be more joyful!

And so for my final post of 2011, something sweet was in order, and what could be more fitting than if I do say so myself, these rather gorgeous butterfly cakes! Move over cupcakes - butterfly cakes rock! These cakes also had two special purposes - firstly as mentionned above, to celebrate the birth of my friends little boy, and secondly I was taking them to meet a very dear friend, who I shall name as M on here, whom I first got talking to many years back via a food forum, and finally that day we were meeting face to face! Needless to say we talked about food mostly and put the world to rights. She is a special lady, and I hope 2012 is amazing for both her and her lovely husband!

When I was growing up my mum was a child-minder, and she ran a playgroup at the local church hall. To raise funds (I presume slightly here!) there was frequent bake sales and I have fond memories of the kitchen being filled with all sorts of cakes but my favourite were the butterfly cakes! How pretty they were to eat and most importantly, how good they tasted! Nothing beats a home made cake, and whilst my icing skills are erm rustic, to put it politely I think that’s half the charm of them!

Whilst the ones my mum made were definitely aimed at children, these ones are all grown-up with a naughty spike of Disaronno liqueur, and a heavenly mascarpone frosting on top! I also got to play with some new delicious 100% fruity jam’s sent very kindly to me by Nell from Superjam, who I got into correspondence with recently over a fantastic scheme they are running to host tea-parties for the elderly. You can find out more on their website! Their jam is delicious by the way, a nice balance of fruit and nothing dodgy inside!

At the time of making these for some unknown reason I really wanted to add some ground almonds but couldn’t find any in the cupboard, I think I must of used them all when making my Christmas swirls the other week… However these cakes were rather glorious and whilst I am still curious to how they would alter the taste, as these stand they are pretty darn perfect!

The mascarpone frosting is amazing, if I do say so myself. If you find yourself eating it with a spoon I shall not be held responsible. Its easy to work with, deliciously creamy and very slightly boozy and well, need I say more really?

Makes 12

Pre-heat oven to 160o fan/ 180o regular oven

125g soft butter/ stork margarine
125g self-raising flour
125g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 heaped tbsp good quality cocoa powder (Mix the cocoa powder with 2-3 tbsp of water to make a thickish paste)
2 eggs
40g broken up milk chocolate or chocolate chips
1 tbsp disaronno / amaretto liqueur

Start by beating together the sugar and butter, until pale and fluffy.

Beat in the first egg, then half the flour, repeat with second egg and flour, plus the baking powder.

Fold in the cocoa mix and liqueur. Stir in the chocolate bits. A hand mixer is advisable but do by hand if you like manual labour! I love my new allure mixer toy in particular! My Kenwood Chef is in storage, due to its size so this little hand whisk is an excellent substitute.

Fill the bun cases and bake for 20 minutes, or until risen and cooked through, allow to cool thoroughly before icing them. I used some pretty Christmassy cases from Sainsburys’.

Mascarpone frosting:

Fills 12 butterfly cakes, plus a little leftover for chefs’ perk.

250g mascarpone
125g icing sugar
1 tbsp disaronno / amaretto liqueur

Beat all the ingredients together, fill a piping bag with a large star nozzle.


I used Superjam’s strawberry spread. This or a similar good quality jam would be ideal.

To assemble:
Once the buns are cool, take a small paring knife and carefully cut the top off, if they are not very risen just aim the knife slightly inwards, cut the removed piece in half to form two ‘wings’ and trim lightly if necessary. Repeat with the remaining buns.

Pipe a circle on the cut bun, leaving a slight indent in the middle, fill this gap with a good teaspoon of jam,

Gently place the wings carefully on and voila! You have pretty butterfly cakes!


  1. Oh yummy! Butterfly cakes bring back lovely childhood memories for me. I didn't know you'd been poorly this year, glad to hear you're well now and I hope your good health continues in 2012. That SuperJam scheme sounds brilliant, I've just fired off an email to find out more. Happy New Year!

  2. Butterfly cakes remind me of my childhood too! I love the sound of that icing too. Happy New Year!

  3. Anne, I've just found your blog. Your post is witty, happy and sad but above all it's positive. The very best for the year ahead, looking forward to following you x

  4. Happy New Year. I hope 2012 is everything you wish for and more. Lovely post and beautiful butterfly cakes!

  5. Happy New Year! Hope this year brings you health, happiness and luck!Those Amaretto Butterfly cakes have my name written on them (I love anything with amaretto in!) ; )

  6. They are so pretty and the frosting sounds amazing!


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