This Butterfly Garden Birthday Cake is a three tiered butterfly garden themed cake for my daughter’s second birthday. It is only the second properly decorated cake I have done (the first was for her first birthday – a carousel) and I am very proud of it, although I know it could be loads better if I had better tools at my disposal and much more practice. But I do the best I can with what I have and two wee ones underfoot to boot.
The bottom tier is rainbow vanilla cake filled and frosted with strawberry flavoured butter cream icing. I divided the vanilla cake mix into four equal portions and one portion of each of he following colours; pink, purple, blue and yellow. I then spooned the coloured mixtures into the cake pan one at a time, in the centre of the pan, spooning each subsequent colour on top of the previous one, making coloured rings of cake mix in the pan then baked as normal.
The second tier is chocolate fudge cake with chocolate butter cream filling, frosted in the chocolate butter cream. The top tier is vanilla cake filled and frosted with chocolate butter cream with a caramel center filling.
I baked the cakes on the Thursday and cooled them completely on rack on the bench. Cooling cakes completely is essential. I then wrapped them in glad wrap (very snuggly – no air inside) and kept them in the fridge over night. Friday morning I filled and frosted each tier with it’s respective fillings and butter cream (I had pre made the butter cream in coloured and flavoured batches the day before also and kept them in air tight containers in the fridge) then popped them back in the fridge again to set the butter cream nice and hard.
Friday night I covered each tier in mint green coloured dyed fondant, stacked the tiers and then added darker green stems and leaves also in fondant followed by pink and yellow flowers followed by opposite coloured centers for the flowers, by then it was very late and I was exhausted so I went to bed and first thing on the Saturday (party day). I then added the fondant butterflies and leaves (and a BIG fondant number 2) all of which I had made at the beginning of the week and left to dry, stored in our bedroom (away from the kids and cat) in cardboard gift boxes between layers of grease proof baking paper once they were firm enough.
The dry fondant decorations are adhered with royal icing I made and dyed the same colour as the fondant covering on the cake. The fondant leaves and flowers on the wires (seen bobbing on the top of the cake) I had prepared at the start of the week too – the wires were slid into the wet fondant and the fondant dried on the wires and made nice firmly attached decorations.
Most important thing for this cake is PREPARATION!!! Get as much done beforehand as you can so that when it comes to decorating and assembling you have minimal other things to do… you need to have time and energy to focus on creating the final masterpiece. My little daughter LOVED her birthday cake with the “flyyiies!!” on it and my only regret is not getting a photo of her sitting on the bench next to the cake – it was as tall as she is sitting and it would have been great to have a photo of her right next to it, but I do have lots of photos of just the cake.
The rainbow cake in the bottom tier was such a hit the kids loved how when I cut it you could see all the lovely colours inside. My inspiration for this cake was my daughter – her favourite things are butterflies, pink and rainbow, so I had to try and combine all of those. Feel free to take inspiration from this cake but I ask that you please not copy it as it was my own design specially made for my own little girl and it would be unfair to copy it (besides it is much more fun designing your own masterpiece!
These 36 lovely little cupcakes (they are not all in the photo) are an addition to the cake. They are vanilla cupcakes with pink or yellow frosting then decorated with purple fondant butterflies, purple fondant flowers, green fondant butterflies, green fondant flowers, pink and purple sugar sprinkles, clear sparkle edible glitter, flower edible confetti in whites and pinks and purples and glitter icing gels in pink blue silver and purple.
I made the cupcakes a day ahead to frost them in the morning and add the decorations and sprinkles and gels etc. The best tip I can give for these is too think about how you will serve them or transport them, as you cannot stack the once they are frosted and decorated, a cupcake tree is ideal (and also looks very pretty and elegant and saves space on the table as they display the cupcakes in a smaller space going upwards rater than a larger space going outwards), or you can us a large platter or tray. I was inspired to do these from my little girl and her absolute love of butterflies and all this pink and sparkly, the yellow and pink is because I didn’t want only pink ones (we had boys invited to the party as well and I do think there is such a thing as too much pink even if not all that often). The fondant topper decorations (the butterflies and flowers) I made days ahead of time to give them lots of time to set and I kept them in a cardboard box between layers of baking paper till they were to be used. These are so so easy to do, just make sure you do your decorations ahead of time, then just frost, pop n a deco, sprinkle and gel and you’re done.
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