Butterfly Cake

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling


16-20 servings

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
Emerging from a 13- x 9-inch pan, this bright idea comes from Sue Gronholz of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. "I pipe on some frosting, but you can simply decorate with purchased candies and cake trims if you prefer," she notes.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons milk
  • Purple food coloring
  • Purple and pink jimmies
  • Pink jimmies and purple colored sugar
  • Assorted candies: black shoestring licorice, Skittles, and blue raspberry and strawberry licorice twists


  1. Line a 13x9-in. baking pan with waxed paper and grease the paper; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. For frosting, beat shortening and butter until fluffy. Gradually beat in 2 cups confectioners' sugar, then the salt, extracts and 3 tablespoons milk. Beat in remaining confectioners' sugar and enough milk to achieve a spreading consistency. Tint frosting with food coloring, setting aside a small amount of pale purple frosting for the face. Tint remaining frosting a darker purple as desired.
  4. Remove cake from pan and discard waxed paper. For butterfly body, cut a 9x1-in. strip from the cake's short side. Round the edges if desired. For wings, cut remaining cake into four triangles. Frost top and sides of each piece. Decorate sides of body with purple jimmies; decorate wing pieces with pink jimmies and purple sugar.
  5. Place butterfly body on a serving platter. Pipe reserved frosting onto head; form a smile and antennae with shoestring licorice. Add Skittle eyes. Cut licorice twists into short lengths; arrange in stripes over butterfly's body. Arrange wing pieces on platter, forming a butterfly.

Recommended Video

More from Taste of Home