Decorating a birthday cake with a butterfly theme gives the dessert colorful, elegant appeal. Butterfly designs tend to be complicated and take some time to create. But you can still make butterfly-themed cakes if you're new at cake decorating. The key to making the cake look attractive is not to overdo it on the butterfly accents. Only add enough to get the theme across without crowding the cake.
Cake Decorating Basics
Decorating a cake with any theme requires basic ingredients, such as frosting. Frosting may be smoothed on the cake with a spatula or piped through a decorating nozzle. You can buy ready-to-pipe frosting, pastry bags and assorted nozzles at many craft and baking stores. Fondant is another common material for cake decorating. Fondant is a pliable sugar dough that can be rolled into thin sheets. The sheets provide a smooth surface you can use to cover the cake or from which to cut shapes. You can buy fondant at baking and craft stores.
Field of Butterflies Cake
Combine any kind of frosting, sugar flowers and paper butterflies to create a cheerful cake with the look of a wild field. Cover a cooled cake with a smooth layer of green buttercream frosting. Sprinkle sugar flowers lightly across the cake. Buy small paper or fabric butterflies from a craft store, or cut small butterfly shapes from colored paper and bend them in the middle to create a 3-D butterfly shape. Place a few butterflies on the top left and lower right corners of the cake. Pipe “Happy Birthday” across the cake in white frosting.
Bold Butterfly Cake
Layer fondant in contrasting colors to create a bright butterfly cake with a bold design. Cover a cake with any frosting to create “glue” for the fondant. Cover the cake with a thin sheet of purple fondant, smoothing and cutting as needed to make the fondant fit. Cut a large butterfly shape from a piece of yellow fondant. Smooth frosting to the back of the butterfly and press the shape, frosting side down, onto the top of the cake. Pipe assorted matching designs on each wing with white, purple, pink and red frosting.
Pretty in Pink Butterfly Cake
Pink fondant, white frosting and sugar sprinkles are the keys to creating a feminine birthday cake with a butterfly theme. Cover a cooled cake with frosting and cover the frosting with a pink fondant sheet, smoothing as needed. Use a butterfly stencil or cookie cutter to create butterfly outlines around the side of the cake in white frosting. Stencil a small butterfly shape in the top right corner of the cake. Pipe “Happy Birthday” across the top of the cake in white frosting. Dust the message with clear sugar sprinkles to make it stand out.
Rainbow Blast Butterfly Cake
Cover a butterfly shaped cake with bright candies to create a cheerful dessert with a blast of rainbow color. Bake a cake in a butterfly shaped pan and let cool. Cover the cake with white buttercream frosting. Outline the edge of the cake with small, violet-colored candies. Move in about 1 inch and create an outline with blue candies. Repeat the process with green, yellow, orange and red candies to create a rainbow design. Cover the middle "body" of the butterfly with green candies and add two violet candies as eyes.