Cupcakes arranged into a larger form give the illusion of having a whole cake without having to cut one for serving. To serve a butterfly cake made with cupcakes, separate the cupcakes and pass out to the guests. Colors of the butterfly, flavors of the cake and icing depend upon your personal tastes, and a touch of creativity helps when making this cake. For ease, start with boxed cake mix, but any homemade cake recipe will work, as long as you have 24 cupcakes.

Things You'll Need

Line the muffin tins with the paper cup liners. Pour the cupcake batter into the liners, filling each no more than two-thirds full.

Bake the cupcakes as directed on the cake mix package, usually 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Let the cupcakes cool completely before removing from the pan.

Cover the cake sheet or cardboard with a sheet of aluminum foil.

Mix food coloring into the three cans of icing to make three different colors of icing. Try yellow, blue and red for the three colors.

Spread six cupcakes with yellow icing, use the blue-tinted frosting to ice nine cupcakes and the red icing to coat the last nine cupcakes.

Draw on the aluminum foil two large capital “B” shapes, back to back, to create a butterfly outline.

Lay out the six yellow-iced cupcakes along the center in a straight line to create the body of the butterfly.

Arrange the remaining cupcakes, according to your personal taste, around the outlined butterfly shape and filling in the space between the body and the outline with other cupcakes.

Pick up each cupcake and use any of the leftover icing to put a dab on the base of the cupcake to act as a glue for the cupcake. Replace it in the butterfly shape, and repeat with the remaining cupcakes.

Smooth the icing over the entire cake to fill in the gaps if desired for the illusion of a whole cake rather than a collection of cupcakes.