Lemon Curd Butterfly Cakes

Lemon Curd Butterly Cakes Recipe (4)

Filled with a spoonful of buttercream and a dollop of zesty lemon curd, these Lemon Curd Butterfly Cakes are a delicious teatime treat. So quick and easy is this recipe to whip up, you’ll barely notice that your buns have flown off the plate. Perhaps literally.

Everyone knows how to make butterfly cakes, but it’s the filling that’s important. The sweet, creamy buttercream contrasts beautifully with the tangy homemade lemon curd, making for a surprisingly complex flavour.

Of course, these lemon curd butterfly cakes are suitable for children’s parties. But you’ll find they’re also very much at home adorning a cake stand, beside that slightly over the top afternoon tea you indulge in on a Saturday.

Though pretty, butterfly cakes are the very definition of frugality. Effortlessly decorated, you’ll have no need of a shed full of icing to mask all those little baking sins. In baking all the money is spent on decoration. Remove it if possible.

Lemon Curd Butterly Buns (4)

Lemon Curd Butterfly Cakes

Makes 12


For the buns:

  • 2 large eggs

  • salted butter*

  • caster sugar*

  • self-raising flour*

  • the zest of 1 lemon

* The quantity of butter, sugar and flour should each be the same as the weight of the eggs

For the filling:


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C(fan) and line a cupcake tin with 12 paper cases.

  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one until fully incorporated.

  3. Gently fold in the flour and lemon zest. Divide the cake batter equally between the paper cases and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

  4. Set the baked cakes aside to cool. Beat together the remaining butter and icing sugar to make your buttercream.

  5. With a knife, scoop a circular cone out of the top of each bun. Cut these in half. Fill the hole with a little buttercream, followed by a little lemon curd.

  6. Top each cake with the halved cones (as pictured) and dust liberally with icing sugar.

Lemon Curd Butterly Cakes Recipe (3) How to Make Butterfly Cakes

Cost: Despite needing two separate filings, these butterfly cakes require very little decoration or surplus ingredients. As such, these attractive little buns should set you back no more than about £2.50.

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40 comments on “Lemon Curd Butterfly Cakes

  1. Megan
    March 27, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I think these will be a great Spring treat to bring into my husband’s office! Thanks!!

  2. baconbiscuit212
    March 27, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Nick, these look so cute and so perfect for spring! Bravo!!!! I want to wear the color of the custard!

  3. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    March 27, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Wow man, these look like THE perfect spring treat. I’m going to make these as soon as possible!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      They really were 🙂 – I think we’ve run out now 🙁

  4. Suzanne @RollWithIt
    March 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    These look perfect for afternoon tea…if I was into that kind of thing 😉

  5. sophiezest
    March 27, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    So pretty!

  6. Gillie
    March 27, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Butterfly cakes were the mainstay of every birthday party when I was a child. Recently I have looked at the craze for “cupcakes” and wondered when we forgot how to make simple, delicious and beautiful fairy cakes (for that was what we called them). Thank you for reminding us that the simple way is often the more fulfilling way.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      I know – I hate all of these fancy cakes. It’s too much. Back to basics!

  7. KellyInTheKitchen
    March 27, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    These are awesome! Beautiful and they look like they taste great too. Is this a British thing? I’ve never heard of butterfly cakes, I thought you were just super creative and came up with them yourself! haha

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      Thank you very much. Yes, it seems it is a British thing. If only I was that creative.

  8. Julia @ hungryandconfused
    March 27, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    I haven’t seen or made butterfly cakes in years. Definitely takes me back to school fairs as a kid 🙂

  9. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial
    March 27, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    So pretty! Great job! 🙂

  10. Sacha
    March 28, 2014 at 12:58 am

    We don’t have butterfly cakes in the US, but they’re simply beautiful!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Give them a go, they’re great for kids parties.

  11. Sibella at bakingwithsibella.com
    March 28, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    How lemony and pretty!

  12. myfangalicious
    March 28, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    love this. how clever and pretty

    • frugalfeeding
      March 30, 2014 at 6:39 pm

      Thanks, Kathy – have you ever had butterfly cakes?

  13. cwbybrick
    March 28, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Followed & on my blog roll!

  14. Corina
    March 29, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Beautiful – they remind me of going to children’s parties when I was little.

  15. joeschmoe2000
    April 2, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    gorgeous blog. yummy!

  16. laurenkahan
    November 12, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Ooooh, just saw these below your latest post. YUM!!!!! These might be too dangerous for me to make…

  17. Laís @thediabeticviking
    June 17, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    oh I can never succeed to make decent butterflies on cupcakes, but yours look just the way they should! you nailed it!
    and lemon curd! oh!… lemon curd!…

    • frugalfeeding
      June 22, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      Thank you – In was very delicate with these!

  18. Lori in Maine
    January 11, 2016 at 12:14 am

    Hi Nick, I am totally intrigued and enthralled by these beautiful little cakes! I am in the U.S. and this is the first time I have heard of a butterfly cake. I will be trying my hand at them very soon:) However, I do have one teensy question. To ensure I am preparing the cake batter correctly…I weigh the eggs once out of the shell, then weigh the flour, sugar and butter to equal the weight of the eggs? Thank you!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 16, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      Sorry for the late response! You weigh the eggs in their shells – very important. Then weight the rest equal to that.

      • Lori in Maine
        January 17, 2016 at 2:16 am

        Thank you Nick, happy baking!!

  19. Wendy
    June 18, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    The butterfly buns were lovely – my mother’s favourite and a lovely reminder of her. Thank you so much.

  20. Oksana
    April 3, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    I made those today, so good and pretty!!! Thank you so much

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