Thursday, January 31, 2013

Strawberry Butterfly Cupcakes

My little Emma turned five this month, and the highlight of the day is to bring a treat to pass out to her fellow Rockets at pre-school.  Her and I scoured the internet for a cool cupcake to make for her and her fellow classmates, and we found this cute little butterfly cupcake idea via Martha Stewart's website. 
The exact recipe that Martha suggests can be found  on her website via:
We made a few revisions to the recipe that included the difficult task of purchasing a box of cake mix and a tub of pink frosting from the local Hy-Vee grocery store.  This mom doesn't have time (nor do I want to) whip up my own frosting and batter.  Thank the good Lord for Ms. Betty Crocker and Mr. Pillsbury dough boy.  So, here's what we did...
  1. Bake up your cupcakes.  Emma chose a Strawberry cake mix.  
  2. Lick batter spoon clean.  (CHECK, CHECK, CHECKITY, CHECK, CHECK!!) 
3. When cool, frost your cupcakes with your choice of frosting.  Again, Emma chose Strawberry.

4.  Then, begin to create your butterfly.  We chose to make the body of the butterfly out of Valentine M&M's to match the pink theme Emma had going.  
5.  We lined about four m&m's to make the body of our butterfly.  
6. After your m&m's have been placed, you insert the pretzels for the wings.  ***TT123 TIP*** In reading the reviews on Martha's recipe, I found that a lot of people said that the pretzel wing would go stale if left setting out too long (i.e. more than a day).  They suggested coating the pretzels with chocolate or almond bark.  I thought I could make this even easier and effective by purchasing the already made ones (via Dollar General at $1 per bag).  Or, you could use those Flipz pretzels that you can find in any grocery store's candy aisle.  These worked perfectly for Emma's cupcakes because they were already pre-sprinkled with pink sprinkles.

To make the butterflies look like Martha's cupcakes you need to use a lot of frosting to hold the wings just right.  But, we wanted all the pre-schoolers to take naps that afternoon and not drive their teachers crazy, so we didn't use that much frosting.  So, we had to just slightly press the pretzel into the cupcake as well.

7.  Once your wings have been inserted, you're supposed to take black licorice strings and make antennas (see Martha's butterflies).  I thought that was what I bought, but I mistakenly bought the regular licorice, which would be a little too thick for our butterfly antennas. 
 So, we chose to let Jackie eat the licorice instead.  
8.  Emma reported that her Strawberry Butterfly cupcakes were a hit with her Rocket classmates...even if they had no antennas!  And, the very best part, the kids felt pretty good about themselves because this project they accomplished was easy enough for them to help, and they had fun doing it!

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