Beautiful Rainbow Butterfly Cake
- Divide Creamy White Frosting evenly among three medium bowls. Add a toothpick tip's worth of pink gel food coloring to frosting in one bowl; stir until frosting is evenly tinted. Repeat with the remaining two bowls of frosting, tinting one with sky blue food coloring and the other with lemon yellow food coloring.
- Place a decorating bag fitted with a large open star tip (such as Wilton brand #1M) into a tall wide-mouth container (this holds the decorating bag in place while you fill it with frosting). Using a long metal spatula, scoop up the pink frosting and carefully transfer it to the decorating bag, spreading the frosting from bottom to top in a strip that covers about one-third of the inside of the bag. Wash and thoroughly dry the metal spatula. Repeat with the blue frosting and then the yellow frosting, being careful not to mix the colors. (The decorating bag will have three strips of frosting side by side. These colors complement each other so if they run together some, they'll form a pretty rainbow.) Pipe the frosting onto a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper just until all three colors start to pipe, giving the rainbow effect.
- To pipe a rainbow rosette, hold the decorating bag perpendicular to cupcake top with the decorating tip barely touching the center of the cupcake. Pipe swirls of frosting onto cupcake, moving decorating tip in a counterclockwise motion from the center to the outer edge. Repeat to pipe rosettes on all remaining cupcakes.
- For the face, roll the pink fondant according to package directions to a 3-inch-diameter circle. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out a circle; place the circle on top of one of the frosted 2-1/2-inch cupcakes, pressing gently into frosting. Divide the black fondant into five pieces. Roll each of the pieces between your fingers into a ball. For the antennae, attach a black fondant ball to two of the wooden toothpicks. Position the antennae at the top of the face, gently pushing toothpicks into the cupcake. For eyes, position two more of the black fondant balls on the face (slightly moisten the underside of each eye so it will stick to the face). For the mouth, roll the remaining black fondant ball between your fingers into a thin rope; slightly moisten the underside of the rope and position it on the face.
- To assemble the butterfly, arrange the five larger cupcakes in a vertical line in the center of your serving table, platter, or cake board, placing the head cupcake at the top of the line. Arrange the smaller cupcakes into arched or triangular wing shapes (see photo), using 18 cupcakes for each wing. (You want the wings to mirror each other, so rearrange the cupcakes until you find a shape you like.)
- If desired, sprinkle confetti or paper shapes around the butterfly.
From the Test Kitchen
Decorating bag Large open star tip (such as Wilton brand #1M) Tall wide-mouth container (such as an empty 32-ounce yogurt container) Long metal spatula 2-inch round cookie cutter
Creamy White Frosting
- In a large mixing bowl beat shortening, vanilla, and almond extract with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add about half of the powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in 2 tablespoons of the milk. Gradually beat in the remaining powdered sugar and enough of the remaining milk to reach spreading consistency.