Look what landed inside this cake! BUTTERFLIES!!!
They're all over my kitchen right now but that's okay. They're happy butterflies. Not the Silence of the Lambs kind.
These are the same butterflies that I told you about in my previous post/tutorial for the Hidden Stars or Let Freedom Ring Cake. The method is mostly the same with the following exceptions:
The cookie shapes were baked for 4 minutes at 350F and left to cool on the baking sheets. I sandwiched some baked/raw in a couple of the rings before I decided to try trimming the cookies in like in the photo below instead.
My husband thought the shapes in the ring needed beveling, instead of smishing the raw cookies to eliminate the gaps at the outer edge. So I baked the remaining raw cookies and a beveling is what they got. By me. Funny that he was now where to be found when the actual beveling occurred.
I think I prefer this over the raw/baked sandwich method but don't tell him. He'll probably want royalties. : )
I also made one cake mix per directions on the box. I poured a small amount into the bottoms of (2) 9 inch rounds, (1) 6 inch round and (2) four inch rounds. I didn't want the batter to go to waste since it wouldn't hold long enough for me to stack the rings. The pans were only baked about 10 minutes or long enough for the batter to slightly set up.
This is the first pan I prepared. I meant to stack the butterflies upside down but completely forgot about it until the pan was almost done. No worries. It came out fine but I just had to make sure the layer was assembled correctly when it came time to stack the cake. Good as reason as any for cutting inside and taking a quick peak before the layers were frosted.
The second pan shows my DIY cake ring made from ribbed shelf liner and large paper clips. It holds the ring in shape and can stay in the pan until after the batter is poured in if you like. Just lift it up and give it a good wash and you're ready for the next project. Cheap alternative to cake rings and it stores flat in the bargain.
Both of the 9 inch pans above had the raw/sandwich method.
They're okay but the beveling method with no raw cookies is a bit neater.
See what I mean? This is the six inch pan. The "cake rings" are cookie cutters. Thought I'd show you this option just in case you already have these cutters and don't want to go buy shelf liner and make your own.
I pulled out the 2 cutters I used from my set so you can get an idea of what set I'm talking about. The labels are long gone so I have no way to know the manufacturer or source but there are lots of circle sets out there for you to choose from.
This is how I originally tried to figure out about how many cookies it would take to fill a ring. These little foam shapes are available at most craft stores and are about the same thickness as the cookies. I'm one of those people that need to see it rather than imagine it. All sorts of bad things can happen if I just imagine.
It's important to plan a bit for this type of cake and make sure your cookies fit the pans you plan to bake them in. Placing the cutters in the pan before hand helps visualize the placement needed before you go poking them into the batter.
Another shot of planning with the other 2 butterfly cutters I used here. Note that the DIY ring is sized slightly smaller than the 9 in ring.
You'll want to leave a little batter on the outside of the cake so that your shapes don't start poking out the sides and fall apart when you go to frost the cake.
Once the rings were assembled in the pans, I mixed up another cake mix and covered the butterflies. It would have been nice to have a little more batter for the (2) 9 inch rounds so you may want to keep that in mind.
The cookies still baked up inside but you could see a tiny bit of white when they were baked at the top of the pan. A little more cushioning and even spacing in the layer would've been even better.
The layers were filled and iced with ganache from purple candy melts the same color as the batter so as not to detract from the impact.
The outside was covered with green ganache and given a brushed finish.
The butterflies are punched from wafer paper using mostly Martha Stewart punches.
My original plan was to use the butterfly background I'd made the day before with the same punches (plus a few others) and some textured paper.
It seemed a little busy in the end so I opted for a background where you might actually see the wafer paper butterflies on the cake.
They are attached to wafer paper dandelions on cellophane noodle "stems" so they are food safe.
I love using them for all kinds of cake decorations but the clear and airy look was just about perfect for this.
The ganache made for a nice clean cut and the cookies weren't at all hard to slice through. Just be sure to only bake them for 4 minutes before assembling the ring and you're safe.
Grab your fork and dig in!
Thanks for looking!
You can find the cookie recipe here.