Lemon and Elderflower Butterfly Cakes

Inspired by Harry and Meghan's Wedding May 19th 2018

Whatever has happened since what a fabulous wedding they had, so full of hope and lovely surprises: as I remember, the music was especially wonderful. Their cake was glorious too: simple at heart, yet gorgeous, lemon and elderflower sponge decorated with Swiss meringue buttercream frosting and 150 fresh flowers, including Meghan’s favourite white peonies and roses. I wonder what it tasted like? Light as a feather and incredible, I expect!

It made me smile though, that many people in America were flummoxed as to the identity of elderflower! I don’t think they grow in the United States.

Anyway, these lovely delicate little butterfly cakes are one of the tribute recipes my friend and fellow blogger, Miss Windsor and I developed to celebrate the event and although I say it myself they are pretty gorgeous too! You can see  the original post on our joint blog page.

A food processor makes light work of the cake mix but use an electric mixer or whisk by hand if you prefer.

Makes 15-18 cakes

  • 175g salted butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar (golden works well)
  • Finely grated zest of 2 large lemons
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 level teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 2 tablespoons elderflower cordial

Preheat oven to 160C (fan ovens) gas mark 4 or equivalent

You will need up to 18 paper cupcake set out in 2 x 12cup muffin tins (cupcake cases can vary in size slightly depending on brand)

Whiz the butter and sugar together in the processor until creamed and fluffy. Add the lemon zest just before the end and whiz in briefly.

Add the raising agents to weighed flour.

Sieve some flour over the mix, add the eggs then sieve the remaining flour on top.

Whiz to combine. Add the elderflower cordial and whiz until smooth and glossy.

(You will need to scrape the mixture down from the sides a couple of times with a flexible spatula.)

Divide the mixture equally between the paper cases: a dessertspoonful is just about right for each case.

Bake for around 15-20 minutes until risen and golden and springy to touch: a skewer inserted should come out clean.

Leave to settle for a few moments then remove from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

Once the cakes are cool slice a circle from the top of each.

Spoon a little dollop of buttercream onto each cake. Cut each cut-off top in half to make wings and arrange on top of the buttercream: remember, it's straight sides out, curved on the inside..

Dust with icing sugar just before serving.


Iif you prefer to make a sponge sandwich cake, divide the mix between 2 x18cm (7inch) loose-bottomed sandwich tins and bake for 18-20 minutes at 160C as before.

Lemon Buttercream

  • 110g salted butter, softened
  • 225g sieved icing sugar
  • 2½ -3 tablespoons lemon juice

Beat the butter until creamy in a roomy bowl. Add the icing sugar, a little at a time and stir vigorously to combine. Finally, stir in the lemon juice to loosen the mixture to spreadable consistency.

Alternatively, for even faster easier icing, whiz the butter and icing sugar together in the clean dry processor bowl. Add the lemon juice through the spout and whiz until smooth and glossy.

Dust with icing sugar and decorate with fresh country flowers just before serving.