Ultra Moist Butterfly Chocolate Cake Recipe

October 21, 2008 | 6 Comments

butterfly cake close up

I have very strong opinions about children’s birthday parties: Specifically, there’s no reason to hire pro entertainers, blow bucks on goodie bags, and break the bank on over-the-top festivities–unless you are doing it to please yourself. After all, the kids don’t care. Give them a patch of dirt and a shovel or chase them around the yard while screaming like a fool and they’re happy.

I live in the land of competitive mothers and refuse to follow the trend. For each of Viva’s three birthday parties I’ve invited her friends, made some snacks and a cake, and let the kids loose in the yard. No one has complained that our parties aren’t up to snuff and if they did they would simply be off the guest list next year.

I DO have some ideas on how to make parties run smoothly, and I’ll share those in another post. Bur right now I want to share the one thing I go gaga over each year: making an amazing chocolate birthday cake.

While I think it’s perfectly acceptable to buy or make a simple cake, I happen to love baking an elaborate edible masterpiece for Viva’s birthday. No surprise there. I was an entertaining expert and frequent party-thrower before bearing a babe. It only makes sense that I would parlay my passion into a relevant context.

If you’re idea of fun is spendind a few hours in the kitchen, you truly must try this recipe for the ultimate moist chocolate cake (plus step-by-step instructions on how to make a butterfly shape cake).

I’ve used it two years running–and decorate it based on my girl’s desires–and everyone, parents included, can’t seem to get enough. Incidentally, if you’re pregnant and not yet thinking about festivities, consider this cake a great chocolate craving remedy.

butterfly cake

Ultra Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe
This cake rocks because it’s so moist you can make it two days in advance, keep it covered on a counter, and it’ll be amazing when you serve it. (A huge plus if you don’t want to sweat the details the day of your event.) This recipe is for a sheet cake, but you can easily make a round layered cake or any shape you like or make two sheet cakes and stack ‘em for extra height.
32 Servings

4 cups skim milk or low-fat chocolate milk
2 cups butter
10 oz unsweetened good-quality baking chocolate
4 cups sugar
4 cups white flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 large eggs, beaten

1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
2. Line 1 half-sheet baking pan with parchment paper and generously butter and dust with cocoa.
3. In a pot over moderate heat warm the milk, butter, chocolate, stirring occasionally until completely combined.
4. Stir in the sugar and transfer to a mixing bowl.
5. Beat in the flour, salt, baking soda, and vanilla.
6. Add the eggs and beat until the batter is smooth.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
8. Bake for 1 -1/2 hours until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pans and the middles spring back when touched.
9. Cool in the pan, then invert onto a platter. Cool completely before frosting.

Fast Cream Cheese Frosting
I like cream cheese frosting because it’s got a great tang to it and is stupidly easy to make.

1 package Philadelphia cream cheese (I like the flavor of this brand)
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 box powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla

Throw all of the ingredients into a bowl and whip with an electric mixer. Viola!

Cake Decor Notes

1. This cake is REALLY easy to cut with a serrated knife. Before you cut to a custom shape, get a piece of paper that’s the same length and width of the cake and draw the shape you’d like the cake to be. Then cut the paper into the desired shape. Place the cut paper on top of your cake and sprinkle its edges with powdered sugar so you have a stencil and then cut the cake…like this:

butterfly cake stencil

2. After you cut the cake, frost it with a thinned layer of frosting (frosting mixed with milk) and let it harden overnight. Then frost the cake the next day with regular frosting; do this and you won’t battle crumbs in your frosting.

3. Add any decorative embellishments before the cake frosting hardens–right after you frost it. It’s a good idea to draw it first. I freehanded this one and realized it would have come out better if I’d created a visual plan to follow first.

4. If you don’t love the look of your cake, surround it with pretty things. I found my cake looked infinitely better the minute it was surrounded by flowers.

5. Consider other toppings. Candy pieces would be cute. Basic white frosting with more childlike polka dots would have rocked, too. It even looks pretty with a simple outline of a darker frosting. I also initially was going to go with muted colors, but the lady at the cake store discouraged me. I should have gone with my gut; go with yours when you attempt this cake and no matter what it looks like people will love it because it IS that good.

Filed Under Pregnancy Health, Recipes | Posted by Erika Lenkert


6 Responses to “Ultra Moist Butterfly Chocolate Cake Recipe”

  1. Kim - Easy French Food on October 22nd, 2008 1:57 am

    Sounds like you have your head screwed on right. Bet some of those competitive moms are ready to follow your lead and calm things down a bit with the economy the way it is. And I must say I’m relieved to hear that other kids are still happy with a yardful of dirt. Mine have always been fascinated with the stuff! Your cake is gorgeous. Awesome. A masterpiece.

  2. Angelia on May 22nd, 2009 6:16 am

    Thank you so very much for putting this on the web. My daughter asked for a butterfly cake and i spent days looking for just how to do it. AND find one that was nice looking. I have it cut out and prefosted we are ready to finish it today.

  3. Emelina on August 17th, 2009 1:53 am

    I’m looking for a best recipe like yours but I need to know the kind of flour you used. I’m not good in baking birthday cake but I love to try.

    Kind regards,


  4. Candice on September 6th, 2009 7:03 am

    This looks delicious.
    What are the measurements of your half sheet pan?

  5. Erika Lenkert on September 30th, 2009 10:07 am

    Hi! Thanks for writing! A half sheet pan is 13×18 inches! Enjoy!

  6. download from xnxx on May 15th, 2010 1:33 pm

    Awsome article. Bookmarked for future referrence

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