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How to Make Chocolate Butterflies for Easy Cake Decorating (Bold Baking Basics)

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Hi Bold Bakers!

What I love about baking is that you can always build upon your skills. Cake decorating is something I never spent time on or learned in college. However when you have Bold Bakers asking for easy decorating tips and skills then I have to learn myself and then impart my wisdom on to you.

These Chocolate Butterflies are something that I used to make in my first job in the U.S. as a baker for a Casino in Lake Tahoe, California. All you need is chocolate, food coloring, a toothpick and my FREE printable butterfly stencil.

Stencil

Download the Butterfly Stencil here or Click Below.

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Lay some parchment paper over a flat board or baking tray. Melt your chocolate, white or milk, or both. Melt gently until there are no lumps and it is nice and smooth.

Once melted stir in a small amount of a flavorless oil like vegetable, canola or coconut oil. I don’t recommend olive oil as it has has too strong of a flavor. The oil thins and smooths out the chocolate. You can use white or milk chocolate depending upon what desserts you are making.

Place the melted chocolate into a piping bag then cut a small hole. We want the hole to be small so we can pipe a thin line.

Now, just go for it. Don’t worry about your piping skills, it will look great regardless. Don’t think about it, just do it. Trust me, when they are dried and assembled they will look amazing.

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Color them any which way you like. Only add a tiny tint of color. There is no recipe for these butterflies, just melt yourself some chocolate and draw.

Draw one at a time so they don’t dry by the time you get to them because they need to be melted to swirl the colors. Swirl the two colors together gently with a tooth pick to create a beautiful design on the butterfly wing.

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To assemble the wings, lay the wings down the center of a magazine. Pipe some chocolate between the wings to create the body of the butterfly and also to hold the wings together. I added some sparkle with some luster pearl for decoration but that part is optional.

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Store in an airtight container lined with kitchen paper for up to a month in the fridge. These little guys are delicate so take care of them.

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Please note that these beautiful butterflies can wilt when in warm climates. Remove them from the fridge just before you need to serve them. They are happiest when cold.

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There is nothing that won’t look better with a chocolate butterfly on top.

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Add them to cupcakes, cake and even to dessert bars.

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Color them depending on the occasion. These 3D Chocolate Butterflies would be incredible for baby showers, weddings or any special event.

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SO, incase you are wondering this gorgeous cake is coming Thursday, July 21. It’s a White Velvet Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting.

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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64 Comments

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  1. Mary on June 10, 2018 at 5:45 am

    This is amazing!please, keep the good work going. Many love,Mary.

    • Gemma Stafford on June 11, 2018 at 2:56 am

      Hi Mary,
      Thank you for your kind support, as usual!
      Gemma 🙂

  2. hafsah arif kundi on June 4, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Hi Gemma! I just wanted to know that for melting chocolates, do you use a double boiler or just directly over the heat?
    Thank you!
    P.s you are absolutely wonderful!!! I’m in love with this site!! ❤❤

    • Gemma Stafford on June 5, 2018 at 4:20 am

      Hi there,
      NEVER ON THE DIRECT HEAT! Chocolate is really sensitive to heat, it will seize if it is too hot, so gently does it. I use the microwave, but you need to stand over it, allow it to soften a little, then stir it, when it is mostly melted stop, the rest will happen in the residual heat.
      To be safe use a double boiler, or a bowl over simmering water, do not let the bowl touch the water.
      I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  3. KRUPA on January 1, 2018 at 1:26 am

    Hi! Gemma my name is Krupa (u may think my name is weird)
    when I added food colouring to the white chocolate (I added red colouring) the chocolate started to stiff and thicken.
    why did this happen?????
    I don’t understand.
    I tried with a different chocolate and the same thing happen.
    And I also want to tell u I love your recipes they are so easy.
    (I am able to make any recipe u make and i am only 10)

    • Gemma Stafford on January 2, 2018 at 5:34 am

      Hi Krupa,
      I do not think your name is weird! We have some pretty weird names in Ireland and here in the US too, nice to have variety.
      It sounds like you use a water based color. This may ‘seize’ the chocolate. If you use a gel color you use just a touch, to get a strong color, and no seizing. Melt the chocolate slowly, do not over heat, it is not necessary. Add a little light oil, jut sufficient to make the chocolate a little more liquid. Add the color, and all should be well.
      I hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Saadia Khan on July 26, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Gemma which chocolate should i use?Compound (without cocoa butter) or couverture (with cocoa butter)?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 27, 2017 at 12:47 pm

      Hi there,
      You need a little cocoa butter in order to be able to melt the chocolate successfully, and to give it a shine. it is way easier to work with this. I tend to use a 70% (ish) cocoa solids chocolate, which then has 30% (ish) cocoa butter. This is really workable for the home cook. I do hope this is of help to you,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. shaziyah on April 8, 2017 at 5:41 am

    please make a Mango cake ?? It will Super Amazing… love your recipe ??

    love From India ☺

    • Gemma Stafford on April 9, 2017 at 4:35 am

      Hi there,
      I will add this to my list, it would make a lovely cheesecake!
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Lian Arguin-Laverdière on April 2, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Hi, thank you for those lovely decorations!! I think it would be a good idea to show us how to make chocolate cakes and cupcakes decorations. Do your best!!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 3, 2017 at 7:05 am

      Sure, I will add this to my list,
      Gemma 🙂

  7. Shaziyah on April 1, 2017 at 5:16 am

    Hey love this recipe… but One doubt Can i use MilkyBar chocolate to melt and use it in this Recipe..

    • Gemma Stafford on April 2, 2017 at 2:57 am

      Hi there,
      Do you mean the white chocolate bar? if so YES! this should work well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

      • shaziyah on April 8, 2017 at 5:44 am

        yes its kind of white chocolate bar…Thanks For the Reply….. will try this butterfly recipe with your white vanilla cake….

  8. Ginette Hule on February 22, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Enjoyed this tutorial. Wished I had the rcipe for the butterlies, unless I missed something, but I figured it out and they turned out better than expected. The template was quite usefuln everyone is enjoying the “Welcome Spring cupcakes”. Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on February 23, 2017 at 7:15 am

      That is great, I an happy to hear that,
      Gemma 🙂

  9. Christeena on December 5, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Hello,
    It looks pretty!!!

    Can I know that I should put the melted chocolate to the decorating bags while it is hot or not??

    • Gemma Stafford on December 6, 2016 at 1:53 am

      Hi Christeena,
      It has to be liquid, or else it will not be workable. So, not hot, but the chocolate should never get hot as it easily burns, so melted, as soon as it is melted it is ready to use,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Christian on October 1, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    I absolutely loved these! One question: Please may you make a cook book? Thanks.

  11. Sai on September 21, 2016 at 2:41 am

    Hi
    I loved such a lovely butterflies
    And loved the way of teaching baking basics in detail
    Keep going
    Thanks a lot

    • Gemma Stafford on September 21, 2016 at 9:52 am

      Thank you for your lovely comments, I am happy to have you with us, Gemma 🙂

  12. Cedrick Burbidge on August 23, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    To make the wings, again tape a sheet of waxed paper over the butterfly wing template on your work surface. These wings work best when the coating is warm and fluid, so you will need to re-warm it occasionally in small bursts in the microwave, and work with 1 wing at a time. Start by outlining the wing in a thick layer of brown coating. Transfer some of the orange coating to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip, a paper cone, or a plastic bag with a very small hole cut in the corner. Fill in the center of the wings with the orange coating—don’t worry about filling every single space, just a general coverage is fine.

  13. Kakie on August 21, 2016 at 3:34 am

    They are beautiful, Gemma. I can’t wait to make them for my niece’s birthday cake. I’ll be sure to post a photo. Well done!

    • Gemma Stafford on August 22, 2016 at 2:16 am

      That is great, I hope your niece loves them,
      Gemma 🙂

  14. sara escalante morales on August 2, 2016 at 9:56 am

    I REALLY love this technic

    • Gemma Stafford on August 2, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Sarah,
      That is great, thank you,
      Gemma 🙂

  15. Young Dobbs on July 31, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Finally, re-warm some chocolate coating, place it in a bag, and pipe a line or a series of dots in between the wings to make the butterfly’s body.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 31, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      Yep, that is the idea!
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Supreetha on July 25, 2016 at 11:29 am

    I loved it so much.????.my family loves it too . I have al ready tried many recipes of your which I have posted on instagram. They were awesome cool.finally you are such a beautiful host of your show.good luck and all the best to u.☺☺☺☺????

    • Gemma Stafford on July 26, 2016 at 8:34 am

      Hi Supreetha,
      That is so good to hear, thank you so much, I am walking on air now!
      Gemma 🙂

    • shaziyah on April 8, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      hey supreetha are u indian?? or live in India ? i coz if.. can u please which chocolate(brand) u used for white chocolate ?that is easily in every part of india if u know?

      • Gemma Stafford on April 9, 2017 at 4:26 am

        Hi there,
        I hope you get a response to this. I suggest you do a little research online for this. Try to but a natural cocoa butter chocolate, and not a compound, this will work best for you. Your grocery store/market may be able to help you, and amazon are always a great research source too,
        Gemma 🙂

        • shaziyah on April 9, 2017 at 5:49 am

          ThankYou Gemma You are sweetheart ? sure,will do research and thanks for clearing all the doubts of your fans…❤❤

  17. thinuroxz999 on July 21, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    HI Gemma! This recipe can really help me out! But could you upload a printable version?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2016 at 8:00 am

      Hi there,
      do yuo mean for the butterflies? it is just white chocolate and coloring. the stencil is here on the website too.
      Gemma 🙂

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2016 at 8:01 am

      Hi there,
      This is just white chocolate and coloring, as per the video. you can print the stencil here too,
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Uma on July 21, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Hi Gemma ,

    Wooooow …… It is incredibly delicious ……… Thanks for your awesome recipe ….

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2016 at 8:05 am

      Hi Uma,
      Thank you for your kind support,
      Gemma 🙂

  19. Caroline on July 21, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Hello Gemma
    First, I’d like to thank you for your channel, it’s simply wonderful!
    Second, I’d like to ask if the chocolate used needs to be tempered or just melted?
    Thank you =)

    • Gemma Stafford on July 22, 2016 at 8:21 am

      Hi Caroline,
      No, not for this recipe, it just needs melting,
      gemma 🙂

      • Caroline on July 22, 2016 at 2:31 pm

        Ooh that makes it a thousand times better!
        Thank you Gemma!

  20. Mary on July 20, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Hi Gemma,
    Thank you for the tutorial. These are so pretty. I’m going to try it out. 🙂
    May I confirm the ratio of coconut oil to use on the melted chocolate to thin it out?
    Many thanks.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2016 at 1:05 am

      Hi Mary,
      You must not use too much oil. Just a teaspoon will make a difference. Remember that coconut oil will harden when cold, so is useful for setting the chocolate, but needs to be worked quickly,
      Gemma 🙂

  21. Pari on July 20, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Wow !! ???

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2016 at 1:12 am

      🙂 🙂 🙂

  22. MashalFatima on July 20, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Hi Gemma,
    OMG THIS IS INCREDIBLE SO FASCINATING I CANT EXPLAIN …… I LOVE BUTTERFLIES AND I AM A CHOCOLATE ADDICT AND WHAT CAN BE BETTER THAN A CHOCOLATE BUTTERFLY…… SO CUTE AND TEMPTING. LOVE YOU FOR THIS GREAT WORK. 🙂
    Mashal

    • Gemma Stafford on July 21, 2016 at 1:16 am

      Hi Mashal,
      Thank you for your kind support, as usual! I appreciate it.
      I hope you do make these and enjoy the process,
      Gemma 🙂

  23. Carolina Santander on July 19, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Looking forward for seeing that wonderful cake! It’s my birthday on July 21st!!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 20, 2016 at 1:25 am

      Hi Carolina,
      Will you try this?? it is fun to do, actually easier than it looks too. Happy Birthday to you for tomorrow,
      Gemma 🙂

  24. Wei Qi on July 19, 2016 at 7:08 am

    i love these butterflies, they look so pretty!! it’s just like a professional baker had made it!! <3<3<3

    • Gemma Stafford on July 20, 2016 at 1:28 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, and you too can do this! try it at home,
      Gemma 🙂

  25. Ankisha on July 19, 2016 at 3:25 am

    What type of food colouring can be used in chocolates? I mean like liquid or gel?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 20, 2016 at 1:45 am

      Hi Ankisha,
      either will do, the gel will be a stronger color,
      Gemma 🙂

  26. Salma Alfakeer on July 19, 2016 at 2:05 am

    Hey Gemma
    Thank you very much for this recepie it is amazing
    I just want to ask you something
    How can we make almond extract
    Love your fan
    Salma alfakeer

    • Gemma Stafford on July 20, 2016 at 1:56 am

      Hi Salma,
      Check out the live stream on my Facebook page (Bigger Bolder Baking) for a discussion on extracts, including how to make almond extract.
      You simply smash up whole, plain, skin on almonds in a pestle and mortar. Pour them into a jar and cover with Vodka. Leave to infuse for at least 5 weeks, shaking the jar every day. you can top up the jar as you use it. the alcohol will burn off in cooking. glycerin can be used in place of the alcohol.
      hope this helps,
      Gemma 🙂

  27. Jennycuenca on July 18, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I particularly enjoyed the pictures for this episode, the butterflies are just screaming “Pin me! Pin me!”. They look so pretty it’s quite hard to believe that they are so easy to make.

    • Gemma Stafford on July 18, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      Thats what I was going for, Jenny. I had way more photos on the post but I knew I had to take some off. I love them though 🙂

  28. Shahla on July 18, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Very easy and lovely. Thank you ?

    • Gemma Stafford on July 18, 2016 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Shala,
      thank you, i hope you enjoy trying this out,
      Gemma 🙂

  29. LuLu on July 18, 2016 at 9:03 am

    On Wednesday 3rd, you should make a watermelon cake for national watermelon day!

    • Gemma Stafford on July 18, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      Hi Lulu,
      Yes I should! Now to figure out how to do it. Thank you for this challenge!!
      Gemma 🙂

    • Ilovelearningnewthings on November 2, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      The chocolate butterflies ☺ beautiful by the way,
      Did you use compact chocolate or cocoa butter chocolate?

      • Gemma Stafford on November 3, 2016 at 2:57 am

        Not sure what you mean! I use a semi sweet chocolate, 70% or so cocoa solids for most of my baking. Check out the recipes here on the website, Gemma 🙂

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