Strawberry butterfly cakes are simple cupcakes, filled with cream and decorated with strawberries. They're also made with an Edmonds buttercake mix, meaning they're very quick (not that cupcakes can't be made quickly from scratch) and easy to make - perfect for throwing together first thing on a Saturday morning before setting out to Timaru.
I still had half a packet of buttercake mix in the cupboard, left over from my half-recipe of apple coconut flan a few weeks back. A half recipe of the butterfly cakes would make more than enough for Nana and me.
I emptied the packet into a bowl, and added an egg, some water and softened butter. The instructions are to use a mixer, but I couldn't be bothered lugging out my big mixer for this one - I just beat the mixture up with a hand-held electric beater instead. The result is the same, after all.
So the cupcake mixture was ready in a few short minutes, and I spooned it into cupcake cases and got them into the oven. The full recipe apparently makes 16 cupcakes - in the full patty-tin size that I was making - so I only expected to get 8 from my half-recipe. In fact, I filled 12 cases with enough mixture that most of the cupcakes overflowed their cases as they rose.
While the cupcakes were cooling, I popped down to the supermarket for some cream and strawberries. I'd hoped to use strawberries from my own garden, but didn't have any that were ripe enough. I opted for a slight cheat on the cream and bought the canned dairy whip stuff. No, it's not as nice as fresh cream, but it was far more convenient for the situation.
I packed up the cupcakes, cream and strawberries, and headed off to Timaru. When I arrived, I put the jug on and set about preparing a couple of the butterfly cakes. I sliced the tops off, and cut the slices in half to make 'wings'. Then I filled each cupcake with cream, placing the 'wings' on top of the cream and arranging slivers of strawberry between the wings.
The cake mix made lovely light, spongy cupcakes, and strawberries and cream is always a good match with sponge cake. Nana was so impressed with them, that on hearing they were made from a cake mix, she insisted on buying some when we went to the supermarket later that day.
I made us another butterfly cake each at afternoon tea time (though this time I didn't bother cutting out the 'wings', I just squirted the cream on top and added some sliced strawberry. This actually looked prettier than the proper version). Shortly after that, I left for Christchurch, leaving the remaining cakes, strawberries and cream in Nana's possession. I have no doubt she'll make good use of them.