Light-as-air, these delicious vegan butterfly cakes are easy to make and guaranteed to impress!
I have many happy memories of me and my sister making butterfly cakes with our mum when we were little.
It’s a great cake recipe for children because the icing step is safe and fun.
The secret to excellent butterfly cakes is a good cake base. I’m using a variant of my new corn oil vegan cake base, which I first shared in my orange & blueberry cake squares. It’s light and soft – but retains a fairly close texture. Too open-textured and it’s difficult to cut crisp wings.
Be sure to dust with icing sugar right before serving!
Vegan Butterfly Cakes
- 200 g soy milk
- 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 200 g plain flour (aka all-purpose flour)
- 150 g soft light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 100 g corn oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 225 g icing sugar (aka confectioner's sugar)
- 100 g dairy-free margarine
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C/Fan 160 °C/350 °F/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
- Weigh out the soy milk in a small bowl and stir in the vinegar. Set aside for later.
- In a large bowl, combine all dry cake ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt), then stir until everything is well mixed and there's no lumps. Pour in the soy milk-vinegar mixture, corn oil and vanilla extract. Whisk until a smooth batter forms, then evenly distribute it between the paper cases.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until well risen and golden brown. If you need to test, insert a cocktail stick into the middle of each cake – it should come out clean. However, if there's any cake batter on the stick return the cakes to bake for a few minutes more and test again.
- Set the cakes aside on a rack until completely cooled.
- While the cakes are cooling, make the buttercream by creaming together the icing sugar and dairy-free margarine until well blended, smooth and creamy.
- With an angled knife, cut a cone from the top of each cake and cut this cone in half to make two wings. Pipe or spread buttercream on top of the cakes, then gently push two wings into the buttercream on each cake. Dust with a little icing sugar right before serving.
Have you tried these vegan butterfly cakes? Or have a question? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Really fantastic recipe! My cupcakes turned out beautifully. I used oat milk instead, and vegetable oil as an alternative too. I also topped mine with some lush strawberries.
Hi Adele, it’s great to hear you’re enjoying the recipe. Thank you for letting us know that oat milk and vegetable oil work too, as this can be handy for other readers.
Just used this recipe substituting soy milk for almond milk and using lemon juice instead of the vinegar.
Cakes came out beautifully and my allergic-to-almost-everything boyfriend is looking forward to being able to enjoy a cake without taking an antihistamine beforehand. Thank you for posting this 😊
Hi Lisa, it’s great to hear how well your cakes have turned out, and that your boyfriend can enjoy them too.
You can substitute soy milk with any other non-dairy milk in most of my cake recipes (any exceptions will be noted in the recipe).
Do you know 1 if you could use gluten free flour and 2 could this be self raising.
Thanks for asking – these are interesting questions!
1. Although I haven’t tried it, I don’t expect gluten free flour to work well in this recipe. The problem is that the gluten protein is an important part of the cake’s structure. I’ve found vegan gluten free cakes difficult to make so far, but I hope that changes in the future.
2. I’m fairly sure you’re asking about gluten free self raising flour. However, just to tackle the question in terms of standard wheat self raising flour in case that’s what you’re wondering, that type of flour contains something in the ballpark of 1 teaspoon baking powder per 100-125g of flour. This recipe calls for 200g flour and 2 teaspoons baking powder, so it would probably work out well to swap to regular wheat self raising flour.
Hope this helps, and thank you for asking more about the recipe!