The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Strawberry Lemonade Butterfly Cupcakes

Maddie wanted “flowers & butterflies” at her birthday. I found this idea on Pure & Yummy. It was surprisingly easy. Between these & the store-bought Breakstone’s French Onion Dip

it was my most asked about recipe at the party. Really people? Store bought onion dip? (But honestly, I love it too!)

Here’s what you need for the strawberry lemonade cupcakes (filthy toaster not included):

2 1/4 c flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon zest
12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
1.5 c sugar
2 eggs
3/4 c milk
2 c fresh strawberries, chopped

For syrup:
1 c lemonade concentrate, thawed
3/4 c confectioner’s sugar

Get started!
1. While you are preheating the oven to 325, look at the clock.
What? Only 10:37PM? PERFECT time to start making these for tomorrow!

2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt & lemon zest


in a bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until it is fluffy.

4. Add sugar and eggs (one at a time).

5. Add half of the flour mixture & mix on a low speed.
(Someone forgot to take pictures of the next few steps. I was “in the zone” i.e. tired.)
6. Add milk and mix until smooth.
7. Finally, add the remaining flour mixture & mix on low until JUST blended.
8. Fold in strawberries.

Now spoon mixture into the paper liners



about 3/4 of the way to the top.

You should have 24 cupcakes.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. I did the toothpick test- it should come out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool.

Now you’re ready to make the syrup! Get out your “ingredientses” (as Teresa Giudice calls them):

This is really easy: just whisk together the confectioner sugar & lemonade concentrate in a small bowl. With a toothpick, make holes in each cupcake (deep holes as you are going to saturate each cupcake by drizzling the icing over the tops and into those deep holes (that’s what he said.) How many holes? I dunno – 6-8? 4-10? Whatever you’re up for! In the original recipe she made mini cupcakes but I made standard sized so you decide! WARNING: this is likely to make a sticky mess so put something under the cupcakes to catch that stuff unless you really love cleaning & re-cleaning your counters.

Strawberry Lemonade Butterfly Cupcakes
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 24

A fresh, sweet, summer cupcake!
  • 2¼ c flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1½ c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ c milk
  • 2 c fresh strawberries, chopped
  • SYRUP:
  • 1 c lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • ¾ c confectioners powder sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Fill cupcake tray with paper liners for 24 cupcakes.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Stir with a fork and put aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter until it’s fluffy. Add sugar & beat well. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add half of flour mixture to the bowl and beat on low until just mixed. Add milk and mix until smooth. Add remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended. Fold in fresh strawberries with a spatula.
  5. Spoon batter into liners about ¾ of the way full. Should fill all 24 liners.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. They are done when a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let them cool COMPLETELY! (I’m serious.)
  8. SYRUP: Whisk together powdered sugar & lemonade concentrate. **MESS ALERT: Lay some wax paper under your cupcakes before you go any further!**Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops of each cupcake. Drizzle syrup over tops of cupcakes saturating each one.
  9. Frost as desired!


I made a plain vanilla buttercream for the frosting because I wanted something firm and less sweet (HAHA!! – RIGHT!) that could hold up those butterflies. This is SO easy and I completely forgot to take pix. I added fuschia food coloring to it and voila! I had pink frosting upon which a butterfly could light. (Light?)

Anyway, here’s a link to the recipe!

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Make sure your frosting is firm enough to hold the butterflies. Just add powdered sugar until it’ll work!

How did I make those dad-blamed butterflies, you ask?
First, all you need is:

1. Wilton’s Candy Melts (whichever color(s) you like) for the WINGS. (From Michael’s or Party City or you can even order online.) I had green & brown.

2. Store-bought frosting for the BODIES.

3. White or colored non-pareils (which I totally forgot to add)

4. A couple of Ziploc bags.


Here’s what you do:

1. Cut up pieces of wax paper. A piece for each set of wings and another little piece for each antenna. Put them on whatever surface you plan to use to cool them.
2. Add about 1/2 cup brown (or whatever will be your OUTLINE) candy melts to a Ziploc bag. Follow the directions on the Wilton’s bag. It will tell you how long to microwave, then massage/mix, microwave some more. When it is all melted and gooey, close the Ziploc and cut a corner off of it.
3. Put your drawing or printout of the wings/antenna under each wax paper so that you can trace it with the melted candy. Apparently I did not take pix of this but I will attach a PDF of my drawing in case you want it. Trace the outline of the wings and antennae (they should not be connected).


4. Now melt whatever colored candy melts you got in another Zip-lock. This will be what you use to “color” the wings. Just fill in between the lines. Don’t worry about being too perfect. Thank garsh I got a pic of this!

You’ll get the hang of it quickly!

Buttload of wings!

5. Let them cool. I actually made these the night before and left them out. Out of reach, that is, of tiny hands.
6. Frost your cupcakes. I used Wilton’s cheapest disposable bags with tips that didn’t even fit! I just forced the tips in and hoped for the best! After frosting the cupcakes (making sure my frosting was on the “stiff” side) I stuck the wings in and using a small round tip and another frosting bag I connected the wings with the brown bodies. What did I make the brown bodies with, you ask? Good question! I used that Duncan Hines store-bought chocolate frosting. It’s very firm and since you barely need any of it, who gives a fig if it’s not homemade? Who’s gonna notice? Then stick the antennae in however you like them!

Thank garsh only my hands are in the picture at that hour!

I wish I had more photos of the decorating steps. That part was done in the morning up against the clock so I had no time for fanciful pix. But I’m sure to do it again and will leave myself more time. Or not!

Don’t worry too much about these – they’ll look cute – you don’t have to be a perfectionist about them. I saw other versions of these that were VERY cute with different colored butterflies, each matching its own cupcake. That was way too ambitious for me, not to mention both Michael’s & Party City were out of pink candy melts.

The butterfly idea came originally from a book called Hello, Cupcake! via Pure & Yummy.

Here’s where I got stuff:
- cupcake tray – TJMaxx
- Wilton’s Candy Melts & napkins, plates, etc.(Party City)
- Frosting bags & tips (Michael’s)

Next time I will cut out 1/2 cup of the sugar in the cupcake recipe. It is just too sweet though I got TONS of compliments on them. I don’t think anyone would notice if it were gone.

I think that covers it! Please comment below if you have any questions, if I forgot anything. I probably did!

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1 comment on Strawberry Lemonade Butterfly Cupcakes

  1. Rebecca
    October 20, 2011 at 5:53 am (3147 days ago)

    I am in awe of you right now.

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