Lemon & Rosemary Butterfly Cakes
My beloved Nana, Kathleen, was the wonderful woman who taught me to bake. This story is not unusual! My very first memories of Nana are of baking Butterfly Cakes, standing on a chair, under her expert guidance. This recipe is in her memory and to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society in her name.
I love this combination of lemon and rosemary – it all feels very Italian to me! Each bite is a little taste of sunshine with the added symbolism of rosemary for remembrance, this is the perfect treat to serve for Alzheimer’s Society’s Cupcake Day.
For the Lemon Butterfly Cakes:
170g unsalted butter
170g caster sugar
3 large free range eggs
zest and juice of 1 or 2 large unwaxed lemons
170g self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
For the Rosemary Cream:
125g unsalted butter (softened)
200g icing sugar
1 tbsp full-fat cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp finely chopped rosemary sprigs
You will need a 12x cavity deep muffin tin,
lined with muffin cases
170°C Oven Pre-heated
Cream the butter and the sugar until almost white.
Crack the eggs into a jug and slowly incorporate into the butter and sugar, mixing all the time and adding a teaspoon of flour if the mix begins to curdle.
Add the zest and juice of one large lemon. If your lemon does not give up much zest (sometimes they can be a little scant) add the zest of a second lemon too.
Gently fold in the remaining flour and baking powder.
Spoon the mixture into a lined cupcake tin and bake for 15-20 minutes until risen and springy to the touch. Leave to cool in their tins for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance;
pray, love, remember… ” Hamlet (Act IV, Scene V)
Use the top of your cupcake case as a guide and, with a sharp knife, slice off the top peak of the cake. Cut this top part in half to create your butterfly wings and set aside.
To make your Rosemary Cream, beat the butter until soft (best done in a free-standing mixer) and add the icing sugar. Loosen this with a tablespoon of cream cheese and a teaspoon of the best vanilla extract that you can afford. Whip the mixture until light, adding the chopped rosemary at the last minute.
Pipe or dollop a little rosemary cream on the top of your cupcake, immediately sticking the two cut pieces (or ‘butterfly wings’) into the cream.