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Pistachio & Raspberry Butterfly Cakes


Charlotte White Recipes

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.

This has been a real favourite of mine over the last few months. Aside from being perfect colours for the start of the summer, the flavours are light and go great with a glass of Prosecco! The addition of a tiny amount of professional quality green food colouring paste makes these stand out perfectly at any Alzheimer’s Society Cupcake Day so remember this recipe if you are entering a bake off!




40 mins


15 mins


20 mins

You will need a 12x cavity deep muffin tin,
lined with muffin cases

170°C Oven Pre-heated


For the Pistachio Butterfly Cakes:
170g unsalted butter
170g caster sugar
3 large free range eggs
170g self-raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g shelled, peeled, and finely chopped pistachio nuts
1-2 tbsp full fat milk
green food colouring paste (optional)

For the Raspberry Buttercream:
125g unsalted butter (softened)
250g icing sugar
1 tbsp full-fat cream cheese
2 tbsp raspberry jam
freeze-dried raspberries


  1. Cream the butter and the sugar until almost white.
  2. 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.
  3. Gently fold in the remaining flour and baking powder.
  4. Add the vanilla extract, 75g of the chopped pistachios, and a little milk (if required) to make a dropping consistency. You can also add a scant amount of green food colouring paste if you would like to make the cupcakes a shade of pistachio green – they will not be green with the nuts alone.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. To make your raspberry 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 raspberry jam. Whip the mixture until light.
  8. Pipe or dollop a little raspberry cream on the top of your cupcake, immediately sticking the two cut pieces (or ‘butterfly wings’) into the cream. I have sprinkled the top of my cakes with freeze-dried raspberries and the remaining 25g chopped pistachio nuts.

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