Light-as-a-butterfly cakes

I’m usually not a fan of light versions of baked goods. They just never seem to have the same flavour, sweetness or texture as their naughty counterparts. The week before last I made a low-fat brownie. Yes I know, the two words are mutually exclusive (how’s that for some uni lingo) which I learned.

The batter was ‘ready’ to put in the tin and I could hardly move a spoon through it. Even after adding an extra half a cup of milk it was still seriously dry and the resulting brownie was pretty awful even after a generous sprinkle dousing of icing sugar.

Light-as-a-butterfly cakes

I didn’t want to give up on that cook book all together though so last week I tried out the low-fat butterfly cakes. Admittedly I added whipped cream to the top instead of mock whipped cream but there was nothing low-fat tasting about these little cakes.

They were light as a, well butterfly, and melt-in-your-mouth tasty. They were also very low in calories so a perfect treat for a bride to be (I had a little request from one of my bride-to-be friends to stop tempting her so this one’s for you!).

The best part? It took about 5 minutes to whip up the batter, 8 minutes in the oven, maybe 10 minutes cooling time then a bit of decorating and you’re devouring nibbling daintily on fancy little cakes.

The ingredients

Sugar and eggs

First up you have to turn the oven on to 180C fan-forced and put a 12-hole muffin tin in the oven to warm up.

Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat them together until they are light in colour and nice and thick. It takes a few minutes.

Flour and milk

Then add the flour, milk and vanilla and beat them through until combined. See, told you it was an easy recipe.

Ready for baking

Take the hot muffin tray out of the oven and spray it with oil.

Divide the batter between the holes. Each hole should be about 2/3 full.

Bake them for 8 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.


Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely. I mustn’t have greased mine properly because they were a little tricky to get out of the tin but a quick run around with a knife and they popped right out.

Don’t worry if they collapse a bit while they’re cooling. I don’t know if they’re meant to but mine did and it didn’t seem to hurt them.

My jam selection

While the cakes are cooling, get your whipped cream and jam ready. My sister’s lovely man brought be a delicious selection of jams back from London earlier in the year so I made a selection of flavours. I have to say the raspberry was my favourite but they were all really good.


This was the tricky part. Because the cake was so soft it was really hard to cut a little bit out of the top. You will need to use a serrated knife with a pointy tip and very carefully cut a cone shape out.

Put a blob of the jam in the hole and then top it with a blob of whipped cream. Cut the little cone piece of cake in half and put it back on top of the cream to form wings.

Light-as-a-butterfly cakes

Dust the cakes with icing sugar and then serve them. They’re best enjoyed on the day you make them but I put the leftovers in the fridge and had one the next day that was just as good. Enjoy!

Light-as-a-butterfly cakes

What about you? Have you ever come across a tasty low-fat chocolate recipe?

Light-as-a-butterfly cakes

Light-as-a-butterfly cupcakes

Light-as-a-butterfly cupcakes

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes



  • 125g (4.5oz) self-raising flour, sifted twice
  • 2 eggs
  • 145g (5oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk, preferably low-fat or no-fat
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 3 1/2 tbsp jam
  • 5 tbsp whipped cream
  • icing sugar, to dust


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C(356F) fan-forced and place a 12-hole muffin on the middle shelf to heat up.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs together until the mixture is pale and thick and has increased in volume.
  3. Add the flour, milk and vanilla to the bowl and mix until they are well combined.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and spray it with cooking oil.
  5. Divide the cake batter between the muffin holes.
  6. Bake the cakes for 8 minutes or until just cooked through (they're done when a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Take the cakes out of the tin and place them on a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the whipped cream and jam.
  9. When the cakes have cooled, use a sharp knife to cut a cone shape out of the top of each cake. Set it aside.
  10. Place a blob of jam then cream on top of the cake.
  11. Cut the removed cone of cake into two and then place it on top of the jam to form 'wings.'
  12. Repeat with the rest of the cakes.
  13. Dust them with icing sugar to serve.
  14. These cakes are best enjoyed on the day of baking.
Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving Calories 70


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