Gluten-free coronation butterfly cakes recipe – are they butterflies… or are they topped with crowns? You be the judge! Most importantly, nobody could EVER tell that they’re Coeliac-friendly and wheat-free.
Gluten-free coronation butterfly cakes recipe, anyone? I haven’t made these since I was a kid and the King’s coronation seemed like the perfect excuse to make these; plus, with on-theme cupcake cases and cute little union jack flags, they’re bound to go down well at any coronation celebration!
Butterfly cakes were my Grandma’s speciality (obviously, they weren’t gluten-free back then!) and I can’t believe it’s taken me over a decade of running this blog to post this recipe.
So in that sense, I only have the coronation celebrations to be thankful for, otherwise who knows when/if I would have posted this super simple, but incredibly nostalgic recipe!
My aim was to make them look more like crowns on top, but I thought… they sort of resemble crowns anyway… right?! As I said, you be the judge!
The ingredients for these are super simple, so you might find that you have a lot of this already. Here’s what you’ll need:
Gluten-free coronation butterfly cakes recipe: What you’ll need…
- Butter: Salted or unsalted is totally fine (I use unsalted), but whichever you go for, make sure it’s softened first.
- Caster sugar: Sugar isn’t just for sweetness – it helps to achieve a lovely crisp exterior and helps the cupcakes to form a perfect crumb.
- Eggs: I used large eggs for this recipe, but medium works fine too. If you can’t tolerate egg, check the vegan section of the FAQ for some simple swaps you can try.
- Gluten-free self-raising flour: I use a simple commercial blend from the free from aisle in the supermarket. If you can’t find a blend like this where you live, you can always make your own using my gluten-free flour recipe.
- Gluten-free baking powder: Not all baking powder is gluten-free so make sure you read the ingredients list first!
- Xanthan gum: This helps to bind the cake crumb together so it doesn’t become crumbly, replacing the gluten that would otherwise do the same job.
- Vanilla extract: The better quality yours is, the better your buttercream and cupcakes will taste.
- Icing sugar: You’ll need this for the buttercream as caster sugar won’t work here.
- Jam: Raspberry or strawberry is fine – or even more exoctic flavours work too!
So here’s the fun part for me: describing what my gluten-free coronation butterfly cakes taste like!
The sponge is delightfully soft, light, fluffy and sweet. Something that I very rarely find when I eat a cupcake that I haven’t baked myself, if I’m honest.
Then, they’re topped with a generous blob of whipped vanilla buttercream and jam for good measure. It basically tastes like a Victoria sponge!
Either way, these will most definitely look the part and go down well with gluten-free and gluten eaters alike.
Gluten-free coronation butterfly cakes recipe: Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make this recipe gluten-free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?
It is gluten-free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!
Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination.
Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make sure that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).
Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten-free products.
How do I make this recipe dairy-free?
Easily, with one simple swap!
- Use Stork hard margarine instead of butter. Please don’t try to use spreadable margarine (the kind you’d spread on toast) for the buttercream!
- ALSO, if you need to use any milk to loosen the icing (I never need to, especially when using hard margarine instead of butter) use dairy-free milk
Can I make your gluten-free coronation butterfly cakes recipe vegan?
Yep! If you follow the instructions above to make this recipe dairy free, then all you’ve got left to contend with is the eggs.
Here’s a few ideas you can use as egg replacements in the cupcakes, so each of these = 1 egg.
- 3 tablespoons of aquafaba – water from a can of chickpeas. Make sure you whisk it up until frothy before adding.
- Egg replacement powder – I’d recommend using Orgran as it’s gluten free.
- 1 tablespoon of chia/flax seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and left for 10 minutes in the fridge.
- 3 tablespoons of applesauce.
I haven’t tested all of these egg alternatives so let me know how you get on in the comments below.
Is this recipe low FODMAP?
Yes! One cupcake is a safe serving size for the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet. Just ensure you use lactose-free milk if you need to loosen the buttercream a little (though I find I never need to do this!).
Can I make this using the creaming method?
Of course – I prefer to use the all-in-one method for these as I find it’s always a safe bet with cupcakes.
But of course, you’re more than welcome to cream the sugar and softened butter together, then add the eggs and mix, THEN add the flour and mix once more.
It works perfect both ways so it’s totally up to you!
Where did you get the cupcake cases and flags?
Do I need any special equipment to bake your gluten-free coronation butterfly cakes recipe?
Certainly not! You will need a good quality muffin tray, so here’s a link to the one I use.
Can I use gluten-free flours like almond flour or coconut flour to make this recipe?
Certainly not using this recipe. This recipe uses gluten-free self raising flour which is easily available in supermarkets here in the UK.
If you can’t find it where you live, you can always make your own using my gluten-free flour recipe.
The reason you can’t use flours like almond or coconut in this recipe is because gluten-free self-raising flour is a blend of lots of different gluten-free flours and starches. It even has a little xanthan gum and baking powder in it too.
So to ditch a carefully made blend and try to substitute them all for ONE flour… it’s just not going to work!
Gluten-free coronation butterfly cakes recipe: Tips for perfection!
- Spoon an even amount of cupcake batter per cupcake case – that way, they’ll all bake at the same speed. About 2/3rds full should do it.
- Don’t overdo the baking powder, or it can make your cupcakes sink in the middle. Be careful when measuring it out!
- Once you’ve made the cupcake batter, bake it ASAP. The rising power of the baking powder will degrade quickly, resulting in denser, less risen cupcakes.
- Be more generous than stingy when slicing off the top of the cupcakes. I slice mine about 3mm above the cupcake case, if that helps!
- Allow your cupcakes to fully cool before piping on the cream or buttercream or slicing them – the buttercream will melt otherwise and the cupcakes will be more liable to break when still warm!
Gluten-free Coronation Butterfly Cakes Recipe
- 1M piping nozzle I use this for piping buttercream onto all my cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 225 g gluten free-self raising flour
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 225 g butter softened
- 225 g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the buttercream:
- 300 g icing sugar
- 150 g butter softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6-8 tbsp strawberry or raspberry jam for decorating
For the cupcakes
- Preheat your oven to 160C Fan / 180C and prepare a cupcake / muffin tin with cases.
- Place all your sponge ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined and thoroughly mixed (1 minute should do it).
- Divide the mixture between the cases. I fill mine just over 2/3 full.
- Place in the oven for between 20-25 minutes until cooked through. To check if the cupcakes are cooked, insert a skewer and if it comes out clean, it’s done!
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a cooling rack.
For the buttercream
- For the buttercream, ensure your butter is soft and at room temperature. I find it takes a good hour out of the fridge to soften, but never let it go too soft! Place your butter into a stand mixer and mix on a medium speed for about 5 minutes until the butter has gone a lot more pale in colour. Of course, you can do this in a large mixing bowl with an electric hand whisk too.
- Add your icing sugar gradually. I add it in 2-3 stages and beat for about 3 minutes between each addition. Start your mixer slowly to save your kitchen from a real icing sugar mess, but then increase the speed to medium / high for each of your 3 minutes.
- Add your vanilla extract and mix once more – it should now be done. Ensure it's the right thickness – it should be if you've beaten it for long enough. However, if it's too thick you can add a tiny amount of milk. And if too thin, sieve in a little extra icing sugar – this might be the case for dairy free buttercream using hard margarine.
- Spoon your buttercream into a piping bag with a large star nozzle. Then pipe your buttercream on top. If you don't want to pipe it, you can spoon it on top too!
For the decoration
- Once the cupcakes have cooled, carefully slice the risen tops of the cupcakes off using a small serrated knife and cut the tops in half.
- Pipe a swirl of buttercream onto each cupcake or spoon a generous amount on instead.
- Push the two halves of the cake top in at an angle to look like butterfly wings / a crown. Spoon a little jam in the middle and finish with a flag if you fancy!
Thanks for reading all about my gluten-free coronation butterfly cakes recipe! If you make it, I’d love to see how it turned out so don’t forget to take a snap of your creations and tag me on Instagram!
Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me on Instagram and leaving me a comment on a recent photo!
Thanks for reading,
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