DIY: Vintage Butterfly Cake

Plain and simple, today’s cake is an absolute stunner.  It captures the beauty of spring with a elegant vintage vibe.  An antiqued ecru-colored fondant is accented with black and white striped ribbons.  While fondant appliques resemble the pages of an old Entomology book, filled with beautiful drawings of insects, paired with their Latin names.  Only to be outdone by the amazing 3-d butterflies, in shades of pale blue and black, fluttering about.

It’s one of those cakes that you just have to see for yourself, because my words simply cannot do it justice.  It comes to us from Robin Martin, owner of Gateaux Inc. in Plymouth, Minnesota.  We’re always thrilled to have Robin stop by the blog!  After falling in love with her Alencon lace cake back in August, we about died when she shared her step-by-step tutorial teaching us how to make it.  Robin has such a knack for combining classic style with modern techniques.  Just like her fabulous lace cake, her vintage butterfly cake comes to life with the help of her very own line of custom mesh stencils.   And I’m thrilled to say that Robin is teaching us the secrets behind her gorgeous butterflies.  But before we jump right into the step-by-step tutorial, I want us to get a few good looks at this cake.  Because it is phenomenal!

Vintage Butterfly Cake | by Gateaux Inc.

Vintage Butterfly Cake | by Gateaux Inc.

Vintage Butterfly Cake | by Gateaux Inc.

Incredible as they are, you’d never believe how quickly you can make these butterflies.  There’s no intricate detail work.  No pain-staking painting required.  Just a few simple steps and you have butterflies worthy of any cake design.  Not that hand-painting every tiny little dot on a fondant butterfly isn’t challenging and rewarding but…. if you’re looking for something a tad quicker and easily repeatable with beautiful results each and every time – this is definitely the way to go!

And if you think those book-inspired butterfly panels on the middle tier are pretty awesome as well, just hang tight because we have another tutorial coming to the blog soon.  But first, let’s learn how to make these amazing butterflies! How to make amazing fondant butterflies in no time flat | by Gateux Inc. on

a Cake Tutorial by Robin Martin of Gateaux Inc.


  • White Mexican paste (equal parts gum paste and fondant)
  • Petal dust or airbrush color of choice
  • Monarch Butterfly Mesh Stencil and Mask
  • Black royal icing – thinned
  • Bowl scraper
  • Craft knife
  • Cornstarch
  • Card stock
  • Plastic wrap

STEP 1 :  Center the Butterfly Masking Stencil on a piece of Mexican Paste (equal parts gum paste and fondant)

STEP 2 :  Using an airbrush or a puffy brush with petal dust color, tint the opening in the mask.

STEP 3 :  Remove the Mask and allow the airbrushing to dry.

STEP 4 :  Center the mesh stencil over the tinted butterfly shape so that the edges of the color align with the inner cells of the butterfly wings.  (This will keep the outer dots on the wings of your finished butterfly bright white as on a real Monarch).

STEP 5 :  Hold the Mesh Stencil firmly to prevent movement, and spread thinned Royal Icing over the stencil.

STEP 6 :  Use a bowl scraper to remove all excess Royal Icing.

STEP 7 :  Immediately remove the Mesh Stencil.  Pinch yourself… you’re not dreaming…you just made a perfect butterfly in about a minute.

STEP 8 :  Use a craft blade to cut out around the butterfly.  Dust the back side of the butterfly with cornstarch.

STEP 9 :  Set the butterfly on a creased piece of card stock and prop up the edges of the stock with plastic wrap to form a “V” shape.  Allow the butterfly to dry for at least 24 hours before applying it to your cake.

STEP 10 :  Go fix yourself a lovely beverage, kick your feet back, and relish in your cakey brilliance.  Tell your significant other that it took you hours to hand-paint the butterflies, and that you deserve a break.   Maybe they should clean the kitchen for you.  (This step is optional, but highly recommended)


A special thank you to Robin Martin of Gateaux Inc for inspiring us today and for teaching us such a quick and clever technique.   Catch part two of this tutorial HERE!  We learn how to make the vintage book panels with another step-by-step tutorial.  And definitely check out the video below… you can catch a glimpse of this butterfly stencil in action!

Cake : Gateaux Inc.
Monarch Butterfly Mesh Stencil and Mask :  Evil Cake Genius

Carrie Sellman , Founder & Editor

Carrie Sellman is the Founder & Editor of The Cake Blog. Her work has been published in BRIDES Magazine, Country Living Magazine and featured online at People, Today, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Redbook, Real Simple, TLC, The Cooking Channel and more.


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      The mesh butterfly stencil is available online at Evil Cake Genius. Just click the link above in the ‘Vendors & Credits’ section to find them.


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