I love cupcake toppers. You just pick a theme, plop them into plain cupcakes and you got yourself a party. I just feel bad throwing them away after one look.  ”Ooh, look at these cupcakes, so cute. Now let me toss that thingie in the trash.” Seems pretty wasteful and not very cost effective. Seriously, these things aren’t cheap. So why not make edible versions out of cookies? It’s easier than you think and I’ll show you how to do it. And since Spring is here, let’s have a cupcake garden party and shape them like butterflies. Here is how to make them:

Butterfly Cupcake Topper Cookies
 

makes 12 cupcakes and 12 topper cookies
Ingredients
  • for the cupcakes:
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup or 113g), room temperature
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • for the buttercream:
  • 1 stick of butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • for the topper cookies
  • 1½ sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 12 toothpicks

Instructions
  1. Let’s start with the cupcake topper cookies. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add the flour and mix on slow speed until your dough comes together. Roll it out between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  2. While the cookie dough is cooling, we will make the cupcakes, mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Make sure each one is combined before adding the next one. Add the vanilla and almond extract and mix again. With the mixer running on low, add a ⅓ of the flour mixture and mix to combine. Add ½ of the milk and mix again. Repeat with ⅓ flour, the other half of milk and the last ⅓ of flour. Spoon batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake papers. Bake for 16 minutes.
  3. While the cupcakes are baking, cut butterfly cookies out of the dough and set them on a baking sheet. Insert a toothpick into each cookie. Place the baking sheet back in the fridge until the cupcakes are ready. Then bake them for 10 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden.
  4. Once the cookies have cooled, you can either leave them plain or decorate them with royal icing like I did. To make royal icing, mix 2lbs of confectioners sugar with ⅓ cup of meringue powder and ¾ cup of water with the whisk attachment of your mixer. Mix on low speed to combine the ingredients, then crank up to high speed and mix for 7 minutes.
  5. To make buttercream, cream your butter with the mixer. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the confectioners sugar. Finally, add the milk. Once all the ingredients are combined, turn the mixer to high speed and mix for several minutes until the buttercream turns fluffy and white (about 4 minutes).
  6. To assemble, pipe buttercream on your cupcakes and top each one with a butterfly topper.

Let’s start with the cupcake topper cookies. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together butter and sugar until light and fluffy:

Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed to incorporate:

Add the flour and mix on low speed until the dough comes together:

Roll between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and refrigerate:

While the cookie dough is cooling, let’s make the cupcakes, mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy:

Add the eggs one at a time. Make sure each one is combined before adding the next one:

Add the vanilla and almond extract and mix again. With the mixer running on low, add a 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add 1/2 of the milk and mix again. Repeat with 1/3 flour, the other half of milk and the last 1/3 of flour:

Spoon batter into a muffin tin lined with cupcake papers:

Bake for 16 minutes.
While the cupcakes are baking, cut butterfly cookies out of the dough and set them on a baking sheet. Insert a toothpick into each cookie:

In case you don’t have a butterfly cookie cutter, here are a few links to some affordable options:

Butterfly Cookie Cutter $3.57Butterfly Cookie Cutter Set of 3 $12.85

Place the baking sheet back in the fridge until the cupcakes are ready. Then bake them for 10 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden.
Once the cookies have cooled, you can either leave them plain or decorate them with royal icing like I did:

To make royal icing, mix 2lbs of confectioners sugar with 1/3 cup of meringue powder and 3/4 cup of water with the whisk attachment of your mixer. Mix on low speed to combine the ingredients, then crank up to high speed and mix for 7 minutes.
To make buttercream, cream your butter with the mixer. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the confectioners sugar. Finally, add the milk. Once all the ingredients are combined, turn the mixer to high speed and mix for several minutes until the buttercream turns fluffy and white (about 4 minutes).
To assemble, pipe buttercream on your cupcakes and top each one with a butterfly topper.