World Maths Day – Butterfly Cakes

March 7th is World Maths Day where children all over the world can compete against each other in maths challenges. Cooking is a great way to introduce and practice maths or as some of my pupils will tell you a way of learning maths without realising it.

This particular recipe is a great way to demonstrate various types of maths:

  • weighing & measuring
  • reading scales – both the weighing scales and temperature.
  • ratios – the buttercream is 1 part butter : 2 parts sugar
  • arrays – how many ways can you arrange the cake cases to show an array of 12?
  • division – how much of each ingredient do you need per cake?
  • Scaling up and down – How much of each ingredient do you need for 6 or 24 cakes?

Butterfly cakes
Makes 12

120g caster sugar

120g softened butter or Stork

2 large eggs

120g self raising flour

1 tsp vanilla extract


100g butter, softened

200g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp milk

hundreds & thousands (optional)

1) Line a bun tin with 12 fairy cake liners. Preheat oven to 190°c.

2) In a bowl cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy.

3) Stir the eggs into the fluffy mixture one at a time. Don’t worry if it begins to look curdled. Add a tbsp of the flour before adding the next egg.

4) Fold in the flour and vanilla extract. Once the mixture is combined spoon into the cake liners.

5) Bake for 15 minutes until risen and golden. Once cooked, take out of the tin and cool on a wire rack.

6) To make the buttercream beat the butter to make it soft then beat in half of the icing sugar. Then add the remaining half of icing sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

7) Once cakes have cooled use a teaspoon to cut out the butterfly ‘wings’. Place a dessertspoon of the buttercream in the hole then decorate with the cake wings and hundreds & thousands.


About Julie @ Apple & Thyme

A Derbyshire/Staffordshire based business that provides creative food education with the aim of making good food and cookery skills accessible for all.

Posted on March 5, 2012, in Recipe and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. These used to be my absolute fave at school. If I had ever been given the chance to make them it would have made me so happy……a great idea for World Maths Day!

  1. Pingback: Summer Holiday cooking inspiration for kids | Apple & Thyme

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