You can buy a special pan shaped like a butterfly when you want to make a butterfly cake. But you don't have to. Bake a rectangular cake and cut the cake into shapes you can use to create a butterfly. The people you are baking the cake for don't need to know how simple it was to make. Get creative when you decorate the cake.
Mix your cake according to the directions on the box or your recipe and pour it into a rectangular cake pan. When it is done, turn the cake out onto a large cutting board and allow it to completely cool.
Cut a 1 inch strip off of one of the ends of the cake. Use the narrow side rather than the longer one. Cut the cake diagonally across its centre from one edge to the opposite one. Make another cut on the opposite side so that you have four triangles.
Use your knife to round the sides and edges of the 1-inch strip piece of cake so that it looks like the body of the butterfly. Place it in the centre of your cake platter.
Place two of the triangles on either side of the butterfly body so that a point of each triangle is touching the body. This will form the butterfly's wings. Shape the wings and round edges with your knife as you see fit.
Frost the cake in whatever colours you choose. Consider selecting one colour for the butterfly body, such as green, and choose another colour for the wings, like pink, purple or blue.
Use candies to create intricate patterns on the wings. You can also do this with frosting, but candies are much easier to work with and will give the wings some dimension. Add candy ropes above the butterfly body for antennae.
Choose candies like liquorice, square fruit chews and candy-coated chocolates to make the designs on your butterfly wings.