Sunday, September 26, 2021

Welcome Guest Elizabeth Penney & Butterfly Cakes!

Molly MacRae: Congratulations, readers! Not only does Elizabeth have a delicious recipe for you today, she’s also going to tell you about her brand new book in her brand new series. Spoiler alert – I read an early copy of Chapter and Curse and I loved it!

Thank you again to the wonderful authors of Mystery Lover’s Kitchen for including me as a guest!

Chapter and Curse, first in my new Cambridge Bookshop Series, is set in England, which means including British food, especially baked goods to enjoy with all that tea. A bakeshop called Tea and Crumpets is located across the cobblestone lane from Thomas Marlowe – Manuscripts & Folios, which is very convenient for my main character, Molly Kimball.


Food seems to be an ongoing theme in my mysteries, although they are not culinary. I had a reader tell me that she climbed out of bed to grab a snack while reading Chapter and Curse. That’s quite an endorsement of my description skills, right? Anyway, after learning about butterfly cakes, I felt compelled to not only mention them but to make them. They are absolutely scrumptious—and a good project with children.


Butterfly Cakes


Makes six good-sized cakes in a muffin tin. Use liner papers and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.


For the cakes:

Add the following ingredients to a mixing bowl and beat until creamy. A stand mixer with paddle or hand mixer can be used.

1 stick butter, softened

½ sugar

¾ all-purpose flour

1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla (or other extract)

2 eggs

Spoon batter into paper cup liners in cupcake pan. Bake for about twenty minutes, until lightly browned.

Let cupcakes cool in pan for a few minutes then take them out and continue cooling.


For the frosting:

Mix the following ingredients with a spoon or mixer to make 1 cup of frosting.

3 tablespoons softened butter

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons milk

1 cup of powdered sugar 

If frosting is too sticky, add a little more powdered sugar.


Making the butterflies:

Take a small, sharp knife and cut out the center of the cupcakes, going down about an inch or so. Fill the center with frosting (or lemon curd or whipped cream). Cut the removed piece in half and arrange like butterfly wings. Sift a dusting of powdered sugar over the cakes.

Enjoy with a cup of tea or other beverage while reading.


Molly: These look great, Elizabeth! I’ll definitely be making them with the grandchildren. Thanks for stopping by today. 

Chapter and Curse comes out September 28th! It’s available wherever books are sold.



About Elizabeth Penney

Elizabeth is the author of the Apron Shop Series and the Cambridge Bookshop Series. She spent her early years in England and France but now lives in New Hampshire, where she pens mysteries and tries to grow things.




  1. Congratulations on the new series, Elizabeth. These cakes look yummy!

  2. Welcome Elizabeth, the new series sounds wonderful!

  3. Welcome Elizabeth! Congrats on the new series and the cakes look delicioius!

  4. What a fun, but simple, embellishment.

    1. When I heard about them I had to include them in my book--and make them.

  5. Welcome Elizabeth! I will have to find or order your new book! It looks fun! Yummy looking cakes!

  6. Thanks for being our guest today, Elizabeth, and thanks for this fun recipe. Congratulations on the book coming out on Tuesday!

  7. These cakes look as delightful as the new series sounds. Congrats, Elizabeth!

  8. I pre-ordered Chapter and Curse as soon as soon as it was available for pre-order so I'm really looking forward to getting it. It has everything I love in a cozy! Thank you for sharing the recipe for Butterfly Cakes.

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  10. These look yummy and the book sounds delightful!

  11. these look wonderful thanks for sharing. The book looks good too.