Elderflower and Gooseberry Butterfly Cakes

Every month, a recipe competition is hosted on the blog WeGrowOurOwn. Craig, the author of the site, selects a handful of seasonal fruit and vegetables and invites his readers to submit recipes to the blog which use one or more of the selected fruit/veggies. He then selects finalists from those submitted (and extra points are given to those who have grow the fruit or veg themselves!) The competition is then opened up to votes.

This month, I decided to enter the competition. Craig had selected Broad Beans, Beetroot, Gooseberries, Carrots and Peas. The gooseberries instantly jumped out at me as my gooseberry bush in the garden is currently weighed down with big juicy fruits so I set to coming up with a recipe.

Here is my final recipe which won the competition – Elderflower and Gooseberry Butterfly Cakes.

The concept is an innocent looking butterfly cake, perfect for garden parties, that has a surprise jam-like centre. Whilst there are a number of elements and processes (so please take this into account) it is a lot easier than it sounds!

Elderflower and Gooseberry Butterfly Cakes

These Elderflower and Gooseberry Butterfly Cakes celebrate two classic British ingredients.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine British
Servings 12 fairy cakes
Calories 273.45 kcal


  • 12 fairy cakes click for full ingredients list and instructions

For the gooseberry filling

  • 200 g Gooseberries from you garden/allotment of course!
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 0.5 lemon juice only
  • 50 ml elderflower cordial
  • 75 g caster sugar

For the decoration

  • 200 g Icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Greek Yoghurt
  • Syrup and cooled form the stewed gooseberries.


  • Bake the basic fairy cakes following Mrs Beeton's recipe which can be found here: Fairy Cakes
  • While the cakes are baking begin stewing the gooseberries: in a large plan place the gooseberries, elderflower, lemon, sugar and butter. Place over a medium heat and allow the ingredients to dissolve.
  • The gooseberries will begin to swell and burst slowly breaking down. Once this process has begun begin to stir the mix ensuring all of the juices have combined.
  • In total the gooseberries will need to stew for roughly 4 mins before being removed from the heat and set to one side to cool. At this stage I recommend draining some of the syrup generated in the stewing process (roughly 4 tbsp) to one side for use in the icing.
  • Once the cakes have been removed from the oven and left to cool, taking a sharp knife, roughly a centimetre from the edge, angle the knife into the centre and draw round in a circle. This will take an inverted cone shape out of the top of the cake.
  • Do not discard this! We will need this later!
  • Next whisk up the icing, yoghurt and cooled syrup with an electric mix until you have a stiff yet glossy icing.
  • Into each hole pour some of the stewed gooseberry mixture and then top with the icing to keep the gooseberry jam a surprise!
  • Cut the top of the cake we removed earlier into two to make "butterfly wings" and place into the icing!
  • Dust with a sprinkling of edible glitter and there we have Elderflower and Gooseberry Butterfly Cakes!


Calories: 273.45kcalCarbohydrates: 52.74gProtein: 2.79gFat: 6.45gSaturated Fat: 2.05gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 3.51mgSodium: 152.98mgPotassium: 83.3mgFiber: 1.19gSugar: 41.08gVitamin A: 102.29IUVitamin C: 7.09mgCalcium: 65.15mgIron: 0.89mg
Keyword elderflower, gooseberry
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

These really are perfect for garden parties, picnics, or a treat at the end of a BBQ. My Nan certainly enjoyed them with a cup of tea in the garden on a sunny day!

Have you come up with a recipe with this underused fruit!

Before I go I must give a BIG THANK YOU to all of those who voted for me this month, and I urge you all to give the competition a go next month!

Thank you again,



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