Friday, April 3, 2009

The Princess turns 2! (and a Caterpillar Cake tutorial)


The Princess turned 2 this week!!!

I usually prefer quilting to cooking, but The Princess is just so special that I thought I would make her a ‘caterpillar’ birthday cake to share with all her little friends at day care, and as I put it together I wondered if you’d like to see how I did it.

It was my own design, so this prototype could be tweaked to make it much, much better.  But the way I did it was so easy.

Firstly, I whipped up some mini-cupcakes using this recipe.


150g Butter, softened

150g Castor sugar

175g Self-raising flour

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F)

2. Line 2 12 cup mini-cupcake pans with mini-cupcake papers.

3. Beat eggs together lightly with a fork in a cup.

4. Place all ingredients, including eggs, together in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until light and creamy.

5. Divide the mixture evenly among the patty cases.

6. Bake for 18 minutes until risen and firm to touch.

7. Allow to cool completely on a rack before icing.

This mixture is supposed to make 12 ordinary-sized cupcakes, but it was perfect for 24 of the mini kind (gives you a couple for nibbling on while you ice the rest!)

Then I covered a large board with plain white gift-wrapping paper.

IMG_0106I arranged the cupcakes in a rough caterpillar shape along the board. IMG_0119 Then mixed up a double quantity of butter frosting using this recipe…


125g Butter, softened

1.5 cups (240g) sifted icing sugar

2 tablespoons milk

Beat butter in a small bowl with electric mixer until it is as white as possible.  Gradually beat in half the sifted icing sugar, milk, then remaining icing sugar.

(Remember, I made up twice this quantity – but ended up with quite a lot left over)

I spooned out approximately a third of the mixture into a smaller bowl, and tinted this pink – one tiny dribble did the trick.

IMG_0116 IMG_0131  

I also used a tiny dribble each of blue and yellow food colouring to tint the larger quantity a nice light green.  (Note on ‘scientific’ quantities here: A ‘dribble’ is that tiny splash that rushes out when you’ve tipped the bottle ever, EVER so gently and slowly but you just can’t contain the flow to a single drop!)

IMG_0111  Food colouring1

IMG_0121 I covered the top of each cupcake with green frosting, and then placed a small splodge (note ‘exact’ quantity here!) of pink in the middle of each one, just to make it look a bit more interesting.  Some caterpillars are spotty, aren’t they?IMG_0126

I chopped up licorice logs into  half inch lengths (it would have been easier with licorice straps, but you have to work with what’s available, don’t you?). 


These became the caterpillar’s legs, as I poked them into the frosting, two on each side of each cupcake.


Observant folk will spot a couple of caterpillar segments with only three legs – this is because it would have been somewhat overcrowded cramming all those legs into the bendy part of the caterpillar.

Of course he needed a little face, modelled (somewhat unsuccessfully) on Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar.

IMG_0145The eyes and nose are slices of licorice log, and the feelers are extra-thin slivers of licorice.

Finally I added the ingredient that’s been de rigeur at every child’s birthday party since time began (or at least since artificial food colouring was invented) –


I sprinkled them on top of the pink splodges.  This was the end result …Taa daah…

Copy of IMG_0146

Please let me know (in the comments) if you have a go at making your own. 




  1. Cutely inventive, Di! I bet it went over (and down!) very well.

  2. Too cute! What child wouldn't love that? blessings, marlene

  3. Yummo.....cake......did the birthday girl like it?

  4. I am so impressed.
    Great work. What a yummy mummy!

  5. Gorgeous Di. You are very creative - with food and fabric!

  6. I'll bet there were lot of very hungry caterpillars munching into that beautiful cake. Charlie want's me to make him a Monster cake for his 3rd at the end of the month, I might show him your Caterpillar first :-)

  7. Wow, that looks fantastic! And really not too hard. I might have to try that for my twins bday. Thanks for the comment!


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