Sunday, March 4, 2012

"A Very Hungry Caterpillar" Birthday Cake!

I’ve always been a big fan of children’s books, and one of my favorite stories to read to my girls is Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

(It’s especially a big hit with my very hungry little one, whose love for food developed the day she was born)
So when I recently received a request for a Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake, I was beyond excited and couldn't wait to get started!
Let's begin with the CAKE BOARD!

What you will need...                                                   
13 x 19 in rectangular cake board
Gum balls (assorted colors)
Glue gun and glue sticks
Patience (this is a necessesity)

Before you begin, decide on a color pattern for your gumballs, and be careful not to make the same mistake that I did…
 When I originally started out with my pattern, I created a rainbow design (I even had a great ROYGBV song going on in my head), but half way through, I realized that the finished cake wasn’t going to look good with all those colors, so I had to pull them all off and start again  
(this is where the patients comes in handy).

my BEAUTIFUL rainbow board
(I'll have to remember this for a different cake)

The better pattern for my HUNGRY CATERPILLAR

Now that your cake board is all jazzed up, you can move on to building  
What you will need...   

2 bunt cakes
(I had already baked vanilla cakes, but in the book the hungry caterpillar eats
CHOCOLATE CAKE, so if you're a stickler for details, I'd go with chocolate)
Cake filling
Serrated knife
Cake Board (not the one you just decorated with gum balls..that one is for later)

START by trimming the bottoms of both bunt cakes to make it flat, and then cut your cakes and piece them together into the caterpillar.  

This step is a little more confusing than it looks, so take your time and don’t worry if you make a wrong cut.  Once you cover the cake with icing and fondant it will hold everything together to it doesn’t matter if you have a lot of pieces.  Think of it as a really fun edible puzzle.

Slightly round out the ends of the caterpillar for the head and the end of the body.

NEXT, you can split and fill your cake, and then crumb coat.

Just when you thought you finished the puzzle you have to put it together all over again.

Crumb Coat (this just means covering the cake with icing)
Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill while you dye the fondant.

DYING THE FONDANT ( will definitely be needing your patience for this step as well)
The caterpillar in the book varies quite a bit in color.
I really wanted to capture that look, so I used a marbalized effect when dying the fondant.
I started by dying the fondant LIGHT GREEN, and then I used a combination of LEAF GREEN, MOSS GREENGOLDEN YELLOW, and SKY BLUE icing colors, and I basically spent what seemed like eternity adding more and more color until I reached the look I wanted (or gave up and settled for the color I had). 



Now it's time to cover the cake with fondant.  Being that the caterpillar has segments, you can cover the cake in sections...

Use a fondant tool to create defined segments

Add a RED segment for the head and your ready to add the FINAL DETAILS

 Cut out the eyes and nose using and x-acto knife

Create the antennas using purple fondant and toothpicks

Add more color variation by painting the fondant with a mixture of a
small amount of vodka and the same icing colors you used to dye the fondant

Add any additional details that you'd like and ENJOY!!!

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  1. Ok, this is soooo cool! I love it!

    Just wanted you to know that I pinned it and featured it on my facebook page. Well done!

  2. So darn adorable. You are one talented lady! Hope it was a fabulous birthday!

  3. WOW! That looks amazing! Wonderful job. Megan

  4. Eric Carle is our favorite author! I can't wait to show my son this cake :) I'd love for you to share this at Mix it up Monday:

    I hope to see you soon :)

    1. Thank you so much for sharing! I hope you'll stop back often to share some more :)

  5. Wow!!! It looks almost real -- like the pictures in the book came to larger than life! Cute idea for the edge of the cake board, too! I’d love it if you would consider linking with Busy Monday (open Monday through Thursdays) at A Pinch of Joy, a linky party for ideas that make life better, easier and more fun!

  6. I do cakes as a hobby. This is so fabulous. I love the cake board idea. I wouldn't never have thought to do that. The cake is just clever too. Love it.

  7. What an amazing cake! Very impressive. :-)

  8. would love it if you could share this on my link party

    Natasha xx

  9. Amazing job!

    Mrs. Delightful

  10. So cute! I'm so pinning this! I'd love it if you shared this at Whimsy Wednesdays over at I'm following GFC and LF.

  11. Wowzers!!! I LOVE the Hungry Caterpillar Cake! I needed this when I taught Kindergarten! So awesome!!! I would love for you to link up at my party going on now!


  12. So beautiful and yes, patience is needed! My kids would love to be able to do this! Would love for you to come share this with us at Kids in the Kitchen link up:
    Family friendly recipes always welcome. Link up each Tuesday with Kelli and I. Thanks! Carrie @

  13. My son would be in heaven!!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at Simply Klassic Sundays! I've pinned it, and will be featuring you this weekend!

  14. I featured your cake on DIY Home Sweet Home today!! Stop by and check it out. Have a wonderful weekend.

  15. I Love this! My son will be one in October, I will be using this idea. Thanks!

  16. You did a beautiful job on this cake. Too bad my kids are too old for Eric Carle.

  17. This cake is beautiful! Eric Carle would be very proud!

  18. WOW!! Now that is an impressive cake! thank you for sharing at Uncommon! Bonnie ;)

  19. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful cake on Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy! Pinning this one!! Hope to see you linking again soon!

  20. You have been featured on!

    Mrs. Delightful

  21. Amazing! You did a fantastic job! My kids would get hte biggest kick out of this! I would love for to share with my readers on Blog Stalking Thursday!

  22. How clever! It's making me hungry. Very well done.

  23. nice opinion.. thanks for posting.

  24. Late on the scene, but I want to make this cake for my daughter's first birthday - it's an adorable cake idea! How did you transfer the caterpillar from the cake board you put it together on to the cake board with the gum balls on it? Thanks again for the very informative post.


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