Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Very Hungry Caterpillar Cupcake Cake Tutorial

If you checked in yesterday, you know that we had a Very Hungry Caterpillar Theme for Sweet Pea's 1st Birthday. 

I saw this idea somewhere out there in crafty blogland recently for a Very Hungry Caterpillar Cupcake-Cake and that's what started this whole theme in motion.  I apologize that I can't remember which blog first introduced me to the idea.  I went googling for it and discovered Coco Cake Cupcakes Blog.  I'm not sure if Lyndsey was the first to make Very Hungry Caterpillar Cupcakes, but she does beautiful work and you can see a photo gallery of Very Hungry Caterpillar inspired cupcakes that other people have made inspired off her original well as look at her other amazing cakes.  (And if you don't want to make your own and you live near Vancouver, she's the one to go to.) Now I guess we can add mine to the list.  If someone else out there reading my blog has done this in the last month or so and thinks I saw it on your blog, please tell me so I can link and give propper credit.

I started out taking a bunch of pictures, but as the night wore on, my hands were getting messy, and we needed to get to bed, I didn't take as many pictures toward the end, but I'll try to explain it as best I can.

I used a pineapple cake recipe (It's even fat-free) for the cupcakes and 7-Minute Frosting for the topping.  (Now I will give the disclaimer here that while I love this cake and I love this frosting, I'm not sure I'd use the combination of them again.  The cake stands alone better on it's own or with an even lighter topping,) I'll compare the advantages and disadvantages of 7-Minute Frosting versus traditional Buttercream frosting in a different post, because there are some definite advantages and disadvantages to each.  Very quickly though is that 7-Minute Frosting is healthier and we like it better.  The main disadvantage is that it seems to take a LOT more food coloring to get bold colors.

I took a basic cake decorating class several years...well almost 10 years now...ago and use some of what I learned and ignore a lot of it.  Here's what I did...

I started out by baking the cupcakes as well as one mini-cake in a slightly bigger dish for the head.
Then I whipped up the frosting.
Then I pulled out a couple generous spoonfuls into a smaller bowl and made it as red as I could for the head.  I use the food coloring paste stuff, rather than the droplet stuff because it's really the only way I know of to get really bold colors.  I put this one the mini-cake/bigger cupcake I used for a head.
Then I mixed some yellow and green food coloring in to the rest of the frosting.  It took a LOT.
Then I got the piping bag ready.  I also added some extra lines of foodcoloring in the bag with a toothpick, so that there would be some extra strong swirls of color as it came out.
Then I filled the piping bag about half full, keeping the frosting on one side as much as possible.
Then I went back and added MORE green food coloring to what was left and used that to fill the piping bag the rest of the way up.  (Sorry, this is where I stopped taking pics.)  The second batch wasn't as much darker as I was hoping, but I'd already added a LOT of food coloring and I didn't want to use more.  Then I piped it out with my biggest flower tip I had in swirls and it looked like this.
For the face details, I put some of the frosting in a ziploc bag and snipped the corner.  Unless you need a fancy tip or are piping out a lot of frosting, I'm a huge fan of plastic bags as tools for this because you don't have to clean them afterward.  For the hands and feet, I just cute the shapes freehand out of scrapbook paper.

Then, when you're really done, your baby toddler looks like this. 
You want to make a cute outfit like this one?  You can get the free applique pattern and directions here, and a tutorial for making the skirt from your old jeans here. Also, be sure to scroll down or click on this post for great gift ideas for your favorite child turning 1!


  1. So cute! I love the theme! The colors are perfect! Good job!
    ...coming over from Just a Girl's Show and Share Day!

  2. Hi!! Visiting from Just A Girl..
    This is fabulous! Love it!

  3. Super duper cute, I love it! Our house loves the very hungry caterpillar.

  4. That is adorable, my daughter loves that book. It looks simple enough that even I can make it. Great Job, thanks for sharing.

  5. My goodness - adorable {and the outfit too!!} The cake is so creative and looks yummy. I'm hosting a Celebration Inspiration Party on April 6th. Would love to have you link this up and think everyone would enjoy! Great job! {Found you through JAG}

  6. Awwwwwww. That is so cute. Perfect for a 1st birthday. :-)

  7. That is so cute!!! I love the hungry hungry catepillar!

  8. This is what I am doing next week for my daughters birthday party as well. I too saw the idea in bloggy land but have no idea who originally came up with the caterpillar cake idea :) SO super cute!!!! Great Job!!

  9. This is darling! I love eric carle and you did such a great job putting this together!
    We have a friday fun finds party- we'd love it if you'd link up!

  10. How cute is this??? My daughter loves Eric Carle books and this would be a perfect cake to make for her birthday! I may have to make it even sooner since her birthday isn't for another 8 months :) Thanks for visiting the Scraps N' Strings blog!

  11. What a great idea! I'm going to bank this for when my little guy turns two!

  12. So cute! I should make this for my preschool class when we read this!
    I am featuring this idea on my sidebar all day Thursday. Come see yourself in the spotlight and grab my "I was featured" button!

  13. I featured you this week on Thursday's Treasures! Go ahead and grab a button! Thank you so much for sharing! Don't forget to come back this week too!

  14. That is just so cute!

    Thanks for linking up to the Weekend Wrap Up Party!

    I hope you will link up and show us more of your projects!


  15. Really cute!


  16. new to ur blog! from ucreate!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! this is a really cute idea! u have alot of new ideas i haven't seen yet! Thanks!

  17. Great! I plan to do this for my son's 3rd birthday :).

  18. my mum is 44 this year and is crazy about the very hungry caterpillar and i make cakes for all my family birthdays although im only 12.... this year i was thinking of doing mum a cupcake caterpillar like this one... really does help


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