Sunday, February 21

Ladybug Cake!

One thing I love making is cakes!!! They are relatively inexpensive, they taste good, and the creative possiblities are endless! For my daughter's first birthday I made this Ladybug cake. The fun thing is, you don't have to have any one specific pan, frosting, or type of candy. Just use what you can find, and no one will know any different. Heck, I didn't want to buy new cake mixes, so I used three different kinds in this cake (two different layers in the body, and a different mix for the head).

Here's what I used, but you can be creative and use whatever you'd like:
  • 3 cake mixes
  • filling (I just use a can of store-bought frosting)
  • frosting (my buttercream recipe is... 1/2 c. butter, 1/2 c. shortening, 1 t. vanilla, 4 c. powder sugar, and 1 T. milk)
  • frosting bag, round & star tip
  • pipe cleaners (or floral wire)
  • gum drops (for the eyes & antennas)
  • white chocolate candy melts (for the eyes)
  • gummy candies (feet)
First off, I found a glass bowl that seemed a good size for the body and I baked a cake in it (following directions on the package, but extending the baking time because of the thickness). Then I used a round pan and made a second cake to be the bottom layer of the body. I baked a third cake in a small glass bowl, which would be the head.

My secret to a nice, moist cake, is to bake them a few days early and then wrap up the cakes in plastic wrap and freeze them till I'm ready to decorate. Then when I frost them, the little ice crystals that have formed inside the cake thaw, and keep the cake nice and moist. Also having frozen cakes makes them MUCH easier to handle and decorate.
Once ready to decorate, I pulled my frozen cakes out and found a plate big enought to set it on. I put a small amount of frosting on the plate, to "glue" my cake to the plate, then I put the bottom layer down. I spread some of my filling on the layer and put my rounded top layer on. Next, I took the "head" out and carved away part of the cake, so that it would fit against the body. I then "glued" the head to the body with frosting.
With a frosting bag, and a star tip, I piped stars all over the body, in the colors/shapes desired. In this case, of course, I did black for the head and spots, and red for the body. I used a round tip and piped on the mouth and eyebrows. I then cut and bent my pipe cleaners into the legs and antennas, added the gummies onto the ends, and inserted them into the cake. To finish off my lady bug, I "glued" two gumdrops to my white candy melts, and placed them on the face as eyes.

That's it. A simple, fun lady bug cake!

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