Decorating Cupcakes

by Sadie
(Newtown, CT)

Very Hungry Caterpillar Cupcake Cake

Very Hungry Caterpillar Cupcake Cake

Hi Lorelie,

My baby girl is turning one, and I wanted to decorate her cake. I found cupcakes online that were decorated like the caterpillar from the children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The cupcakes forming the body are topped very simply with different shades of green butter cream icing. The head is a small, circular cake covered in red cake decorating fondant with fondant eyes.

Is this doable for someone with no cake decorating experience? How challenging would it be to use a cake decorating bag to achieve the water color effect of the green caterpillar?

How difficult is fondant to work with--would it be easier to simply use red frosting spread smooth for the head? What's the best method to achieve a bright red color? Would you recommend a practice run?

Finally, I am using a healthy cake recipe because I've been making all of my baby's food. Is there a way to make sure a "healthy" cake recipe produces a moist cake?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Mar 02, 2010
Decorating ideas
by: Lorelie

Hi Sadie,

Happy Birthday to your little girl!!!What a great cupcake idea. This is definitely doable for you.

For the butter cream cupcake decoration, make a few different shades of green and stripe your pastry bag. (looks like they used a little blue in the mix also. Take some of each color and wipe it onto the inside of the bag with your spatula. Then fill the bag with the different colored greens. Use a star large tip to pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes.

If you have never piped before then practice first onto a pan with uncolored frosting. You can then color it and reuse it.

Fondant cake decorating is not as difficult as you may think. You can buy it pre-made at craft stores, even pre-colored. When working with it keep the unused fondant covered, as it dries quickly. You can warm it up a little if needed in the microwave for a second or three before using if it is a little on the hard side.

Buy pre-colored and if they don't have red than use red paste food coloring until you get the shade that you want. Roll it out with a rolling pin. Go to fondant cake decorating on my Wedding Cakes For You Youtube channel to watch how to cover the cake.
The caterpillar head would be fairly easy to do and fondant will look so much better than frosting. For the eyes, nose, leaves, and legs cut shapes from colored fondant. Just think of the fondant as clay and shape and cut it etc.

If you don't want to try the fondant than yes you can color the icing with red paste. You will need a lot to make it truly red. Try the Christmas Red paste by Wilton. Here is a link to my tutorial on frosting and filling a wedding cake. The same applies to your small cake.

For a healthy cake recipe you can substitute applesauce for the oil, honey for the sugar, and use a combination of whole wheat and regular flour. I would experiment with the recipe before the actual party.

Hope this helps! have fun and send us a picture of your finished cake so I can post it OK?

Thanks Sadie

Mar 02, 2010
Thank you!
by: Sadie

Thanks, Lorelie, for so many wonderful tips, especially the ones on how to get the color effect for the green cupcakes. I can't wait to try it and let you know how it goes!

Mar 02, 2010
Your welcome!
by: Lorelie

Anytime Sadie,

I just noticed the little prickly things on the back of the caterpillar. If you wanted to add those, you could use a round tip and squeeze those out from a pastry bag. Or make little fondant ones.

Good luck!

Let us know how it goes and send a pic if you want to, I'm sure my readers would like to see it.

Jul 05, 2010
Thank you
by: Stacey Nicole

I found this exact The Very Hungry Caterpillar cake idea and wanted to do it for my son's 2nd birthday. I have limited decorating skills and was nervous about how to attempt to even make the (cup)cake look nice. Thank you for this informative page. My son's birthday is a few days away so I have time to practice and hopefully make the cake look alright. I know it won't look as good as the one in the picture, but your tutorial has given me faith that a rookie like me can even attempt it!

Jul 06, 2010
Your Welcome!
by: Lorelie

Hi Stacy,

I am so happy that this page helped you out. If you have any questions while doing your Hungry Caterpillar Cake, please feel free to return here and ask. I check every morning and evening for new questions, so you will get a quick response.

Happy Birthday to your little guy! What flavors are you making? Would love to see a picture of the cake when it's completed.


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