Sunday, 29 April 2012

He was a Very Hungry Caterpillar

What a night last night. Lots of laughs, good friends, and best of all kids party food! I made the cake, and it was one of the quickest and easiest cakes I have ever decorated. Oh and the cake was really quite yum too. Was a recipe I hadn't used before - I forgot to buy the Coke to make my usual choccy cake I would make, and this one used everyday ingredients and was really moist and delish! That will be a keeper recipe too.

Check out my cake!

It only took me 1.5 glasses of wine to do. Yes, that's right, I time my cakes by how many glasses of wine it takes me to finish it hahha. I always drink wine when cake decorating - it stops me caring about the imperfections and by the time I'm sober enough to notice them, it's too late to do anything about it haha. 1.5 glasses of wine is about 45mins in cake decorating time (haha makes me sound like a lush... I'm not really..... hehe).

All you need is a ring cake tin, and a texan muffin tin (or some other small circle cake pan - maybe you could find a large round cookie cutter and cut the head from a larger cake).

Bake whatever cake you choose to in the ring tin, and I then made an extra 1/2 mixture and made 2 texan muffin sized cakes (the 2nd one was in case  something went wrong with the first).

Then I traced the ring tin onto paper so I could play with where I would make the cuts on the actual cake. You will see in this picture just above the board is the yellow paper that I used to shape the tail. Then placed the paper over the cake, cut it, arranged it like so, and voila. Now, normally I always ice my cakes upside down so I get a nice flat work surface for icing but as you can see with this cake, I left the ring cake up the normal way to get the rounded shape for the caterpillar but I did lop the round top off the head and turned that upside down.

Once cut, move over to whatever board you are going to serve the cake on, I just used a baking tray (I sometimes cover it with foil to make it look pretty, but didn't bother with this one). I then spread jam on the cut bits to stick it to the next bit. Then I highly recommend you do a crumb coat - just make up a quick plain uncoloured buttercream icing, and spread a thin layer over the tops and sides of the cake - it will look messy, but it will secure all the crumbs so that when you get to the proper icing, you won't have crumbs dotted through (this step is especially important on cakes that have been cut to shape).

Once the crumb coat has set, comes the fun part. Have yourself a glass of wine.
You should have a decent amount of icing left over if using my buttercream icing recipe, so you keep that for the main icing. Set aside about 1/3 or so of what is left, then colour the rest red. Ice the head. Make up another batch of icing, and split this one into 3 bowls. Colour each bowl a different shade of green. I have 2 green colourings - a normal green and an avocado green. Between these 2 colours I was able to make 3 different greens. Now, what I did was so easy - grabbed 3 snaplock bags (any strong smallish bag like that will work). Scooped each colour into one bag each, and then cut off one corner (the hole was maybe 1cm in diametre). I worked with one colour at a time, and put the other 2 bags in the fridge as it was a warm night. I did the stripey bits of that one colour, got the next and so on till the body was done. Here is the fun part - grab a fork and sort of fluff the icing up, to get the furry effect. Originally I had planned on using a piping bag with the grass tip on it and piping the icing on. Luckily the wine had taken effect by then and I stopped caring so much so took the easy option. That was a trick my friend Nicola taught me back when she used to help me decorate my cakes as I was such a dunce at it. The end effect is pretty cool.

Pour another glass of wine

Now it's time to find the icing you had set aside earlier. Split that into 3 (not evenly into 3, 2 smaller and 1 larger). Colour the smaller ones yellow and green. Now, I actually got an old medicine syringe and used that to do my finer piping! So I put some green into it, and drew the circle-ish shapes for the eyes. I used my fingers warmed under warm water to flatten it down all nice, then put yellow in the syringe and drew around the green.
With the larger left over icing, you want to colour it black-ish. Firstly I add some cocoa to the mix to make it dark brown, then some black gel colouring. And again, with the syringe do the nose, the ears and the feet. And again with the fingers warmed under water, pat them down and smooth them out.

And voila, you should be feeling pretty good right about now - the cake is complete and the wine has taken effect! hehehehe.

The girls loved their cake, it was very cool to see their faces when they saw it.

And now that brings me to Herman. The twins mum was one of the recipients of my Herman's offspring. We arrived at her house to discover somehow her Herman was not bubbling. We gave him a good stir and some bubbles formed, but apparently this morning he had totally flat lined. RIP little Herman baby.
Then I got another facebook message from the friend I dropped her Herman baby off to on Friday. Her Herman baby got mauled by ants and didn't survive the attack. RIP Herman baby #2.

On a happier note, my last Herman baby adopted by another friend is thriving and doing very well! Go lil Herman Jr, go!

Oh, did you want the chocolate cake recipe I used? Ok, Here we go then:

Fastest Fudge Cake - from

1 cup flour
3/8 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and warm (or I use salted butter... margarine actually, and omit the salt from the recipe)
1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 180*c. Grease the bottom of an 8x2- or 9x2-inch round cake pan or line it with baking paper.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift only if the cocoa remains lumpy after whisking. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the eggs and vanilla; stir until well blended. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir just until all the flour is moistened. Pour the hot water over the batter; stir just until it’s incorporated and the batter is smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 30 minutes for a 9-inch pan; 35 to 40 min. for an 8-inch pan. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 min. Run a thin knife around the edge and invert the cake (peel off the baking paper if necessary). Invert it again onto the rack and let cool completely.


  1. You are awesome Kate the cake was soooo yummy and Annabelle and Kaisey LOVED it :-)

  2. The cake looks great. I'll have to remember to drink wine when I next decorate a cake x

    1. I swear wine makes all the difference!