Baby Kale turned one this month! I can’t even believe it. This year has gone by so fast. I just have to pinch myself. How am I so blessed to even have this amazing family and such good friends? For Keegan’s first birthday, we invited a few of our favorite friends over for pizza, salad, and Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Cupcakes! The salad balances out the cake, right?
If it’s possible for a one-year-old to have a favorite thing, Baby K absolutely loves his crinkly Very Hungry Caterpillar book. He loves the crinkle of the pages, he loves it when we count out the fruit, and he loves it when we flip to the last page and it is a picture of a big beautiful butterfly. So, for his birthday, I decided to try to make something that would represent the only thing this kid loves – other than us – The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
To make my life a little bit easier, I had our local Whole Foods make us a beautiful 1/4 sheet cake to share with friends. To accommodate our gluten-free friends and family members, I made our fun cupcake treat using gluten-free vanilla cupcakes in fun polka-dot cupcake liners.
Frosting The Cupcakes
For the frosting on the body, I made a batch of Wilton buttercream (recipe below) and divided the batch into half to dye two different shades of green – leaf green and Kelly green. For the red Very Hungry Caterpillar head, I bought a small package of primary colors fondant at Michael’s and a small package of dark brown (I thought it was black!) chocolate fondant. The dark brown fondant was perfect for the antenna – I wrapped the fondant around toothpicks broken in half – and perfect to shape into little caterpillar feet and a mouth.
For the head, I rolled out the red fondant with a rolling pin and traced the outline of the top of the cupcake. Using a sharp paring knife, I cut out the red circle and then smoothed it over the top of one cupcake. To make the eyes, I pinched off small pieces of green and yellow fondant, rolled the pieces out, and made my best attempt to cut out shapes resembling the two colored eyes of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Edible Sugar Circles
To make the fun circles to outline my Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday cupcakes, I bought a package of edible sugar circles and attached each one to the rectangular cake board (also purchased at Michael’s) with a dab of plain buttercream frosting.
These Very Hungry Caterpillar cupcakes came together in less than 30 minutes of hands-on time after the cupcakes were cooled and ready to be frosted. For the frosting, I used an 18 tip. I liked the way it looked kind of wavy! However, you don’t have to use any kind of fancy tip – just a plainly frosted set of cupcakes in two shades of green would work, too. This is definitely the easiest themed birthday “cake” I have ever made! If you’re looking for a fun birthday idea for a little person in your life, give this a try.
Very Hungry Caterpillar Cupcakes
Easy Buttercream Frosting For Piping
- 1/2 cup butter , softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- In a large stand mixer, beat butter and shortening together until it's fluffy. Add vanilla.
- Add sugar, one cup at a time. Scrape down the sides with a spatula.
- Add the milk. Beat again. If you want the frosting thinner, add a little bit more milk.
- For the Very Hungry Caterpillars - separate this batch of frosting in half, save out a few tablespoons of plain frosting to attach the sugar circles. Dye each half of frosting with a different shade of green - I used Kelly green and leaf green.