Ladybug Cake

Apparently ladybugs are all the rage when you are two years old.  My twins wore ladybug costumes a couple of years ago for Halloween and my youngest was a ladybug this year.  In fact, the costume still has not been put away.  If she hears any mention of Halloween, she screams, “I was a ladybug!”  So, when deciding what kind of cake to make for her 2nd birthday, the answer was obvious: a ladybug cake.  This cake was a huge hit.  The twins helped decorate it and the birthday girl continues to talk about it – even though her birthday was weeks ago.

The Ladybug Cake
The ladybug cake was a relatively simple endeavor.  First, I made a 9 x 13 cake out of chocolate cake to be used as the “ground” on which the ladybug would be sitting.  Then, I made a buttery yellow cake batter to be used for the actual ladybug.  I used a glass pyrex bowl for the body (using a little more than 1/2 the cake batter) and a small cupcake for the head (out of the 10 cupcakes I made with the remaining cake batter). 
I made a white frosting starting with a powdered base I bought at Michael’s – all I had to do was add chilled water and in minutes I had 5 cups (at least) of white frosting ready to be dyed.  To get a vibrant red and green frosting I bought individual food dye in the cake decorating section of Michael’s.  Generally, the food dye you can buy at your supermarket is not powerful enough to get vibrant colors – especially red! 
I frost the base cake green and then dyed coconut green to sprinkle on green grass.  I placed the ladybug on the grass and frosted her body red.  I attached a cupcake with a wooden skewer to make the head.  To make the spots, we used small thin mints but I contemplated junior mints as well – they might have looked better.  We used black licorice chunks for the legs and cut black licorice twizzlers into thinner strips for the line dividing the wings and to make the antennae.  The twins enjoyed putting gummy worms all over the grass for a more whimsical outdoorsy effect! 
All in all, a super easy cake and very delicious!  If you know a toddler with a love for ladybugs, this might be the cake for them! Enjoy! 

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

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