Sunday, January 31, 2010

Portfolio: Hungry Little Caterpillar Cupcakes

On Saturday I posted about a cake I did for my friend's daughter Madeleine.  Her cake was one of two I did this weekend; the other was for another little girl named Madeline, the daughter of another friend (and I really wish that both of their names were spelled the same way so that it wouldn't make my brain hurt as much when trying to type them out!).  Madeline's first birthday is tomorrow and to celebrate, her mama requested cupcakes done up like the Hungry Little Caterpillar.  It's one of my daughter's favorite books, so this was a really fun project for me on so many levels (shoot, this whole weekend was full of fun baking projects).

The leaf cake board is a piece of foam board that I cut into a leaf shape and then used a large tip brush to apply watered down acrylic paint in large strokes.  It created a watercolor type effect that matches the book's illustrations really well.

Madeline's smash cake would be the head of the caterpillar with cupcakes making up the rest of his body.  Because the cupcakes were so easy, I went the extra step of making a leaf-shaped cakeboard for them to sit on.  My favorite part about this project was the colors of the icing I came up with.  Anyone who knows me well knows I don't just LOVE color, I LIVE color.  In fact, if I had to use one word to describe myself, I think 'colorful' would be it.  So of course I was just going gaga over these crazy awesome colors I whipped up:

I don't think any of the pictures I took really do the colors justice, but believe me, they were vibrant, beautiful, and perfectly matched the book!  The red was made using pink, maroon and red.  The green on the top was made with sky blue, ivory, and kelly green.  The bottom green color was made using yellow, ivory, and kelly green.  All coloring used was Americolor gel color.

Technically speaking, the cupcakes were either vanilla or red velvet, with Madeline's smash cake being red velvet.  Caroline requested no fondant, so I made sure that only the fondant in sight were the caterpillar's peripherals, thereby making them easy to pop off in time for eating.  To make the caterpillar's antennae, I covered Q-Tips with fondant and then jabbed them in once they had dried (making sure to cut off one of the cottony ends, of course!).  His feet, nose, and eyes, are also from fondant.  The feet were cut from small hearts, which I tweaked the shape a little bit with my fingers to make them more like the illustration.  The swirled color effect of the green body parts was made by putting both colors of icing into my piping bag, one on each side and then letting them meet and meld in the middle.

Close up of the swirled color effect.  Again, the picture just doesn't do it justice!

So lovely!  It broke my daughter's heart that she couldn't eat them.

Madeline's mama called me this afternoon to tell me that her little girl loved the cake; in fact Madeline loved it so much she said, that if she hadn't taken it away, the kid would've kept on eating!  Ha!  My job is done here.

Hmmm...what is this sweet sensation?  I think I like it!  (And can you believe those huge eyes? Just gorgeous!)

I just love this picture...that's right, kiddo, just go for it!

All in all, I was thrilled with the end result and so was Madeline and her family.  From the Guerra's, Happy first birthday, Madeline!  May you have many more!

Happy Caking,

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