The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake

Ava turned 1 in February and I was blessed with the opportunity to bake for her party! Just a couple of years ago, I baked her parents’ wedding cake. It is crazy how fast time flies.

Parents Shane and Cassandra sent me pictures of some cakes for inspiration. Ava LOVES Eric Carle’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar so naturally that was our cake theme. I have done one other Hungry Caterpillar cake so I was excited to revisit this theme. Read about my first Hungry Caterpillar cake.

The inspiration cakes

Shane and Cassandra liked the interior of the left cake and then they liked the design of the cake on the right. Neither is a fan of fondant, so they asked that the cake be frosted in buttercream instead of having the fondant coat on top. 

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How to make a cake with gum paste swans

When it came time to celebrate Clara’s 10th birthday the occasion called for SWANS! Clara selected a couple of cake designs that she liked to share with me for inspiration. Her brother Rowen had recently enjoyed his ski jump cake, and now Clara would be enjoying her birthday cake from Emoticakes. Her brother has had several but this was Clara’s first time to celebrate her birthday with one of my cakes. I was excited to embrace the challenge of making gum paste swans.

The inspiration cakes

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How to Make a Skier Cake

This fall Genna reached out about Rowen’s birthday cake. I’ve made his cakes for several of his birthdays and they all start with a design idea from Rowen. This one was no different. Genna sent me several inspiration pictures and told me what she liked about each one.

I love working this way: we take aspects of each cake, keep budget in mind and try to have a bit of originality, though sometimes much of a design ends up being copied.

Here are the inspiration pictures from this year!

The parts that Genna liked include: the soft snow style frosting from the top left, the trees of the top right, the skier and slope from the lower left and the way the skis were positioned in the lower right. Well, some of that is a mix of what I like and what she liked. She also preferred not to have the entire cake covered in fondant.

Selecting a flavor

Rowen loves chocolate mint and mocha so he chose a mocha cake with mint cookies and cream filling. We topped it with a lightly minted, vanilla buttercream since it was a ski cake after all!

I planned to take a whole lot of pictures as I worked, but ultimately invited my daughter (my #1 employee) to help me make the skier and we chatted as we worked. I did get one photo of the ski jump and cake in progress.

Step by step

  • Bake your cake in the flavor of your choice.
  • Make your frostings and fillings needed for the cake.
  • Fill and crumb coat the cake.
  • Use the levels from the top of the cakes to form a mount of cake to serve as the ski jump.
  • Then use gum paste and/or fondant to make your skier. For Rowen’s skier, we used a mix of fondant (for the person) and gum paste (for the ski poles and skis). Allow to harden.
  • When the cake is completely frosted, add your skier to the cake.

The finished skier cake

Genna was kind enough to share a picture of Rowen’s ski cake with me once she had it all set up with the candle to celebrate. You can see how I took the trees from the top left inspiration cake, the frosting style of the top right and the skier from the lower left. Lastly there was the ski placement from the bottom right.