My one year old son Thomas is super addicted to the Very Hungry Caterpillar book. Every time we read it to him he jumps excitedly with a huge smile. When it came to his first birthday the decision about which cake to make him was an easy one.
Most of you might look at the Very Hungry Caterpillar cake topper and assume that it would take you hours to prepare. I’m here to tell you it’s actually a whole lot simpler than you would think.
Here’s is how it’s done….
Start off small as this will be the tail end of your caterpillar. Roll a small piece of dark green fondant and a small piece of lime green fondant. The dark green is the tail end so make it slightly smaller than the lime green.
Now give each rolled piece a little squeeze just like this.
Edible sugar glue is essential to make sure your caterpillar doesn’t fall apart. I purchased mine from a local cake supplies store for around $4, check it out here. You can make your own by adding a small pea sized ball of white fondant to 1/8 cup of warm water and dissolve. Using a small brush place a small amount of sugar glue onto each piece on one side only.
We have the beginnings of the Very Hungry Caterpillar! Squeeze the two glued sides together. Then repeat all the steps again and keep building your caterpillar.
A few tips….
#1 Use baking paper as the base for your caterpillar so that it doesn’t stick.
#2 Slowly increase the size of each fondant piece as the Very Hungry Caterpillar grows
#3 Once you have several pieces together press down gently on each piece to even out the difference in size
Now to make the caterpillar’s head. I tried several different ways to join the head but cutting was the simplest. Roll the fondant into a ball, flatten out by pressing the palm of your hand onto it slightly, then cut
Don’t forget to add the edible sugar glue to each side before connecting the head. When joining the head to the body, gently squeeze the sides to mould the caterpillar’s head so it matches the rest of the body.
Now for that cute little caterpillar face! Roll two very small pieces of yellow fondant into balls, flatten and brush edible sugar glue to the back and add to the face. Then roll three even smaller pieces of green fondant. Flatten two of these prices slightly as these will be the eyes. The third and rounder piece will be for the nose. Brush edible sugar glue to all pieces and add to the caterpillar’s face. Don’t forget to make two small holes for the antenna I suggest using tooth picks. I recommend making the antenna with the rest of the caterpillar but don’t add these to the head until just before you place the caterpillar on the cake.
For really fine pieces of fondant I always make a few backups. Here are my two sets of antenna for‘just in case’. Before placing your caterpillar on top of the cake add the antenna with edible sugar glue, place a little in each hole made with the tooth picks.
If you would like to sit the caterpillar on top of your cake as I have insert four tooth picks as above before drying. If you make your caterpillar larger you will need more tooth picks to anchor it into the cake well.
Our finished Very Hungry Caterpillar!
A few things to remember!
#1 Allow at least 2 weeks for fondant to dry. If the fondant does not dry the caterpillar will bend when placing on cake. In hot or humid weather I would recommend allowing 3-4 weeks to be 100% safe
#2 Store the caterpillar on baking paper in either a container or simply air dry on baking paper
#3 Be gentle with your caterpillar… he is very fragile
#4 Place your caterpillar on top of cake immediately prior to birthday party as this will limit the likelihood of breakage
The cake pictured is a very simple vanilla butter cake with chocolate cream centre – yum! The recipe and decoration instructions are coming soon.
Happy caterpillar making!