I've been baking all kinds of fun cakes for my friends and family for the past year, just as a hobby. So, for my own birthday, I wanted to make something really special and unique!
I had this idea of having a garden cake and I really wanted butterflies that would actually "fly" around it.
I asked my uncle, an industrial designer, for help and he developed a motor for me. The only problem was that the motor was bigger than I expected and I couldn't place it inside the cake. So, instead, I put it inside a cut-out PET bottle that I later covered with fondant in the shape of a tree trunk.
I wanted the butterflies to be as real-looking as possible, but they also had to be very light in weight so the motor would spin them. The best solution I came up with was printing pictures of real butterflies onto transparency sheets(those used for overhead projectors). After cutting them out, I just added some glitter, for a sparkling effect, and attached them to the motor using very thin wire.
I then placed the tree trunk on the cake (which was chocolate) and decorated the rest with buttercream grass and fondant flowers.
The result was wonderful! Everyone loved it and people at the restaurant actually asked me for my business card, not believing when I told them I wasn't a professional cake designer. This one made me really proud! :)
I made two different types of Bug Cakes. The ladybugs are all chocolate. The bees are all confetti. I made 12 cupcakes from each type of cake batter. The remainder of each batter was then baked in two separate glass bowls. Baking in a glass bowl takes A LOT longer than expected. I lowered my temperature by 50 degrees, and raised my time by 30 minutes, checked, and cooked about another 10-15 minutes. Be sure to buy "no-taste" paste food coloring from a craft store, or well equipped party decorating section of a supercenter.
For the cupcakes I frosted ladybugs, with red tinted vanilla icing, solid red and then piped on the head, of black tinted chocolate icing, about a quarter sliver of the cake, as well as piping on the dots. I frosted bees, with yellow tinted vanilla icing, solid yellow and then piped on the stripes, of black tinted chocolate icing. The wings for the bees were made by piping melted candy melts onto waxed paper into the shape of a heart, with two prongs coming off of the bottom, and allowing them to harden in the fridge. Just insert the prongs into the cakes at an angle to acheive the look here.
The antennae for both bugs were also made by piping melted candy melts onto waxed paper. The heads for either large bug were made of a cupcake frosted entirely black and then trimmed at an angle to meet the larger body cake snugly. Eyes for the bugs were simply piped on white icing with piped black dots in the middle of them. I alternated piped-on flowers and bugs for the cupcakes for a bit of variety.