I made this ladybug cake for my daughter's 2nd birthday. She was big into ladybugs that year (bathing suit, Halloween costume, etc.) so I decided to make her party a ladybug theme.
This cake was lots of fun and really very simple. I was amazed at how little time it really did take to make. Of course, starting some of the prep work a few days before helps it go much faster.
For this cake I used the Wilton white cake recipe. It is dense and uses cake flower. It also tastes like wedding cake - yummy!
I created lady bugs, butterflies and flowers out of colored fondant and decorated with color icing. I did those several days before, because the fondant needs to dry out on waxed paper - or you can put in the refrigerator on a cookie sheet to speed up the process. After they are well dried, you can store them in an open plastic container in your fridge until you are ready to put them on the cake.
You can make up your cake layers a couple of days ahead also. Cool them well and then wrap in plastic wrap until you frost the day of the party (or night before). You can also keep a frosted cake at room temperature for up to two days without causing any taste or freshness difference. I usually do this the night or afternoon before the party and keep the separate layers in individual cake boxes until I assemble the day of the party.
I use Wilton pre-made frosting if I am in a hurry and don't want to mix up all that frosting. Then, I tint it the color(s) I need for all the layers. For this many layers, you need quite a bit of frosting. But, if you want to make your own, you can find good frosting recipes on many websites. You'll need to add powdered sugar to your frosting to stiffen it up for adding decorations, etc.
I knew I wanted to make one of the cakes a ladybug, but I wasn't sure how to top the other two. I was walking through a party store with my daughter one day and she picked up these clear sugar suckers on long plastic sticks. You've seen them, I'm sure. These were shaped into butterflies and flowers. They were bright pastel colors and were perfect to put on the top of the other cakes. I cut the plastic sticks down to various sizes and then added course decorator sugar on the top of the cakes to add sparkle. The cakes were decorated green to resemble grass. I made 3-D grass with a star tip around the bottom of each cake.
The lady bug was quite easy. I took a couple of other cake ideas I'd seen and followed the general outline ideas. I first frosted the entire thing in white frosting and then drew the black outline of the wings and head with a regular thin round tip. Then I took my star tip and went to town dotting the wings with little tiny stars. It took a while, but not as long as I thought. Then I did the same thing for the black head and where the wings part at the end.
This was a fun cake. And flowers, butterflies and ladybugs are so girlie. She went to town on that ladybug cake, too. Very yummy! Oh, and I found these cute ladybug chocolates at World Market in their fancy candy area. I placed those all over the table and also sprinkled the white decorator sugar.