My boys had a frog and bug themed birthday this year. I decided to have a dragonfly cake made up of a slab cake and cupcakes. The wings and thorax of the dragonfly were cut in one piece from a rectangular slabcake (made using 3 x 340 g cake mixes).
The eyes and abdomen were made out of mini-cupcakes. One of our guests is allergic to eggs and dairy products. Incorporating cupcakes into the cake design was a great idea. I was able to make the cupcakes and their icing from suitable ingredients. The rest of the cake was made out of ‘the usual’ ingredients and butter icing. We found that most of the boys wanted to eat the cupcakes instead (just as well I had made a big batch to serve with coffee for the grown- ups)!!
One problem I encountered was the difference in height between the slab cake and the mini cupcakes. My fabulous hubby found some scraps from my slab cake and sculpted a ramp to add some height to the cupcake abdomen.You can see from the difference in yellows that the cakes are made from different icings. To try to hide this, I sprinkled some blue 'sprinkles' on top of the icing. Jelly crystals would also work.
I used marshmallows on top of the two mini-cupcake eyes and dotted them in the centre with black writing gel. I used white writing gel on top of blue butter icing to create the wings.
I was quite happy with the bright yellow and blue to create a happy little dragonfly. What do you think?
Here is a Dragonfly Birthday Cake I made for a young girl's birthday who loved dragon flies. I set out on a quest to make something different. The cake consisted of 10 pkts of cake mix and 16 jam donuts. Wow, a lot of baking. Later I ended up with 2 slabs, rectangle size, a tall round one and a bar cake. The problem that I tried to overcome with this cake was I wanted the dragon fly to have a 3d effect hence the donuts and through the donuts are many wooden skewers....but this was still a very difficult task.
the other difficult part was the wings were made of toffee but were very brittle so many wings were made and broken. The statue on the cake was bought and there are silk flowers and dragon flies and butterflies all over the cake. Butter icing piped on the cake gave the colourful effect I was looking for and the frog and lillypad were made out of fondant icing. The rocks around the pool are crunchy pieces.
This cake took around 3 days to fully complete, the baking being a major part of that but the decorating took around six hours. The cake was presented and the young girl was really impressed and the smile on her face was all it was worth, and thanks enough for me.
When I asked my soon-to-be three year old son what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday he said, "a purple, chocolate, dragonfly cake with sprinkles". This Dragonfly Birthday Cake is what I came up with.
I used five cupcakes for the tail, an over-sized cupcake for the head, two oval shaped cakes for the body, and two sheet cakes for the wings (cut lengthwise and slightly rounded). In all, I used four boxed cake mixes. The antennae are bendable straws with fondant tips and fondant was also used for the eyes, nose, and mouth. I used blue and green color sugar sprinkles for an iridescent shine. This cake can easily feed 30-40 dessert-loving adults.
For a smaller variation, you could use cupcakes for the body, as well as the tail and use the oval cakes for the wings instead of the sheet cakes. For a more elegant look, fondant can be used instead of frosting.
Although this cake is large, it is made from many smaller pieces that can be assembled on the cake board just prior to serving.