For my daughter’s 1st birthday, I decided on a Ladybug theme as an alternative to the many ‘pink’ themes that are around for little girls.
I made the batter for a single box cake (we chose yellow buttercream). I poured about ½ of the batter in to a glass pyrex bowl to make the body of the ladybug. The head was made a smaller cake in another glass pyrex bowl (be sure they are pyrex or at least oven safe!). I made cupcakes with the remaining batter (which became the little ladybugs).
To assemble the cake I cut a semicircle out of the little bowl cake so that it fit snuggly against the large bowl cake. I used the icing stars to fill in the seam and just built up the icing in that transition area.
I used chocolate store-bought frosting for the black and dyed it with black Wilton food paste. The red was classic buttercream using Wilton’s recipe (found it online quite easily by searching for ‘wilton decorating icing’). I used the Wilton no-taste red food paste to make the brilliant red color. I had read online that letting the icing sit in the refrigerator for at least a couple hours after dying helps the colors be more brilliant. It seemed to work for me.
I used star tips to cover both the big ladybug and the cupcake ones as well and did the little eyes, lines, etc. with a piping time (#8 I think). The eyes are ½ a miniature marshmallow (found that idea on this site!) with a black icing dot.
Last, but not least, the antennas were made from a black pipe cleaner that I curled on the ends.
My daughter spent the hours after her cake was made, but prior to the party, waving at her cake because she thought it was smiling at her!
She even had her own set of antenna for the party (black headband with pipe cleaners as well).