My little baby is turning 1!
I grew up never having a store-bought cake on my birthday. My Mom always baked and came up with a clever a “theme” for each of our birthday cakes. These cakes gave me some great memories growing up…some of my favorites were a doll cake, carousel and Raggedy Ann. Now that I have my own kids, I even appreciate these cakes more because I realize how much thought and effort my Mom put into each cake to make my day special. I find myself wanting to do the same for my girls.
I noticed that my baby really enjoys The Very Hungry Caterpillar book and pretty much any book by Eric Carle probably because of the vivid artwork. So that gave me inspiration for her birthday theme. I started pulling ideas together a few weeks in advance and got to work with little projects that I could do ahead of time.
This little guy was made out of green and red mini craft pom poms. I glued them together with a hot glue gun and wound floral wire around him to give it the shape. I then added a small piece of purple pipe cleaner for the antennae. I wrote my message on a leaf-shaped piece of card stock and using a round hold punch made some bites out of the leaf. I took a photo of the caterpillar and attached it to an email to invite our family (I really don’t need to mail a formal invite). Not only did I use him to send a message, but he will also “live” in a clear recycled jar which I will use as a table decoration for the party.
I am planning on making a caterpillar birthday cake and have been recently intrigued with cake pops. This was my first chance to try them out! I made a devils food cake box mix and added chocolate icing to make the cake balls. So far, so good and I popped them into the freezer for about 15 minutes. I started to melt white candy melts and got my sprinkles ready. As you can see in the photo of the finished product, my inspiration for the decoration was from the bright dots in the book and I thought these sprinkles mimicked them perfectly. My first cake pop turned out perfect and then I started to struggle a little with the chocolate dripping, but I got it figured out and they didn’t turn out too bad for my first time. I bagged them and tied them with matching satin ribbon.
I melted milk chocolate candy melts in a squeeze bottle and kept spiraling the chocolate into a candy kiss shape. It was easier to build it little by little and let it harden, then layer more on top to get the perfect shape. Before it was completely cooled, I poked toothpicks in each one. The toothpicks will be poked into the side of the cake and be perfectly held in place.
For the eyes, I melted a few yellow candy melts and used a teaspoon to scoop some onto wax paper and smeared it into an oval shape. I quickly sprinkled green sugar over the top. Once they cooled, I scooped another teaspoon full of yellow to create the outline or bottom layer into an oval shape and gently pressed the cooled green center into it.
For the antennae, I dipped small pretzels into the candy melts and sprinkled them with purple sugar.
The cake pops were my table centerpiece. I found a couple of fancy floral picks that dangled metallic circles (again mimicking the pattern in the book). My kids and I created a caterpillar using one red balloon for the head and alternating green and lime green balloons for the body. The eyes were made out of card stock and we used scotch tape to adhere the balloons together. We hung this above the table and the kids really got a kick out of it! I used a few paper products, by alternating dark and lime green napkins and cake plates. The color coordination really brought this theme together!
I made devils food box mix in a bundt cake pan to get the shape of the caterpillar body. Cut the cake in half for the top hump and then quarter the other half to get the right shape. I made an extra sheet cake in a 9″x13″ pan and cut two oval shapes for the head of the caterpillar. Then stacked the oval shape to make it the same height as the bundt. I frosted the cake with whip cream and tinted a bag of coconut green and reserved some to tint red. To color the coconut, place the coconut flakes in ziplock bag, mix 1/2 tsp of water with a few drops of food coloring (continue until you get the desired color).
The birthday girl really enjoyed her cake – we have pictures to prove it.
Happy 1st Birthday Baby!