Threads of the Pattern

Ladybug Cake

Posted on: July 20, 2012

As you know, our extended family celebrated a first birthday! The theme of the day was ladybugs, so as the resident baker, I scoured the internet for examples of lady bug cakes, and stole profligately from all of them. I’m not an expert, so I tend to look for something that has elements that I’ve done before, and at least one element that I’ve not done.

I decided on the design. A three tier cake, enough to feed 25ish people generous portions (not wedding cake portions, which people seem to hate), with both chocolate and vanilla for flavors, and a top tier for the little one to make a complete disaster out of. enjoy in a reasonable and polite manner that her mother would absolutely not have to clean up all by herself.

I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning the night before to get the decorations done. I rolled little fondant balls and flattened them, then painted them with edible black paint. It’s made with corn syrup, and apparently such a small amount of sugar was enough that the kids decided that fondant is delicious.

I really thought these little ladybugs would only take an hour or two, tops, but it ended up taking five hours, including the ribbons, which were red and black fondant. I used cutters for the shapes. The ribbons really took no time at all.

Everything was assembled the next day at the party. I only have the one size pan, so I had to get creative with it. I cut down the top 8” tier to be a 4” by cutting around the outside. I then stuck that all around the outside of the bottom 8” tier to make it a 10” tier. Amazingly, I even had some left over.

Things I learned:

  1. Really fresh fondant makes a huge difference. I hate thick layers of fondant, and I was able to get this batch pretty thin. I could feel the difference as soon as I touched it.
  1. Structure is key in tiered cakes, as you can see. It was so hot that day that the buttercream was melting and pulling the cake down with it. We literally had to finish it and immediately serve it.

 

What I want to try next time:

Structure. I’ve looked up some information on stacking tiered cakes. Any suggestions?

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