Tuesday, May 19, 2009

eric carle's very hungry caterpillar joins 100 cupcake bites for a birthday party!

after bringing my first round of cupcake bites into work a few months ago, one of my coworkers loved them so much she decided to have them at her son's 2nd birthday party. after telling her how easy they were to make, she decided she wanted me to to do them for her. of course i agreed and we started brainstorming about the party and how we could work them in.

her son's favorite book is eric carle's brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? (with bill martin jr.), so she wanted to incorporate that into the theme. i did her invitations (brown bear, brown bear, i see owen's 2nd birthday party!) but didn't figure a bunch of chocolate/chocolate cupcake bites would be all that interesting to a bunch of mini-people...so we broadened the scope and used the colorful book the very hungry caterpillar as inspiration for the smash cake and cupcake bites.

so i made up 2 boxes of cake (technicality alert: husband actually made one of the cakes) and got to work. for the smash cake, i added the batter two small ramekins and i wanted a pure white background on which to decorate, i used a whipped white frosting. everything is easier when it's smaller, and making a layer cake is no exception. ramekin cakes have been the easiest yet for me to stack and frost. i crumb coated and froze until chilled and firm, then added the real frosting layer before setting out on the caterpillar design.

i had no real plan...just looked up a picture, mixed some blue and green frosting and added it to a grass-tipped piping bag. i freehanded the body and used a red candy melt for the head. i finished him with eyes made of yellow candies dipped in green frosting and drew on some feet and antennae with melted chocolate from a squeeze bottle. so adorable!

but the job was not complete. oh no, not at all. i had 100 cupcake bites to work on! thankfully i have a very helpful live-in sous chef (husband) who happily (i'm sure) mixed up the cake and cream cheese frosting, formed the balls, and filled all of the molds for me. rightfully, he can take credit for making half of this project. and as with the last set of cupcake bites, i carefully hand dipped each cupcake into melted colored candy to evenly coat the top. basic, kid-pleasing sprinkles for each one and yay, done!

white & chocolate bases with red, yellow, green and blue tops as far as the eye can see.

so i took 100+ cupcake bites and a smash cake into work and let me tell you. i don't know if i could do this baking for events thing as afull time endeavor. i was so scared the cake would topple and was nervous about the rain melting my cupcake bites...it was stressful. i would definately make this many again but i'll need to have a stiff drink before delivery to calm my nerves.

all was better when i heard that everything was a hit at the party. adults and kids alike devoured bite after bite. i'm not sure the mini cake was smashed, but i'm hoping everyone could recognize the familiar character. happy belated 2nd birthday, owen!


Thomas said...

Adorable little baby cake and the photos of the mini cupcake bites do them justice. They look as delicious (and colorful) as they tasted. I don't know what colorful tastes like (I don't do the drugs) but I'm sure they were spot on with that aspect, too! I didn't have any of the white chocolate dipped ones. I'll have to try those before I leave the Burgh.

Marla said...

That cake is adorable!

the happy couple said...

too cute! and very impressive. i can't imagine making that many of anything!

Jen said...

Wow Alauna, very impressive, cute, etc!!! I love your work:)

Joelen said...

How SUPER ADORABLE! Great job!!

Stephanie said...

I can't get over how adorably cute that cake and the cupcake bites are! Amazing!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! You did a great job with those! The cake looks amazing and the cupcake bites are so colorful!

Rachel Lubchansky said...

Any chance you'll share how you made the icing for your cupcake bites so that it took form - and stayed put? They're adorable (and look delicious)!

alauna said...

hi rachel :) the cupcake bites are made with candy melts. you can see the process here:


or go to the source at bakerella.com (where i found them originally). the melts harden once cooled and provide a crunchy coating to the cake inside.