The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake Topper Tutorial

Today I’m going to show you how to make the gorgeous caterpillar cake topper that was featured on the cake at Zoe’s Very Hungry Caterpillar Party.

I will preface this tutorial by saying that with all the fondant I’m using I have mixed in some tylose powder (1/2 teaspoon to 250g of fondant) so that the caterpillar will dry hard. I also suggest making this as early in advance as possible (I made mine a week beforehand).

Begin with shaping some red coloured fondant (I buy the premixed red colour… the cake art brand),  and then shape into a curved rectangle.

(and yes… your hand will turn red with the premixed colours!)

Roll out some yellow fondant and stamp out 2 circles (if you don’t have a circle cutter, you could try using a straw)

Place on the head to check for size and then set aside to harden.

I’ve placed some baking paper onto my surface so that I will be able to remove the caterpillar easily once it has dried.

Using a modelling tool, make 2 holes on the head for the antennae

Roll out some purple fondant into a thin sausage shape, making a point at one end.

Add some water or edible glue to the holes and insert the antennae

I did end up removing the antennae while I made the body of the caterpillar so that they could have some time to harden into shape. This is because when you set the head flat, it is easy for the antennae to bend out of shape.

To get the marbled effect for the caterpillar’s body, I used Americolor’s Leaf Green

Divide your fondant into 3 balls

Colour one ball with a decent amount of green colouring, then remove a small portion of that ball and mix in with another white ball to end up with 3 balls of differing colours.

Does that make sense?!! Basically… rather than trying to colour two of the balls, the best way is to get a really strong coloured ball and to make a mid coloured ball by using a small part of the strong green fondant into the white ball (rather than using food colouring again).

Place the balls on top of each other and start mixing them in together by twisting them around.

Set aside a small amount of marbled green for the eyes and nose, and divide the rest into different sized balls, attempting to make your caterpillar shape.

It doesn’t matter whether these are smooth or not (you can see the lines in mine!) – it all adds to the character of the caterpillar.

Dab each ball on either side with some water or edible glue and then stick them together and squish them up in shape.

Dab some glue/water to the left side of the head and carefully move the body and attach it to the head.

Glue on the antennae and the yellow eyes.

Roll out a small ball for the nose and then stamp out two circles for the eyes (smaller circles than the yellow eyes). The alternative is to roll up two small balls for the eyes and to flatten them into shape.

Attach to the face.

Carefully insert 3 toothpicks as these will be used to attach the caterpillar to the cake. You can see that I was worried about one of the antennae bending out of shape, so I used a bit of baking paper to sit behind it so that it will harden in the right place.

Here is a close up of the topper on the cake :-)

(Stay tuned for more tutorials on creating the food for the cake)

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50 Responses to The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake Topper Tutorial

  1. Andrea September 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    THAT IS SO COOL! LOVE IT! I’ve never worked much with fondant (I’ve always used buttercream icing on the kids cakes), but I must say, you are inspiring me!

  2. sarah September 9, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    Seriously AMAZING!! Our daughter LOVED Hungry Little Caterpillar!! You’re so awesome!

  3. Amanda Alessi September 12, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Wow!!! Such an awesome cake!! I love that storybook :)

  4. AikoVenus October 28, 2011 at 8:57 am #

    I wish I had some fondant with me right now – but this is a great way to work with it. ^^

  5. katherine mull January 4, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    I am having trouble finding tylose powder.is there something else i can use.where do you buy it?

    • BronnieBakes Admin January 4, 2012 at 10:24 am #

      Hi Katherine :-)

      I buy mine from the UK and have it shipped over. You can either buy modelling paste which is like fondant, but will harden, or gum tragacanth which you can add to fondant and it will harden. Modelling paste is more expensive so it works out better in the long term to get the gum/tylose, but it will def do the job! All the best

      X

      • katherine mull January 5, 2012 at 10:15 am #

        Is gum tex ok to use? If so how do you use it and how much do i add to fondant?

        • BronnieBakes Admin January 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

          Just had a quick look for you as I haven’t heard of it, and it looks fine. Wilton suggest 1 teaspoon to 12oz of fondant. Hope that helps!!

  6. katherine mull January 9, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    Thanks for all your help.

  7. Vero January 10, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    I did it for my baby 1 bday!!!

    Thank you :D

    http://embarazadaconmiomas.blogspot.com/2012/01/fiesta-de-la-oruga-muy-hambrienta.html

    • BronnieBakes Admin January 10, 2012 at 11:11 am #

      Wow! Fantastic effort!! Well done and thanks for showing your pictures!

  8. Abby February 29, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    Hi Bronnie,

    Love the tutorials! I’m due to try making the cake for my daughter’s first birthday – in two days time! *quakes nervously*

    Just have a couple of questions:
    - what’s the best way to stick the hardened fondant decorations to the cake – royal icing or edible glue made from tylo?
    - what’s the best way of storing the cake, to keep it fresh before the party? It’s too big for my cake tins!

    Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • BronnieBakes Admin February 29, 2012 at 9:41 am #

      Hi Abby :-)

      Good on you for making the cake!! I’m sure you’ll do a fantastic job.

      You can use either edible glue or water… most of the time I actually use water because I don’t have edible glue on hand. Once you have ganached and covered the cake, the ganache will work to protect the cake and keep it fresh. Depending on what filling you use in between your layers, your cake will last up to 7 days (with a ganache filling) or 3 days (with a IMBC filling). I usually fill and ganache my cake 2 days before, and then cover and decorate the day before the party. I leave my cake on the bench or sometimes on top of a cupboard (if I’m scared my kids might touch it!)

      All the best!
      xx

  9. Kim April 7, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    Did you use a 10″ round and 8″ round? If so, how many will it serve?

    • BronnieBakes Admin April 8, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

      Hi Kim :-)

      I’ve made an 8″ and 6″ which is what I usually make for birthday parties (for 50-80 people). Sometimes it all goes and sometimes only half goes. It really depends on what mood the guests are in and whether they’ve been eating cupcakes/cookies as well!! I’ve never run out of cake before (but in saying that, i always make cupcakes and cookies for every party)

      Hope that helps!

      X

  10. Eileen May 4, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

    I just found your blog while researching tylose powder.

    Wow! I love this cake. It is just adorable.

    May I have permission to post the image of the cake on my crafting blog with a link back to your tutorial.

  11. Marisa July 8, 2012 at 2:53 am #

    Hi! Love your cake! I made all the decorations for my daughter’s second birthday (next week). I just had a question about how you stacked the cake. Did you use straws, wooden dowels, cardboard? I was thinking of only inserting straws into the bottom tier, but after making the caterpillar, I realized how heavy it is and am worried that it won’t stay up on the first tier. Do you have any tips? This is the first cake I have ever made, so any tips would be helpful. THANKS!

    • BronnieBakes Admin July 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

      Hi Marisa

      Good on you for making the VHC cake! I’m sure it will look fantastic!!

      I really should do a post about stacking a cake :-) But what I do is insert wooden cake dowels (which I buy from a cake decorating shop) and put four in the bottom cake (in the middle) and then place the top cake on top. Each cake is on a cake board when I ganache and then cover it. I use a little ganache to ‘stick’ the top tier onto the bottom tier. Hope that makes sense!!!

      The 12″ and 9″ will be perfect!! I just used an 8 and 6 because of the number of guests I had at the party

      All the best with it and please send me a photo!!

      xx

  12. Marisa July 8, 2012 at 2:55 am #

    Also, I am using a 12 inch round and a 9 inch round. I know this is bigger than what your cake was. Do you not recommend going that big?

  13. Rena July 24, 2012 at 9:51 am #

    Just discovered your site while looking for help to make my son’s first birthday cake. THANK YOU SO MUCH! This tutorial is very straightforward and even a novice like me can try to attempt it. No guess work involved. This is exactly what I wanted – a very hungry caterpillar cake. Will be dropping by again very soon!

    • BronnieBakes Admin July 24, 2012 at 10:02 am #

      Thankyou Rena! all the best with making the cake

      xx

  14. Rena October 17, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    Hi Bronnie,
    The Tylose powder I have purchased asks to be dissolved in water. Do you do this first before adding to the fondant or do you just mix the powder straight in?

    • BronnieBakes Admin October 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

      oh that’s strange! No, I’ve never heard of that and I just add my powder to the fondant.

      • Rena October 28, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

        I finally made the cake! One version using your mudcake recipe- yum! and one vegan variation with some saved decorations for a religious function. Thank you again for the fantastic tutorial. I felt like a real champion bringing out the cake! I hope this link works
        http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151242864565218.500481.667770217&type=3

        • BronnieBakes Admin October 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

          oh wow Rena – well done!!! it looks amazing

          x

  15. Katy Cuskelly November 26, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    Hi Bronnie
    Thank you so much for your amazing blog. I’ve only recently discovered baking and your site has made it so much easier for me to learn.

    I followed your VHC tutorial and made my son’s first birthday cake (for his party yesterday) and it was a huge success. I felt very clever bringing it out and was very excited to have people questioning whether I made it myself or not (because it was so pretty!). I also made lemon curd push pops following your instructions and they were very popular and received glowing reviews!

    • BronnieBakes Admin November 26, 2012 at 11:33 am #

      HI Katy

      Thankyou so much for your lovely message! I really appreciate it :-)

      I’m so glad everything worked out so well and the tutorial was easy to follow. Looking forward to hearing what you make for his next birthday!!!

      xx

  16. eutraphalia December 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    Thanks so much for this tutorial!! http://instagram.com/p/SHygnpHRMP/ here’s the one I made for my son’s first birthday :) It wasn’t too hard and everyone was very impressed

    • BronnieBakes Admin December 10, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

      Well done!!!! You did such a fantastic job!

      thanks so much for showing me a pic of your cake :-)

      xx

  17. Brittany December 13, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    Hi Bronnie!
    I’m going to attempt to make this cake for my son’s birthday in a few days. I wasn’t planning on covering the whole cake in fondant but then I’m wondering if the pieces will just stick to the icing I use. Please let me know what you think. Thanks for the awesome tutorials!
    Brittany

    • BronnieBakes Admin December 13, 2012 at 7:40 am #

      Hi Brittany :-)

      that should be fine. I always use fondant, but other people have used this tutorial and buttercream and have had no problems. All the best!

      x

  18. Connie February 4, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Hello Bronnie! I love your cake! I have some questions for you. I’d like to try candy clay instead of fondant. I’ve never tried it before but I sure do like to learn to use different mediums. Would you still recommend, when using candy clay, to make the caterpillar and the cut outs a week ahead of time? How would I keep them fresh before they’re placed on the cake that will be delivered? Can I brush on corn syrup, which is what is used with candy melt to make the candy clay, in order to place the cut outs on the cake? Would you happen to know if the candy clay will be hard to eat once it’s on the cake if the cut outs are made a week ahead of time? Thank you for your time and for all you do to make it possible for us to enjoy and appreciate cake decorating :) Connie

    • BronnieBakes Admin February 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

      HI Connie :-)

      Thankyou for your lovely message!

      I have never heard of candy clay… but it sounds a bit like modelling chocolate? I’m so sorry but I’ve never used it before so I can’t really help you out with keeping it fresh or attaching it to the cake. Sorry!!

      I do know that modelling chocolate does keep for a while and it definitely hardens. I have found some information here for you which I hope helps! http://www.hungryhappenings.com/p/chocolate-making-tips.html

      Thankyou again for your lovely comments – I really appreciate it!

      xxxx

      • Connie February 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

        Hello Bronnie,
        Thank you for responding and you are very well. I appreciate you sending the info on the modelling chocolate. I’ll take a look at it!
        Enjoy your day and I’m looking forward to seeing more of your talent. :)
        Connie
        cmail64@msn.com

  19. Chantal Cowan February 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Hi Bronnie,
    This cake is so amazing and you make the tutorial sound so easy, I’m going to give it a go for my son’s first b’day next month! Did you have a tutorial on making the other decorations on the cake like the fruit and cheese etc? Thanks SO much : )

  20. Samantha March 2, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    Hello, my friend. I’m so glad I found this! I want to make this for my son’s birthday in three weeks (the big ONE oh my goodness!) and was wondering if you could tell me if it will keep in a container before hand. I guess what I’m asking is, how soon can I make it and how long will it last for? Thank you so so so so much!

    • BronnieBakes Admin March 2, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

      Hi Samantha – I’m glad you found me! :-)

      You can make it as early as you like! You will need to mix a hardening agent with your fondant (or buy gumpaste or sugarpaste), but I prefer to use fondant and add tylo powder. Once you make your decorations, leave on baking paper to harden and then keep them in cool place out of the sun. I would definitely start making everything now! It will last for a really long time! I have decorations that are over 2 years old and my kids have sneakily eaten a few and they just become like hard lollies.

      Hope that helps!
      X

  21. margot April 10, 2013 at 12:15 am #

    this awesome post is shared on http://www.facebook.com/theworldofericcarle :-)

  22. Ashley May 14, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    Your site is amazing! i’m currently making this cake for my nieces birthday this weekend (just finished my caterpillar) Thanks so much for these awesome tutorials

    • BronnieBakes Admin May 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

      Thankyou Ashley!!! Have fun making the cake :-)

      x

  23. Beth November 8, 2013 at 8:13 am #

    My son will be 2 at the end of this month. He is a massive hungry caterpillar fan. I have even decorated his new room with it! I would like to make this cake for his birthday but was wondering if you were showing how to make all the fruit/food etc?
    I am also going to attempt to make some cake pops to go with it aswell.
    Many thanks
    Mummy of 2 gorgeous boys.xx

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