The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I attended a dear friend's baby shower in Bothell on Sunday. Months ago, she had told me that the much-loved children's book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, would be the shower theme. I couldn't wait to make the cake!

I absolutely loved the book as a child, and wanted to recreate the look and feel of Eric Carle's illustrations in edible form.  I rolled out a sheet of gumpaste and used edible gel color to handpaint the various food items that the caterpillar consumed on Sunday in the story (the tale spans a week, during which the caterpillar eats and eats, grows plump, and morphs into a butterfly). There was a lollipop, a piece of chocolate cake, a pickle, a sausage link, and so on. I also painted the caterpillar himself, and wired that piece of gumpaste so that I could prop the caterpillar up on top of the cake.

Here are the handpainted gumpaste pieces, before I applied them to the cake. (The "Welcome  Baby Prince" lettering went on the back of the cake.)

The cake is frosted with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream, tinted a mossy green. The 6-inch top tier is Cherry Almond cake (moist almond sponge, cherry buttercream filling); the 9-inch bottom tier is Champagne cake (with whipped champagne filling).

I had so much fun making this cake, and being a guest at the shower. My friend, the mother-to-be, is a fantastic quilter, and she made this quilt for her little one. Isn't it beautiful?

Can't wait to meet you, baby Prince -- boy or girl, seven pounds or ten, you're so loved already!