Cupcake caterpillar birthday cake

This beautiful bake is a great way to celebrate Lewis Carroll’s iconic Alice in Wonderland – decorate with fondant icing and chocolate bars

  • Prep:2 hrs
    Cook:20 mins
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 400
  • fat 19g
  • saturates 11g
  • carbs 54g
  • sugars 44g
  • fibre 0.6g
  • protein 3g
  • salt 0.5g


  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 300g butter, melted and cooled
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 140g butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g white fondant icing
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 4 chocolate flake bars (we used Cadbury Flake)
  • 4 chocolate bars (we used Twix)
  • 175g pale blue fondant icing
  • 100g dark blue fondant icing
  • 25g black fondant icing or black writing icing
  • selection of sweets for decorating (we used Smarties and green & blue chocolate beans from Waitrose)


Adding details

If you want to give your caterpillar wiggly legs cut lengths of bendy straws for the legs, bend them and stick on pieces of green or blue fondant then press them into the cakes. 


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line 2 x 12 hole muffin tins with paper muffin cases. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, eggs, butter, flour and vanilla extract until pale and smooth with no pockets of flour visible. Divide the mixture between the 24 muffin cases then bake in the oven for 18-20 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and make the butter cream while the cakes are cooling.

  2. To make the buttercream place the softened butter in a large bowl, add the icing sugar and beat well with electric whisk or a wooden spoon, until pale and fluffy, adding the milk and vanilla extract half way through mixing. Once the cupcakes have cooled, cover each one with a very thin layer of butter cream ensuring you have about 3-4 tbsp of buttercream leftover for sticking on the rest of the design.

  3. To decorate, roll out the white icing and cut circles to cover the tops of 10 of the cakes and dust those with a touch of cocoa powder (this forms the top of the mushroom) reserve a little white fondant for the caterpillar’s eyes later. Cut lengths of the chocolate flakes to make the gills of the mushrooms running along the bottom half of 4 of the white fondant cupcakes and trim to fit using a round cookie cutter. Cover 2 cupcakes with slices of chocolate bars, trimmed to fit using a round cookie cutter to form the stalk of the mushroom.

  4. For the caterpillar’s body, cover 8 of the cupcakes in the pale blue fondant and 4 with dark blue fondant.

  5. Arrange the cupcakes on a large board or table (approx. 1m x 50cm) Roll out the dark blue fondant and cut semi circles and crescents to form the edges of the caterpillar’s body using the remaining butter cream to stick them over the pale blue bases. Use any leftover fondant for the nose and top of the caterpillars head and using a blunt knife carve round grooves in pale blue fondant to shape the belly.

  6. Create the eyes from the reserved white fondant with the eyebrows and pupils from black fondant or writing icing. If you like you can use green chocolate beans scattered on the board to create grass and blue chocolate beans as the sky.

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