I recently had a request for ideas for a Hungry Caterpillar-themed birthday party. It just so happened that I did exactly that for my littlest one’s first birthday, so I dug up these photos. And since I had them sitting here, I thought I would share them with you. Apologies for the absence of my usual step-by-step photos – the birthday party was well before I had any inkling that it would be the subject of a future blog post! The ideas are all pretty simple anyway, so it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out any missing links.
Hungry Caterpillar cake
Make two large rectangle shaped cakes (mud cake works well as its density makes it easy to cut). Leave one whole for the base and cut out the body and the head of the caterpillar. Ice the base with white buttercream. Make three shades of green buttercream for the body and bright red for the head (use a good fondant colouring for the red, otherwise it’ll just end up pink). To ice the body, alternate with the green shades and smudge them into each other a bit. Decorate the edge with smarties (we found giant smarties but a few rows of normal ones would work just as well). Make feet and mouth with choc chips, antennae with chocolate bullets and eyes with green ‘strawberries’ and cream lollies.
Draw a butterfly onto baking paper. Using a wooden skewer (or something else pointy), trace around it onto a cake board so that you have a faint outline on your board. Use this as a guide for where to place your fruit. To make sure you don’t have bits of the board showing through, make a ‘base’ out of large fruit like melons and oranges. Decorate with whatever fruit you like. We cut some stars out of rockmelon with a cookie cutter for a bit of variety. The antennae here were made out of orange rind.
Using one loaf of white bread and one loaf of wholemeal or multigrain bread, cut out circles using a round cookie cutter. Divide both the white and brown bread rounds into three groups (one group for each of the three fillings). Work out how many pairs of bread rounds you have and use the cookie cutter to make cheese rounds for one third and ham rounds for another third of the pairs (the other third will be avocado). Lay out the pairs of bread rounds, alternating between white and brown bread. Then alternate fillings between the cheese, ham and avocado. Cut feet and antennae out of cucumber. Make eyes out of cucumber and currants, securing them into a tomato with a toothpick. Use another currant and toothpick for the mouth. Take a bite out of an apple for decoration.
Butterfly lolly bags
These make a great Hungry Caterpillar-themed alternative to traditional lolly bags. I just used lollypops and snap lock bags filled with lollies and tied on with a bit of ribbon. Then I drew eyes onto the lollypop ‘head’ with a permanent marker. To stop the lollypop stick from sliding out from the ribbon, secure it with some sticky tape. When you’re tying the ribbon on, fold the snaplock bags over so you can’t see the snaplock bit.
As well as these things, we took our cue from the book itself and served up things like slices of salami, watermelon, strawberries and cheese.