My little girl just turned 4, and she loves ladybugs. One of her favorite things is a huge stuffed pink ladybug we got her for valentines day several years ago. When I asked her what she wanted on her cake this year, the first thing she said was “PINK LADYBUGS!”. I wasn’t able to pull off the yellow dragonflies, or the frogs she wanted as well. But I WAS able to make the ladybugs, “I want SMALL lady bugs Mom. Like tiny real ones…” and some purple butterflies.
They were SO easy to make, and so much fun.
What you will need:
- Fondant (the color of your choice. I use pink here.) recipe
- Black food pen, or black fondant, or black food color mixed with vodka to make edible paint.)
- some kind of shaping tool with a fine end.
Here is how to make them.
Start by rolling a pea sized ball of fondant. My bugs are slightly larger then the real thing, but pretty close. Any smaller and it would be pretty hard to get in any kind of detail.
Next take your pea sizes ball and gently shape it in to more of an oval. Lady bugs are pretty round, but not exactly. after you have a shape that looks about right to you, its time to shape the wings. This can be done by using any of the tools shown in the picture above, but I found the cutting scoring tool the easiest. (The one with the tiny pizza cutter like blade on it.)
Also note that it is easiest to make the lines if you start from one side and slightly under the small ball of fondant. Make sure your gentle. You don’t need to CUT the fondant, just indent it. Notice the small v at the back end of the bug? I made mine larger then they would be on the real thing so they can be seen.
Next take a tiny piece of fondant and form it it in a ball. Moisten a paint brush with a drop of water and brush it on to one side of the head and attach to the body. (If you have black fondant, you would use it for the head. I did not so I had to color mine in.)
If your running short on time you can move right on to the next step, but it dose help to let your bugs rest for at least a half hour before moving on. This lets them dry out a bit, and makes them easier to handle with out changing there shape.
After letting them rest for a while, color in the head, using the medium of your choice. I love my edible pens, but if you do not have them and have access to black gel food colour, mix a small amount with a few drops of vodka to create an edible paint. Then use that to carefully paint those tiny heads.
Next comes the dots. There are many different kind of lady bugs so feel free to dot them up as much as you want. I like the 3 dots per side look my self, but I tried to not have them look to uniform.
And it is really as simple as that! I added these as is to cupcakes and a cake with green icing. But they would be SO CUTE on fondant leaves as well. They were perfect for cupcakes. My daughter LOVED them. They were just what she wanted and again, I can not stress…JUST HOW EASY TO MAKE!
My bug army, all ready to go. A note. I used whipped cream frosting on my cake and cupcakes. So I added these on RIGHT before serving. Whipped cream contains a lot of liquid so the black colour WILL run if left on it for a while. One way to avoid this is to leave any part of the lady bugs head, that might touch the icing, free of any black colour.
Its amazing what such a small bit of color can do for a cake or cupcake. Simple was the star of the show at this birthday. I hope this shows you, you don’t have to go over the top to get great results. Or be anything like a pro to make an adorable cupcake, or cake!
Thank you for reading!