The Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Cupcakes

Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Cupcakes

Baby Kale turned one this month! I can’t even believe it. This year has gone by so fast. I just have to pinch myself. How am I so blessed to even have this amazing family and such good friends? For Keegan’s first birthday, we invited a few of our favorite friends over for pizza, salad, and Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Cupcakes! The salad balances out the cake, right?

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Cupcakes
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Cupcakes

If it’s possible for a one year old to have a favorite thing, Baby K absolutely loves his crinkly Very Hungry Caterpillar book. He loves the crinkle of the pages, he loves it when we count out the fruit, and he loves when we flip to the last page and it is a picture of a big beautiful butterfly. So, for his birthday, I decided to try to make something that would represent the only thing this kid loves – other than us – The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Happy First Birthday, Keegan!
Happy First Birthday, Keegan!

To make my life a little bit easier, I had our local Whole Foods make us a beautiful 1/4 sheet cake to share with friends. To accommodate our gluten-free friends and family members, I made our fun cupcake treat using gluten-free vanilla cupcakes in fun polka-dot cupcake liners.

For the frosting on the body, I made a batch of Wilton buttercream (recipe below) and divided the batch into half to dye two different shades of green – leaf green and Kelly green. For the red Very Hungry Caterpillar head, I bought a small package of primary colors fondant at Michael’s and a small package of dark brown (I thought it was black!) chocolate fondant. The dark brown fondant was perfect for the antenna – I wrapped the fondant around toothpicks broken in half – and perfect to shape into little caterpillar feet and a mouth.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cupcakes In Progress
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cupcakes In Progress

For the head, I rolled out the red fondant with a rolling pin and traced the outline of the top of the cupcake. Using a sharp paring knife, I cut out the red circle and then smoothed it over the top of one cupcake. To make the eyes, I pinched off small pieces of green and yellow fondant, rolled the pieces out, and made my best attempt to cut out shapes resembling the two colored eyes of the Very Hungry Caterpillar.

To make the fun circles to outline my Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday cupcakes, I bought a package of edible sugar circles and attached each one to the rectangular cake board (also purchased at Michael’s) with a dab of plain buttercream frosting.

These Very Hungry Caterpillar cupcakes came together in less than 30 minutes of hands-on time after the cupcakes were cooled and ready to be frosted. For the frosting, I used an 18 tip. I liked the way it looked kind of wavy! However, you don’t have to use any kind of fancy tip – just a plainly frosted set of cupcakes in two shades of green would work, too. This is definitely the easiest themed birthday “cake” I have ever made! If you’re looking for a fun birthday idea for a little person in your life, give this a try.

Easy Buttercream Frosting For Piping

With just a few ingredients and a stand mixer, you can make this easy buttercream frosting in minutes.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 cups frosting
Author Erin Brighton


  • 1/2 cup butter , softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. In a large stand mixer, beat butter and shortening together until it's fluffy. Add vanilla.
  2. Add sugar, one cup at a time. Scrape down the sides with a spatula.
  3. Add the milk. Beat again. If you want the frosting thinner, add a little bit more milk.
  4. For the Very Hungry Caterpillars - separate this batch of frosting in half, save out a few tablespoons of plain frosting to attach the sugar circles. Dye each half of frosting with a different shade of green - I used Kelly green and leaf green.

Very Hungry Caterpillar Cupcakes | Kids party | birthday | book characters | gluten-free recipes | cooking tips | cake decorating

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16 thoughts on “Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Cupcakes”

  1. Love this – what a wonderful job you did. Takes me back to when my kids were little. We must have read that book a hundreds of times. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Thanks, Marye! This book has been a favorite in my house for years. I love that it is Keegan’s favorite, too!

  2. I love this caterpillar cake! It’s so cute, but so simple. I, myself, am not a very good cake decorator, but I do usually make my kids birthday cakes myself. It’s part of the fun, getting to do something special for them. Happy Birthday little guy!

    1. Thanks, Amy! Fancy baking is not my strength!! But I do love it when I can do something special for them. And, really, they love whatever I make!

  3. Aw! What a cute idea for a birthday treat! I love how easy cupcake ‘cakes’ are to put together, but how much joy they bring to those who get to eat them!

  4. Pingback: Easy Baseball Treats For A Baseball Party · Erin Brighton

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