Flying insects

Flying insects

Bake and Decorate
Laura Edwards

Flying insects and wriggly worms will delight young children, both to make and to eat (especially the worms). The insects can be made a few weeks ahead, and must be finished at least the day before, and stored in a cardboard box at room temperature.


Quantity Ingredient
1 Sticky toffee cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream, batter only; omit frosting
350g white sugarpaste
red food colour paste
pink food colour paste
black food colour paste
yellow food colour paste
50g black royal icing
50g white royal icing
4 teaspoons chocolate sprinkles
8 long black liquorice strands
icing sugar, to dust
1 15 mm heart cutter, (optional)
32 fairy cake cases
1 quantity vanilla buttercream, (see note)
24 cocktail sticks
2 teaspoons coloured sprinkles
40 red mini chocolate beans
40 pink mini chocolate beans


  1. Make all the insects at least the day before. Divide the sugarpaste into 5 bowls. Colour them red, pink, black and yellow. Leave the last one white. Seal in 5 polythene bags at room temperature.
  2. For the ladybirds, roll 8 red balls and shape them to be narrower towards the head. With a knife, make a seam down the middle for the wings. Make a little ball of black and, with black royal icing, attach these heads to the bodies. Pipe 2 eyes with white royal icing, then black dots on to the back. To make the spiders, roll the remaining black sugarpaste into 8 balls, flatten and roll in chocolate sprinkles. For the legs, cut 4 x 5 cm liquorice strands per spider and attach to the underside with black royal icing. Pipe 2 eyes in white.
  3. For the worms, roll 8 sausages of pink sugarpaste – wider at one end for the head – and indent with the knife along the backs. Make the tails by rolling 8 smaller sausages and indent again. Pipe 2 white eyes. To make the bees, shape 8 yellow balls, making the head end a little wider, and pipe 3 black stripes over each body and 2 black eyes. Roll the white sugarpaste out and cut out 16 hearts (or mould 16 ovals) to form wings. Attach with white royal icing.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Place the paper cases into 3 fairy cake tins (or bake in batches). Pour in the batter and bake for 12–15 minutes. Remove from the oven, stand for a couple of minutes, then cool on a wire rack. Ice with the buttercream.
  5. Push a cocktail stick into each insect. Attach 1 insect to each cake; for the worms, make 2 holes with the end of a teaspoon and push a head and a tail into 8 cakes so the worm seems to be crawling through. Scatter ¼ teaspoon sprinkles on the spider and worm cakes. Arrange 5 red mini beans around the base of each ladybird and 5 pink for the bees.


  • To make the buttercream, beat 300 g soft unsalted butter in an electric mixer until really pale and fluffy. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 400 g sifted icing sugar and beat for at least 5 minutes, until light and creamy.
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