100 grams butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 cup self raising flour, sifted
1-2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons cocoa, sifted
1 teaspoons vanilla, lemon or orange essence
¼-½ teaspoon food colour (red, blue or yellow)
2 teaspoons cocoa
2 tablespoons boiling water
50 grams butter, softened
¾ cup icing sugar, sifted
250 grams prepared fondant
1 teaspoon food colouring
¼ cup sliced almonds or chocolate buttons
6 jellys or jubes, 12 chocolate dots
1. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Carefully fold in the folour and milk with a slotted spoon.
2. Divide the mixture into 3 equal amounts each in separate bowls.
3. Fold in the sifted cocoa into the first mixture. Gently stir through the vanilla, lemon or orange essence into the second mixture. Finally stir the food colouring into the third mixture.
4. Place a rounded teaspoon of each mixture into 12 well-greased and floured deep patty tins. Use a clean knife to make 2 or 3 swirls through each individual mixture.
5. Bake at 180ºC for about 15 minutes or until risen and cooked through. The mini cakes will be firm to the touch in the centre. Remove from the oven, cool for 3-5 minutes before turning out onto a cake rack to cool.
1. Dissolve the cocoa in boiling water and allow to cool thoroughly. Beat the butter until pale and fluffy. Sift the icing sugar and gradually beat 3-4 tablespoons at a time into the creamed butter. Lastly beat in the dissolved and cooled cocoa mixture.
1. Cover six of the marble cakes with the chocolate butter icing. Decorate with the sliced almonds or chocolate buttons for spikes. Use silver cachous for eyes and jellies for snouts.
1. Knead the fondant until soft and pliable. Gradually work the food colouring into the fondant until evenly pink. Roll out thinly and cut six rounds large enough to cover the marble cakes. Brush the cakes with a little warm sieved jam to help the fondant icing stick. Press each fondant round onto the cakes. Use glace icing to pipe lines and spots onto the backs of the lady bugs and stick cachous to the ladybugs back. Use the chocolate dots for eyes.
2. To make a glace icing to use to decorate the lady bugs, beat together 1 cup sifted icing sugar with 1 teaspoon melted butter and about 2 tablespoons warm milk or water to make an icing that can be piped.
Creating interesting birthday cakes for children does not have to be too involved. These simply designed bugs are ideal for busy Mums.