Birthday bug cake

Prep: 50 mins Cook: 1 hr, 20 mins


Serves 16
Children will love the butterfly and ladybird decorations on this colourful cake – and you'll love its simplicity

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal536
  • fat30g
  • saturates18g
  • carbs64g
  • sugars47g
  • fibre1g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.28g
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  • Easy vanilla cake and syrup mix (see recipe below)
  • 100g white chocolate (I used Milkybar)
  • Basic vanilla buttercream mix (see Easy vanilla cake recipe below)



    The sun-dried seed pod of a type of climbing orchid, vanilla has an inimitable soft, sweet…

  • 12 giant chocolate button, 6 cut in half
  • treat-size pack chocolate buttons
  • 2 chocolate sticks (I used Matchmakers)
  • hundreds and thousands
  • multicoloured candles
  • red (or whatever colour you like) writing icing tubes (I used Asda)
  • multicoloured candles


  1. Bake the Easy vanilla cake in a greased, lined deep 20cm cake tin as in the basic recipe; drench with syrup and leave to cool. Leave the oven on.

  2. Break the white chocolate into cubes into a microwaveable bowl, and heat on High for 1 min (or melt over a pan of simmering water). Stir, then leave any remaining lumps to melt in the warm liquid chocolate. Once just-warm, beat the chocolate into the buttercream.

  3. Start the butterflies. Put the whole giant buttons on a flat baking tray on non-stick baking paper, then put into the oven for 20-30 secs or until the chocolate looks shiny. Take out, scatter with hundreds and thousands, then leave to set completely before cutting in half with a large non-serrated knife. For the ladybirds, pipe dots of icing all over the already cut giant button halves, then leave aside to dry.

  4. Spread the buttercream over the cake, then start to arrange the butterflies. Cut each Matchmaker into 3 – these will make the bodies. Press onto the cake, then stick four giant button halves around each body to make ‘wings’. For the ladybirds, place two spotty button halves together, then use a small button for the head. Scatter more hundreds and thousands all over the cake, then poke in the candles.

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Comments (35)

boiledover's picture

very easy, looked stunning! Made it for easter with easter eggs on top.

yelliewilson's picture

Great recipe! I made it without the sugar syrup to keep it a bit lighter and it worked brilliantly!

laramoran's picture

fabulous cake - so moist and really tasty - we covered it in sweets for my daughters 3rd birthday as well as the butterflies and ladybirds round teh side - great recipe - so easy too

mummybailey's picture

forgot to rate!

mummybailey's picture

made this for my daughters 2nd birthday and she loved it, so did all the family! only problem i ran into was forgetting to buy vanilla pods so i just used some vanilla extract in its place and it still tasted yummy!

louise3's picture

I made this for my daughter's 3rd birthday and I was very impressed with how it turned out. Not only did it look spectacular it also tasted absolutely delicious. All the guests said how lovely and moist the cake was and the children especially enjoyed the white chocolate buttercream. This cake will definately be making appearances on future birthdays.

sanw47's picture

I have made this today for my daughter's 9th birthday. I've never attempted a home-made birthday cake before and am so impressed with myself (and the cake!) it looks fab and I can't wait to bring it out in front of a crowd tomorrow on her birthday. It was as you said easy and the smell is delicious - can't wait to eat it!

janfr4's picture

Imade for my sister 50th birthday. I put white chocolate ganache on the cake to make it more grown up it was lovely and moist will make again for my daughters birthday soon i will use the butter icing for it

lucieflint's picture

Having NEVER made a home-made birthday cake before I made this for my niece's 12th birthday. I really enjoyed doing it - not too difficult and I got to eat the leftover buttons and matchmakers! It went down a treat - if (like me) you've always just bought birthday cakes from the supermarket give this a go, it's easy and you get great satisfaction from doing it. Lucie Flint, Henlow Beds

naomigroves1's picture

Made it in 2 sandwich tins and it cooked a lot quicker so didn't burn. Lovely cake went down really well!

jenni_barnes's picture

it looked wonderful but ended up burning it a bit!!!!

jb5370's picture

What a fabulous looking cake! I made this for my daughter's 8th birthday and it went down a storm! I would recommend putting the chocolate buttons in the fridge or freezer to set as it took longer than I thought.

soraya01's picture

I made this for my daughters 1st birthday and everyone absolutly loved it! I will be making it again for my son's birthday, but changing the ladybirds and butterflies for spiders. A delicious cake to make!

tinaduffy's picture

Made this for my sister's birthday. Delicious and moist.
The children loved the decoration.

A cake to make again.

elaines's picture

Delicious cake, very easy. Fantastic homemade decorations, again really easy but look so clever and much nicer and cheaper than shop-bought ones.


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