Valentine’s Love Bug Cake

Life is sweet when you’re in love, and so is our stunning Valentine’s Day centrepiece! With her cute pink spots and long-lashed look, this Love Bug Cake adds fun and romance to a special dinner or party, and is so easy to shape using our Medium Hemisphere Cake Pan. Here’s how we got the bug…

Step 1 – gather your kit

To decorate our Love Bug, we used:

Renshaw Pink Ready-to-Roll Icing

4 Daisy Mini Fondant Icing Cutters

Renshaw Red Ready-to-Roll Icing

Lakeland Edible Glue

25cm Round Cake Drum

Professional Piping Set

Renshaw White Ready-to-Roll Icing

Renshaw Black Ready-to-Roll Icing

Scrumptious Glimmer Heart Sprinkles

Leaf Green Icing Colouring

50g desiccated coconut

Step 2 – bake your bug

Choose whatever flavour of cake you fancy – we went for a simple Victoria sandwich recipe using a 3-egg mix – and bake in a medium hemisphere pan at 160˚C/Gas 3 for 45-60 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Once baked, leave in the tin until completely cool, then trim off any excess and turn out onto a rack.

Step 3 – cover it up

Mix up some buttercream (we used 100g unsalted butter to 200g icing sugar, flavoured with ½ tsp vanilla extract) and apply a thin, smooth layer all over the cake, reserving a little to attach the cake to the cake drum. Place your cake in the fridge for an hour to harden.

Step 4 – pretty in pink

Roll out pink ready-to-roll icing into a circle about 30cm across. Lift the circle using a rolling pin or your hands and drape it over the top of the cake. Smooth the fondant down over the cake, using your hands or an icing smoother to push out any air bubbles and creases, starting at the top then working down the sides. Use a small knife to cut away any excess icing, taking care not to cut too close to the cake. Re-roll any leftover icing and use every size of the daisy cutters to cut out flowers to add to the body of the cake. Set these aside.

To start making your love bug’s face, roll and cut out a large semicircle of red icing and attach this to the ‘front’ of your cake using a little Edible Glue (it should cover roughly one third of the cake). Trim off any excess from the base. Spread the reserved buttercream on the base of the cake and position it in the centre of a 25cm cake drum.

To complete the body, use the handle of a wooden spoon to create an indent down the back of the bug, making a gap between the wings. Cut out six identical circles of the red icing – we used the base of one of the stainless steel icing nozzles from our Professional Piping Set – and stick three onto each wing. Attach your pink daisies around and between these, placing one of the smallest size at the top centre of your bug’s face.

Step 5 – make a face

For the eyes, roll and cut out two circles of white ready-to-roll icing and two slightly smaller ones of black icing – again, we used the bases of icing nozzles to cut these out. Roll more black icing into a long, thin sausage and divide it to make the mouth and eyelashes. Stick the eyes together using edible glue, then attach the eyes, eyelashes and mouth to the face with a little more glue. Roll a slightly thicker sausage of black icing for the antennae, cut it in half and roll both part way, then stick these on above the face.

Step 6 – finishing touches

We think such a lovely bug deserves a pretty place to rest, so we added a small amount of green food colouring to desiccated coconut to make ‘grass’ and sprinkled it around the base of our cake. We also glued a white Glimmer Heart sprinkle onto each of the eyes, then scattered a few more around the base for a final flourish.

Got the bug?

If you want to use hemisphere tins to create more cakey critters, you’ll find recipes on this blog to shape and decorate a whole animal kingdom of buzzy and be-feathered bakes: bees, ladybirds, robins, owls, penguins… and you can even double up your bake to make magical mystical unicorns too.