Ladybird birthday cake

Made famous in our ever popular Women's Weekly Birthday Cake book, the ladybird birthday cake is surprisingly easy to decorate, and looks marvellous.

  • 35 mins cooking
  • Serves 10
  • Print


Ladybird birthday cake
  • 340 gram packet buttercake mix
  • 25 centimetre x 30cm prepared board
  • 1 quantity butter cream black and red food colouring
  • 1 black licorice strap
  • 14 chocolate freckles
  • 2 x 15cm (3mm) black chenille sticks (pipe cleaners)
  • 2 yellow smarties


Ladybird birthday cake
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease one hole of 12-hole (¹/³-cup/80ml) muffin pan and 1.25-litre (5 cup) pudding steamer.
  • 2
    Make cake according to directions on packet; pour ¼ cup of mixture into muffin hole and remaining mixture into pudding steamer. Bake muffin about 20 minutes and steamer cake about 35 minutes. Stand cakes in pans 5 minutes; turn muffin, top-side up, onto wire rack to cool, leave steamer cake top-side down to cool. Using serrated knife, level steamer cake top.
  • 3
    Using serrated knife, cut segment from muffin so muffins sits snugly against the ladybird's body; trim bottom of steamer cake to make a more rounded body. Place cake on board, top-side down.
  • 4
    Tint ¼ cup of butter cream with black colouring and remaining butter cream with red colouring. Spread red butter cream all over body of ladybird.
  • 5
    Position muffin against body for head, secure with a little butter cream; spread all over with black butter cream. Pull an outside strip of licorice from the strap; position along centre of body. Position freckles on body.
  • 6
    Curl one end of each chenille stick; position on cake for antennae. Position Smarties on cake for eyes.


Using a serrated knife, trim the bottom of the steamer cake to make more rounded. Using a large palette knife, spread the red butter cream all over the ladybird's body. Position the muffin against the ladybird's body, for head, then spread with black butter cream.