How to make an inchworm cake and bug cupcakes


If your birthday boy or girl loves creepy crawlers, this inchworm birthday cake will be a huge hit at a bug-themed party. And if that's not enough to drive your birthday kid wild, we've got the cutest bug cupcakes you've ever seen. Professional baker Liv Hansen for the Betty Crocker Kitchens shows you how.

How to make an inchworm cake and bug cupcakes

Assembling the inchworm bug cake:

  1. Place Bundt cake on cutting board. Tip: You can put a damp towel under the board to keep it from moving around as you work.
  2. Slice the cake into two pieces, slightly to the left of its center, so that the smaller piece is about one-third the size of the cake.
  3. Cut the smaller of the two pieces of cake in half. The smller pieces will serve as the head and tail of the inchworm bug cake.
  4. Stand the large piece of cake up on the serving platter so that it looks like an upside-down letter “U”. Place the small pieces of cake at each end of the large piece. “Glue” the cake pieces to the serving platter by putting a dollop of frosting under each piece.


Decorating the inchworm bug cake:

  1. Frost the entire cake, giving the cake about a ¼ inch to ½ inch-thick layer of frosting. Use the spatula to smooth the frosting and remove any excess. Work from the bottom of the cake up and over so the texture of the frosting looks like the segments of an inchworm.
  2. Decorate the cake by placing gum drops at intervals along both sides of the cake to look like the inchworm’s feet.
  3. Place two vanilla wafers on the front of the cake for eyes. Use frosting to adhere a chocolate candy to the middle of each vanilla wafer to complete the eyes.
  4. Make the inchworm’s antennas by sticking a green gumdrop into one end of a small pretzel stick. Make two antennae and then press them into the inchworm’s head, just above the eyes.
  5. Make a smiling mouth using chocolate candies placed in an arc underneath the eyes.

Bumble Bee Cupcakes
  1. Frost the entire cupcake with white frosting.
  2. Stack yellow and chocolate candies standing up on the top of the cupcake.
  3. Use white candy-coated almonds to make the wings.
  4. Place a chocolate disc flat on the cupcake for the bee’s head.
  5. Using a pastry bag, pipe two frosting dots onto the bee’s head and attach two small yellow candies to make the eyes.

Create ladybug, butterfly, caterpillar and spider cupcakes with an assortment of candies such as gumdrops, candy coated chocolate pieces and string licorice. Let your imagination run wild!

Betty Crocker's inchworm bug cake serves 16 and the bug cupcakes recipe serves 24.

More on how to make the Inchworm Cake at





LAURIE: Hi I’m Laurie Gelman for Here we are at a bug-lover’s party for both boys and girls, and this adorable inchworm is the perfect centerpiece. Liv Hansen for Betty Crocker Kitchens is going to show us how anybody can make this cake. Hey Liv, how are you?

LIV: Hey Laurie. Good to see you.

LAURIE: This looks like such a cool cake.

LIV: It is.

LAURIE: I’m very excited to make this one.

LIV: You want to help?


LIV: Okay. Well all you need is a cake, and I’ve baked it in a pan like this. Just remember that you have to grease and flour it, or use cooking spray. That’ll make it easier to release the cake from the pan.

LAURIE: I wondered how you got all those humps.

LIV: Yeah.


LIV: So the first that I’m going to do is cut it. I’m going to slice off a piece, about this size.

LAURIE: Let me help you there.

LIV: Thank you. So you might have seen that my board was moving as I was trying to cut it.

LAURIE: Yeah, I was trying to help you!

LIV: Well I have a little trick. You can actually take a damp cloth and place it underneath the board. And this’ll prevent it from sliding around on you as you’re cutting.

LAURIE: Oh, good.

LIV: See, nice and sturdy.


LIV: So I’m going to do the next cut now.

LAURIE: So is that sort of a, just a little slice off the end? Or a third, maybe?

LIV: Yeah, yeah. Maybe about a third. And now this one we’re going to cut right in half. And now we’re going to arrange it on our plate.

LAURIE: This is a really great plate, because it is an inchworm and we’re putting it on a leaf plate. That’s very creative, I love that.

LIV: Okay. So now we’re going to arrange it. And that’s going to be like the main body. And then we’re going to place these two as the head and the tail. And now we’re going to start frosting the cake. I’ve pre-tinted some vanilla frosting, and I made it a nice green.


LIV: And to get this color, I’ve used a gel color. They have nice intense colors, and you can get them at the decorating store or even some grocery stores.

LAURIE: Okay, in the baking aisle.

LIV: In the baking aisle.


LIV: Okay. So, actually, what I’m going to do first, is just using a little bit of this frosting as glue. I’m going to put it under to make sure that the cake doesn’t move while I’m frosting it. Okay.

LAURIE: You’re using green, but you can use any color. Right?

LIV: You could use any color for this, yeah. So now we’re going to start just applying the frosting. And you just want to get, cover the entire cake. It’s easiest to get the frosting on the top. The hardest part is to get it into these little areas. But this offset spatula will help you.


LIV: Right now we’re just trying to get a nice, thick layer of frosting on, quarter inch to, even up to half an inch. When we start to put the texture in, that’s when we’ll go back and remove some of the excess frosting. So now I’m going to add some texture using my offset spatula. It’ll kind of imitate the texture of the pan that we used.

LAURIE: Great.

LIV: So I’m going to go back and forth. This will remove some of the excess frosting. You can just scrape it into the bowl as you go. Right now I’m just pulling up from one side, and you can rotate it and do the other side and pull up towards the top.

LAURIE: Looks good. Time to decorate?

LIV: It is.

LAURIE: Goody.

LIV: Let’s start with the feet.


LIV: I’m going to use gumdrops.

LAURIE: Oh good.

LIV: Okay, so we can use red ones, and we can just place them along the base, so as if he is crawling around.

LAURIE: Okay. Something like that?

LIV: That’s great.

LAURIE: Do you do both sides of the cake? Or just one.

LIV: Mmhmm, yep. If you wanted, you can just have a front of the cake. But if you want to have it seen from both sides, definitely put the feet on both sides. So next we need to make a face. So we can use some vanilla wafers for the eyes. And I’ll just put two. One here, this way you can see him from both sides.

LAURIE: That’s cute.

LIV: And then, we can actually take a little dab of icing and put on little chocolate candies, just to give it another little googly eye.

LAURIE: You can use your green frosting, no problem?

LIV: Yeah, you can use green. Okay, and then you do the antennae.

LAURIE: Mmhmm.

LIV: So what you can do, is I have some pretzels –


LIV: And we can actually put little green gumdrops, put, press it in there.

LAURIE: Here you go.

LIV: Okay. And then stick it in there.


LIV: Another one.

LAURIE: I guess you could use licorice too, if you wanted to.

LIV: You could.

LAURIE: There we go.

LIV: Great. See.

LAURIE: Perfect!

LIV: And maybe just make a little smiley face to make him happy. So I have these little chocolate candies. Just place them in an arch. He’s smiling. And we’re done.

LAURIE: This looks fantastic. Can I telling you how amazing this woman is? Because this morning, to go along with our inchworm cake, she brought in these amazing bug cupcakes. Are they hard to do?

LIV: Not at all.

LAURIE: Really?

LIV: You just need to frost cupcakes, and then get an assortment of candies. I’m going to make a little bumblebee. So I’m just going to stack little chocolate and yellow candies, and then do a little one for the head. And the some little blue ones, some almond candies for the wings. And if you want you can even apply little eyes.

LAURIE: Wow, now you’re really getting complicated. Isn’t it?

LIV: No, you just –


LIV: Go like that. See?

LAURIE: That’s fantastic. That is easy, right! You could really get creative with these, can’t you?

LIV: Yeah. You can find all sorts of candies and different colors. Just have fun with it.

LAURIE: Very cool. Thanks, Liv!

LIV: Thank you.

LAURIE: And for your bug party decorations, truly, let your imagination run wild. I’m Laurie Gelman for

meet theexpert
  • Liv Hansen

    Liv Hansen Professional Baker and Author Liv Hansen is the author of three books, has appeared on the Today Show, Top 5 (Food Network), The View and Roker on the Road, and was a finalist on the Food Network Challenge: Haunted Gingerbread. more about this expert »