1½ x quantity lemon-flavoured quick-mix sponge cake mix
175 g/6 oz/½ quantity lemon-flavoured butter icing
2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed and sieved
4 tbsp lemon curd, warmed
1 kg/2¼ lb/3 x quantity sugarpaste icing
Red, black and green food colourings
50 g/2 oz yellow marzipan
Edible ladybird icing decorations (optional)
Materials And Equipment
1.1 l/2 pt ovenproof mixing bowl
28 cm/11 in round cake board
4 cm/1½ in and 5 cm/2 in plain round biscuit cutters
2 pipe cleaners
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Grease the bowl, line the base with greaseproof paper and grease the paper. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared bowl and smooth the surface. Bake in the centre of the oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake in the basin for 5 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack, peel off the lining paper and leave to cool.
2. Cut the cake in half horizontally and sandwich together with the butter icing. Cut off about one-third of the cake and brush both pieces of cake with the lemon curd.
3. Colour a little less than half of the sugarpaste icing red. On a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll out to about a 5 mm/¼ in thickness and use to cover the large piece of cake. Using a wooden skewer or the back of a knife, make an indentation down the centre of the cake for the wing casings.
4. Colour just over half of the remaining sugarpaste icing black. Roll out three-quarters of the icing and use to cover the small piece of cake. Place the cakes on the cake board and assemble the ladybird's head and body, gently pressing them together to secure.
5. Roll out a little of the white sugarpaste icing and cut out two circles for the eyes, using the 5 cm/2 in round biscuit cutter. Stick in position with a little water.
6. Roll out the reserved black sugarpaste icing and cut out eight circles, using the 4 cm/1½ in round biscuit cutter. Stick one on each eye and stick the rest on to the body with a little water. Reserve the trimmings.
7. Colour the remaining sugarpaste icing green. To make the grass, break off small pieces and squeeze through the garlic press. Trim off with a knife. Brush the cake board with a little water and position the grass.
8. To make the marshmallow flowers, roll the marzipan into a 2 cm/¾ in long sausage shape and cut into slices. Set aside. On a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, flatten each marshmallow with a rolling pin. Snip around the marshmallows to make petals. Press a marzipan circle into the centre of each flower.
9. To make the antennae, paint the pipe cleaners with black food colouring and press a small ball of the reserved black sugarpaste icing on to the end of each one. Bend each pipe cleaner slightly and insert into the cake between the head and the body. Arrange the ladybird decorations around the cake, if using.