How to make a "Max & Ruby" earthworm cake

Boo's earthworm cakeMy husband (DB), 3 year old (Boo), and I love to watch Max & Ruby because it's such a sweet cartoon and it's perfect for preschoolers. For Boo's 3rd birthday party I made an earthworm cake, made famous by another 3 year old, Max. It was easy to make and it turned out great. At her party we had story time and I read the Max & Ruby book, Bunny Cakes. The story is about how the two bunnies make a cake for their grandma's birthday. Max makes the inedible earthworm cake with caterpillar icing and red hot marshmallow squirters while Ruby makes an angel surprise cake with raspberry fluff icing. I felt like a preschool teacher as I read to them. They were adorable - so engaged and attentive. Many of them I've known since they were months old so it was absolutely precious to see them react to the story as they did - as I read they would make comments about the story - too cute!!! Max's earthworm cakeAfter I finished reading, I told the kids I invited Max and Ruby to the party but they couldn't come because they were on vacation at the beach with their grandma but Max sent a present. On cue, DB walked out with the earthworm cake and the kids squealed with delight. The cake was a hit but Boo didn't eat any because she was all about the gummy worms. I asked DB to bring out a bowl of them so I could add one to each cake serving so each child could get one but I got distracted and the big bowl of it was left on the table right infront of Boo. Needless to say they were gobbled up - I have no idea how much she ate but I'm pretty sure it was a lot.

Here's what you'll need (I got some help from the kitchen fairy):kitchen fairy

Ingredients:
- 2 boxes of cake mix & ingredients to make them
- 2 large boxes of chocolate pudding mix & milk
- chocolate graham crackers
- gummy worms (Market Pantry brand from Target - these worms are long)
- Dots candy (the red ones for the red hot marshmallow squirters)
- confectioner's sugar
- green food coloring.

dirt & mudThere are 2 sleeves of graham crackers in the box. I crushed the contents of one of the sleeves before I opened it. Most of crumbs are finely crushed but I left some of them bigger so it would look more like dirt.

I made the chocolate pudding as directed except I reduced the amount of milk from 6 cups to 4 cups, which made it nice and thick so it would stick to the cake like frosting.

icing the cakeBake cake in 9" round pans. 2 boxes will yield 4 cake pans. Once cooled, stack all four on top of each other. Using an electric knife, shave off the edges so it's the shape of a mountain. Now place the bottom cake layer on the plate you will serve the cake. Apply a layer of pudding on the layer then add the next layer, add some pudding on it, add another layer, and so on. Apply the pudding to the exterior of the cake.

almost there!Cover the cake with the chocolate graham cracker crumbs. This is going to be messy because you are going to have to throw the crumbs to the sides of the cake (I guess you can tilt the cake and sprinkle the crumbs but throwing is more fun!). It'll stick to the pudding easily.

Here comes the fun part. Poke holes into the cake using chopsticks. I had to poke then dig around to make the hole big enough for the gummy worms to fit. Push the worms into the holes.

I made the caterpillar icing by melting 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan then stirred in 1 cup of confectioner's sugar then I added 1 1/2 tablespoons of water and 2 drops of green food dye. After it cooled for a few minutes, I drizzled it over the cake. I probably used half of the icing.

red hot marshmallow squirtersTop it off with a few red Dots candies and voila, you have Max's earthworm cake!

Your Max & Ruby fan will be delighted with this cake (or grossed out - hee hee). I had to set it up with Boo by letting her know ahead of time she would get an earthworm cake but it was pretend so she could eat it. Spoke the magic word, "chocolate cake", and she was sold!

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