How to make your own caterpillar cake recipe

BBC Breakfast: Naga and Charlie debate Colin the Caterpillar

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Colin the Caterpillar has been a birthday party staple for more than 30 years. Since the iconic caterpillar landed on M&S shelves in 1990, several supermarkets have launched their own variations- including Asda’s Clyde, Tesco’s Curly and Sainsbury’s Wiggles. But, it is Cuthbert from Aldi that has found himself facing legal action from M&S.

For those who do not want to choose sides in the cake war, experts from HomeHow have devised a simple recipe to make your own caterpillar cake at home.


For the cake:

  • 3 large eggs

  • 125 grams caster sugar

  • 100 grams plain flour

  • 25 grams cocoa powder

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 100 grams milk chocolate

  • 100 grams white chocolate

  • 50 grams butter

  • 100 millilitres double cream


  • 75 grams unsalted butter

  • 150 grams icing sugar

  • 2 tablespoons of Cadbury Smooth Chocolate Spread

  • 1 tablespoon milk

  • 2 drops of vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/fan180C/gas 6. Lightly brush the base of a 33cm x 23cm tin with vegetable oil and line with baking paper.

2. Whisk the sugar and eggs in a large bowl with a whisk or an electric whisk for 7-10 minutes. Stop when the mixture is pale and thick enough for the mixture to leave a trail behind when the whisk is lifted out.

3. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and fold in very carefully until fully mixed together.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and use a spatula to smooth it evenly into the corners. Bake in the centre of the oven for 10-12 minutes.

5. The cake should be golden brown, risen and just about firm to the touch.

6. Whilst the sponge is baking, make the buttercream by mixing the butter and sugar together using an electric whisk, then beat in the Cadburys chocolate spread and milk.

7. Lay a piece of greaseproof paper that is larger than the sponge on top. Dust the greaseproof paper with caster sugar and turn the cake out onto it.

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8. Use a serrated knife to cut away strips 1/3 the way down. Then roll gently and allow to cool.

9. Once the cake is cool, unroll it and cover with the buttercream you prepared. Then slice the cake strips up to create feet. Place into the fridge for 30 minutes to set.

10. Final step, for the ganache: Add the cream and butter into a small saucepan and heat until steaming. And the chopped chocolate slowly and stir in until the mixture is smooth. When the cake roll is set, transfer it onto a wire rack and pour the ganache over the top. Allow to set for 10 minutes, then cover with rainbow smarties. Make the caterpillar face by melting and piping white chocolate, using smarties or M&M’s for the eyes and mouth.

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