A caterpillar cake is a classic birthday cake for pre-school kids. It's a classic that may have been consigned to the corridors of 1980s nostalgia were it not for Marks and Spencers, who introduced Colin the Caterpillar to their shelves in 1990.
Eventually, all the other supermarkets followed with Cuthbert (Aldi), Curly (Tesco), Clyde (Asda), Cecil (Waitrose) and Wiggles (Sainsbury's). Aldi stopped selling the cake in 2021, because M&S accused the supermarket of infringing its Colin the Caterpillar trademark. Fortunately, you can still buy a caterpillar cake in pretty much every supermarket, but if you want to make your own this is our favourite step by step guide by Katie Pix. Alternatively, you can try our 6 easy steps 'cheats version' below for a REALLY easy home 'decorated' cake.
1. Buy the following items at the supermarket
- 1 x swiss rolls (preferably chocolate but jam sponge will do)
- 1 x block of renshaws ready to roll white chocolate flavoured icing
- Smarties, & jelly tots to decorate
- 200g dark cocolate
- 150g double cream
You can simply double the quanties to make a larger cake.
2. Roll out a round face, 6 small balls for feet and use any left over icing to make some striped segments along the caterpillars body.
3. Make the chocolate coating ganache by melting the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water.
4. Heat the cream to simmering and then beat into the melted chocolate until smooth.
5. Leave the ganache in the fridge to cool for around 30 minutes - keep checking it, because you don't want it to go so hard that it wont spread.
6. Apply all over the cake with a spatular and decorate with the smarties and jelly tots. Position the feet and face and leave to set in the fridge.