After the Marks & Spencer’s and Aldi caterpillar cake fiasco which erupted on social media, the Food and Drink team decided it was time to get involved and bring their own versions to the table.
While Aldi and M&S are busy squabbling over whose caterpillar cakes are better, we’ve been busy lapping up the drama kicking off online.
Not ones for getting involved in a Twitter battle, we decided to play it safe and organise a taste test of all the supermarket caterpillars out there – which total 10 if you include Aldi’s version which has been currently removed from shelves.
— Aldi Stores UK (@AldiUK) April 16, 2021
M&S’s Colin the Caterpillar, who celebrated his 30th birthday last year, is a staple at many a birthday party.
However, our taste test fell flat when we couldn’t find half of the supermarket cakes we needed, so we decided to improvise and make our own with ready-made store-bought ingredients.
Hey @AldiUK we love a charity idea (Colin's been a BIG fundraiser for years). We just want you to use your own character. How about #kevinthecarrotcake ? That idea's on us… and we promise we won't do Keith 😉
— M&S (@marksandspencer) April 20, 2021
While there was no baking involved, we wanted to share how easy it is – although in some case not as cost-effective – to make your own version of any supermarket’s caterpillar cake if they are out of stock.
Here’s how we got on…
After being unable to find a Cuthbert or Colin cake in the shops, I decided to make my own version, Cyrus.
For my #CyrusCake I decided to take the cheat’s route and bought a Swiss roll-type cake that had already been made so I didn’t need to worry about baking. All I had to focus on was the decoration – the part of the cake that gives Cyrus his identity.
One of my goals was to try and make a caterpillar cake at home that’s cheaper than the real version you get in the shops. Buying a pre-made cake helped with this, as well as a packet of really cheap baking chocolate, some Smarties, white chocolate disks and some Jelly Tots.
After melting the chocolate for 30 seconds in the microwave, stirring midway through, I covered Cyrus in it but hadn’t expected the chocolate to harden so quickly, so it was a bit of a challenge to decorate him adequately. As you can see from the pictures, Cyrus was working so hard to look like his counterparts, he ended up in a pool of “sweat” (chocolate)!
Overall, it was actually quite fun to make my own version and I would recommend giving it a go if you have the time. The ingredients I used cost a total of £3.90 from Morrisons, which is almost half the price of their own-brand caterpillar cake.
Even better, despite being a bit facially-disturbing, this one tasted Cyrus-ly good!
I am definitely one for saving time and shortcuts so when I spied a small double chocolate loaf cake in my local Asda, I took great pleasure in grabbing two to help me create my own version of Colin the Caterpillar.
Now, while I love to be creative, I knew my lack of decorating skills was going to let me down so after browsing the baking aisle goods, I spied some baking pens (edible ink) and grabbed some white fondant icing – my thinking was I could draw the face on a small rolled out ball of icing.
Instead of the usual gloss-look chocolate associated with Colin, I decided to go for chocolate frosting for a more rustic look.
To create my version all I did was cut the ends off one loaf with a knife and one end off the other, leaving one end intact. I lathered it in chocolate frosting, covering the top and the sides.
I took a small handful of fondant icing and rolled it into a ball then took a wine bottle and rolled it out into a circle just smaller than the palm of my hand. You don’t want to icing to be thin. I drew on his face, trying to emulate the original cake with different colours.
I then took another handful of icing and ripped it into eight little balls which I turned into his feet. I added these and then finished off by decorating it with Smarties.
All of the ingredients cost £8.38 in total, however, many of them I can use again.
If I had to name it, I think it would have to be
Charged with making a Colin or Cuthbert caterpillar creation, my daughter, Cari, and I put her thinking caps on and we bring you Charlie the caterpillar – Colin’s son.
Beginning with a Cadbury’s Mini Roll as the body, we then cut a Reece’s Pieces peanut butter cup in half to use as the face.
We then covered the entire mini roll in chocolate spread to make it sticky in order to fix the other ingredients to it.
His face was created using mini icing piping tubes, poppets were added as Cecil’s feet, with Smarties and Jelly Tots used to decorated the body.
A final smothering of icing completed Charlie.
My ingredients cost £7.3o in total which made five baby cakes.