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Caterpillar Cake: How to Make Your Own


caterpillar cake

The caterpillar cake is a classic chocolate roll cake that is great for any kind of celebration. It combines the soft fluffy sponge with a chocolate buttercream filling and covered in a rich chocolate ganache. This dessert is irresistible and is for chocolate lovers everywhere.


Sponge cake

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 20g cocoa powder


  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 150g icing sugar, sifted
  • 20g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon milk


  • 40g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 85g double cream
  • 160g dark chocolate, chopped


  • Smarties
  • White chocolate 80g



  • Swiss roll tray (32.5 x 22.5cm)
  • Parchment paper
  • Spatula
  • Cookie cutter
  • Handheld whisk/stand mixer
  • Wire rack


How to make Caterpillar Cake

1.Prepare your pan – oil the base and sides of your baking pan and line with parchment paper. I find that also greasing the parchment paper, helps to peel off the paper from the sponge. 

2. Whip the eggs and sugar. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the eggs and sugar and whip for 6-8 minutes until pale fluffy. If you don’t have a stand mixer, using a handheld fixer is fine, but the mixture needs to be mixed longer for 8-10 minutes. When you lift the whisk up you should be able to see the trail of mixture for a couple of seconds.

3. Sift dry ingredients. Into a separate bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powdering powder.

You don’t want to over mix as this will knock out all the air from the mixture

4. Add the dry ingredients to the whipped eggs and sugar. Using a spatula carefully fold the ingredients together. Make sure you rotate the bowl as you are doing this and reach to the bottom of the bowl to not miss any dry ingredients. You don’t want to over mix as this will knock out all the air from the mixture.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Spread the batter using a spatula evenly into the corners and bake for 8-10 minutes in a preheated oven at gas mark 6/180°C fan.

6. Prepare the parchment paper. Whilst the sponge is baking, cut out a large piece of parchment paper and place it on a table. This will help with pre-rolling the sponge when it comes out of the oven.

7. Invert the sponge onto the parchment paper. Once the sponge has baked, immediately invert onto the parchment paper. You may need to loosen the cake from the sides and corners – you can do this carefully with a thin knife.

8. Peel off the parchment paper. Use your fingertips to gently peel the parchment paper from the sponge.

9. Cut out three strips. Cut out three strips of cake in 1/3 of the cake and then make 6 square feet using the cut-outs.

10. Pre-roll the cake. To help form the shape of the sponge, carefully pre-roll the cake using parchment paper to guide you. Leave the cake to cool.


Make the buttercream 

11. Prepare the buttercream. Add the softened butter into a large bowl and to it, sift the cocoa powder and icing sugar. Use a handheld mixer to beat it all together until combined.

12. Whip until fluffy. Add the milk to the mixture and continue whipping for a further 5 minutes until fluffy.

Roll the cake

Once the chocolate sponge has cooled down, it’s time to spread the buttercream on the cake.

13. Unroll the sponge. Gently unroll the sponge from the parchment paper

14. Fill with buttercream. Dollop half of the chocolate buttercream onto the sponge cake and spread evenly using a spatula.

15. Roll time! Gently roll up the cake again and spread the other half of the buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes for the buttercream to firm up.


Caterpillar cake face. 

To make the caterpillar face is easier than you think, just melt some chocolate and then stick some smarties on it. If you don’t have a cookie cutter to create the round shape, you can either use a spoon or pipe it.

16. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave and using a cookie cutter as a mould, fill it in with chocolate. Place in the fridge to solidify.

17. Add the features. Melt some more white chocolate so this can act as the glue to stick smarties or chocolate buttons on the round white chocolate.

Time to cover the Swiss roll

18. Make the ganache. Warm up the double cream either in the microwave or in a pot. Add the chopped dark chocolate and butter into the warm cream and stir until fully combined. You should have a nice shiny and silky ganache.

19. Cover Swiss roll. Remove the cake from the fridge and place it on a wire rack sitting over a baking tray or parchment paper. Pour the ganache all over the Swiss roll and a spatula to help spread the chocolate.

20. Decoration time. Place the white chocolate face on the front of the swiss roll and then decorate the rest of Swiss roll with smarties.






  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6/180°C fan. Lightly brush oil onto your Swiss roll pan and line the base with parchment paper. on the Prepare you Swiss roll tin with parchment paper.
  1. Put the sugar and eggs into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk with an electric whisk for 8-10 minutes, until pale and thick enough for the mixture to leave a trail when the whisk is lifted.
  1. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the egg mixture and fold in carefully until there are no traces of flour and cocoa.
  1. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly into the corners. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  1. Whilst the sponge is baking, make the chocolate buttercream. Cream together the butter, icing sugar and cocoa powder, then slowly add in the milk. Beat for about 5 minutes or until fluffy.
  1. Lay a sheet large sheet of parchment paper on the table and turn out the cake on top of it. Cut out 3 strips 1/3 the way down then roll the sponge and allow to cool. Cut 6 equal squares out of the strips – these will be the caterpillar’s feet. Re-roll the sponge cake and place each foot onto both sides


  1. Unroll the sponge and spread half of the buttercream on top. Re-roll the sponge cake and place each foot onto both sides. Cover the whole cake with the remaining buttercream and then place it into the fridge to firm up.


  1. While the cake is in the fridge, make the caterpillar’s face by melting the white chocolate in the fridge. Using a cookie cutter as a mould, place the melted chocolate in the middle and then transfer it to the fridge to chill.


  1. To make the chocolate ganache, heat the double cream either in the microwave or in a saucepan until steaming, not boiling. Stir in the butter and the chopped chocolate until smooth.
  1. Place the cooled Swiss roll on a wire rack and pour the ganache over the top to cover the whole cake. Allow to set for 10 minutes and then decorate with smarties and the white chocolate face.


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