Devouring a cake to mark the special occasion of a birthday is a tradition that dates all the way back to the 17th Century. So, why is it that we all associate caterpillars, of all things, with our birthdays nowadays? The humble caterpillar cake that we all know and love is a far cry from the cakes of yore. But, they’re also far tastier. That’s why we have our very own CBD-infused vegan caterpillar cake recipe, that you can try at home!
Our obsession with caterpillar shaped cakes goes back to 1990 when Colin the Caterpillar first graced the shelves of Marks and Spencers. It was easy for parents to divide up slices for children, at parties, and it was easy for M&S bakers to make because it was a Swiss roll covered in chocolate. Nevertheless, Colin quickly became a necessary attendee at every child’s birthday party all over Ireland and the UK.
Interestingly, it was only when these 90s kids grew up that Colin became even more popular. If you cast your mind back to 2010, you may remember the beginning of the TV baking show craze. Of course, we all love Great British Bake Off, but does Ace of Cakes or Cake Boss ring any bells?
Well, as these shows, GBBO in particular, became more popular, so did Colin. In fact, Colin the Caterpillar celebrated his 25th birthday right at the peak of GBBO (in terms of viewership). As a nation, we were surrounded by cakes and Colin achieved iconic status. Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that other supermarkets followed suit.
Every supermarket from Asda to Waitrose, from Tesco to Morrisons has a copycat caterpillar. Although Colin was the sole caterpillar cake for almost 20 years, he now has plenty of friends and family around him. And just like every other family, there have been some small disagreements (ahem #FreeCuthbert). But, now there’s a new kid on the block.
Introducing Candid Magazine’s very own Cooper the CBD-Infused Vegan Caterpillar Cake! That’s a bit of a mouthful (pun intended).
Why Put CBD Into a Vegan Caterpillar Cake?
Why do you need to put CBD into a vegan caterpillar cake? We hear you ask. Well, why not? With the family of caterpillar cakes ever-growing, including Tesco’s vegan-friendly Carl the Caterpillar, we thought we’d like to take things one step further. We wanted to make the cake trend a bit more inclusive for those of us who love CBD!
Cooking with CBD is a wonderful way to get your daily dose, whilst treating yourself to some mouth-watering foods. As your body breaks down the food, you’ll get a slow and steady release of CBD throughout the day. This means you don’t have to worry about topping up when you’re out and about. Or, if you want to top up, you can enjoy a snack whilst you’re at it!
Whether you’re a CBD connoisseur or a complete beginner, baking with CBD couldn’t be easier. Generally speaking, you can add CBD oil or tincture when you’re adding butter or oil to your baking. This is because CBD oil has a similar consistency so it won’t affect the texture of the cake.
It’s also beneficial to consume CBD oil with oil and other fats. This is because CBD is actually fat-soluble. Hence why oils and tinctures contain carrier oils like flaxseed oil, MCT oil, or hemp seed oil. Your body finds it easier to absorb CBD when it’s encased in oil. This is because they’re broken down in the digestive system, and nutrients and substances like CBD are absorbed into the bloodstream via the small intestine.
You can opt for CBD-infused gummies or chocolate, or you can make smoothies and salad dressings. Making a CBD-infused vegan caterpillar cake is a novelty – but why not? It’s a fun way to enjoy CBD and mark a milestone with a classic cake. Plus, it’s super easy to make.
How to Make the Best CBD-Infused Vegan Caterpillar Cake
Basically, to make your CBD-infused vegan caterpillar cake, you’re going to be making a Swiss roll. Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds! Essentially, you’ll make a sheet of sponge, add in your fillings, and then roll it up.
The rolling part can be a bit tricky as you want it to roll up, whilst remaining intact. You don’t want the sponge to break or split. The best way of doing this is by making sure your sponge isn’t too dry.
Nobody likes an uber dry cake anyway, but it’s imperative that your sponge is moist so it’s more pliable. It has to be flexible so you can roll it nice and tightly, without it breaking into a million pieces.
It’s all down to cooking times and temperatures. Therefore, it’s essential to know your oven. You want to take the sponge out just as it’s cooked. If you’re a bit iffy about your oven, we recommend doing a practice run. That gives you a chance to check out the temperature and timing for your sponge. Then you can adjust the recipe accordingly. Or, if things go south, you’ll have plenty of time to whip up a replacement sponge!
For This Recipe, You'll Need:
Luckily, you don’t need any fancy equipment for this recipe. All you need is:
- 33 cm x 23 cm baking tray
- Baking parchment
- Small saucepan
- Two mixing bowls
- Wooden spoon
- Electric whisk
- Heat-proof bowl
- Cooling rack
For Your Vegan Caterpillar Cake Sponge, You’ll Need the Following:
- 110 g oat milk (we recommend using barista-style oat milk as it has a creamier consistency)
- 50 g aquafaba, strained
- 19 g cocoa powder
- 75 g vegan dark chocolate
- 110 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 150 g plain flour
For Your Buttercream Decoration, You’ll Need:
- 80 vegan butter
- 15 g cocoa powder
- 2 tsp oat milk
- 2 tsp CBD oil/ tincture (we love this one), you can tailor this to your own preferences.
- 70 g vegan white chocolate ( for face and shoes moulds).
- 300 g vegan milk chocolate
- 160 g icing sugar
- Sprinkles, to decorate
- Vegan smarties, to decorate
On Your Marks, Get Set… Bake!
If you want to make a vegan caterpillar cake worthy of a Marks and Spark’s lawsuit, you can order a caterpillar cake mould online. There are plenty of options for faces and shoes, and they’re very easy to use.
If you’re using a mould, we recommend melting chocolate and pouring it into the mould before you start baking. Pop it in the fridge to cool down, whilst you bake. This gives the chocolate plenty of time to set and it’ll be ready when you’re decorating your caterpillar creation.
- First things first, preheat your oven to 160°C. Then you’ll need to line your baking tray. Use baking spray or vegan butter to grease the inside of the baking tray. Then, lay a large piece of baking parchment on the bottom of the tray. We recommend leaving the parchment longer on the short sides of the tray. So it will come out over the sides, creating little wings. This makes it easier to lift out the sponge when it’s cooked.
- When you have all of your ingredients measured, sieve baking powder and flour into a large mixing bowl, and set them aside.
- Next, you’ll need to add your chocolate, cocoa powder, caster sugar, oat milk, and aquafaba to a saucepan.
- Pop the saucepan on medium heat and stir the mixture constantly until the chocolate melts. You don’t necessarily need the mixture to heat up, it just needs to be warm enough to fully melt the chocolate, and combine it with the rest of the ingredients.
- When everything is nicely combined, you can remove it from the heat. Add about ⅓ of the mixture into the mixing bowl, with the dry ingredients and mix everything together. Slowly add the next ⅓ of the wet mixture, constantly stirring. Add in the final ⅓ of the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly to give smooth, thick batter.
- Grab your prepped baking tray and slowly pour in the batter. Using the spatula make sure the batter is evenly spread and meets the edges of the baking tray.
- Pop the cake on the middle shelf of your oven and bake for approximately 8.5 minutes. This will slightly differ depending on your oven. This might not sound like a long time for a cake, but because the sponge is so thin, it should cook a lot faster than a traditional sponge cake. The best way of telling if your sponge is cooked is by sticking a clean butter knife into the centre. If it comes out clean and dry, the sponge is ready. Try not to open the oven door until the sponge is cooked through. Opening the door releases the heat and the sponge will sink in the middle.
- When the sponge is ready, carefully remove it from the tray. This is where the parchment paper wings will come in handy. Gently pulling them should lift the sponge out of the tray.
- Carefully transfer it to a cooling rack.
The Most Important Part: The Roll
- When your vegan caterpillar cake sponge cools, it’s time to get the buttercream ready. Pop the icing sugar, vegan butter, CBD oil, cocoa powder and oat milk into a clean mixing bowl. Using an electric whisk, combine all of the ingredients to make a light and fluffy buttercream icing.
- When the sponge is completely cool, use a spatula to spread the buttercream evenly on the sponge. Try to bring it close to the edge, making sure there’s an even amount throughout the vegan caterpillar cake. Make sure the sponge is completely cool before attempting this as a warm sponge will simply melt the buttercream. Then it will leak out the sides of the sponge and make it wet and soggy. We’ve seen enough GBBO to know that we don’t want soggy bottoms!
- On the left-hand side of the sponge, you’ll want to make an indentation with a knife. Go about 1 cm in from the edge and cut about ⅓ of the way into the sponge. Don’t cut completely through – it’s just to help with the rolling.
- Now is the moment of truth! Take one “wing” of the baking parchment, gently roll up the sponge, starting at the side with the indentation. You’ll want to try and roll it as tightly as possible to get a nice swirl but be gentle so you don’t crack the sponge.
- When you’re rolling your vegan caterpillar cake, you’ll want to gently peel the parchment paper away from the sponge, as you roll it. This makes sure that the parchment paper doesn’t end up on the inside of the cake. You should end up with a nicely packaged Swiss roll!
- Gently remove the parchment paper and place the vegan caterpillar cake back on the cooling rack. Place the baking tray underneath it to catch any excess chocolate, when decorating. You can use a knife to slice off the ends to tidy up your cake.
Let’s Get Decorating Your CBD-Infused Vegan Caterpillar Cake!
- Now, you’ll need to melt the chocolate so you can decorate your vegan caterpillar cake! The best way to do this is to boil water in a saucepan, placing a heat-proof bowl on top. Pop the chocolate into the bowl, stirring constantly as it melts. Alternatively, you can pop it into a microwave-safe bowl and zap it. Go 15-30 seconds at a time in the microwave, stirring between each stint to keep it from burning. It’s worth noting, white chocolate has a higher sugar content and therefore will melt (and burn) faster, so keep a close eye on it.
- Slowly pour the melted chocolate over the cake to cover it fully (now you’ll understand why we put the baking tray under the cooling rack).
- Let the melted chocolate set a tiny bit before you start sticking on decorations. If it’s still too wet, the smarties etc. will just fall down the sides of your vegan caterpillar cake. When the chocolate base goes a bit tacky, you can get decorating. For this, you can use smarties, CBD gummies – whatever you’d like!
- If you’re using a face mould for your vegan caterpillar cake, you can stick it on now, whilst the base is still tacky. Alternatively, you can pop the chocolate face, flat-side down, onto a non-stick frying pan. Pop the frying pan on medium heat, just long enough for the flat bottom of the chocolate face to melt, then you can fix it onto the cake. Simple!
Summing Things Up
And there you have it – a CBD-infused vegan caterpillar cake! It’s completely up to you to decide how you’ll decorate it. You can use whatever chocolate you like – vegan white chocolate or vegan milk chocolate – the choice is yours.
You can also change up the recipe. If you’d like a vanilla sponge, simply leave out the cocoa powder. The same goes for the buttercream filling. Instead, you can use other ingredients to flavour the buttercream. For example, melt Biscoff spread and add it to the buttercream ingredients before whisking them together.
Cooper the CBD-infused Vegan Caterpillar Cake is made to be copied, and we’d love to see your creations. Don’t forget to share them and tag us on social media! You can find us on Instagram right here.