Edinburgh-based baker Cyril Barthelme has revealed that the secret of his cake recipes is grinding insects into flour before making them into cakes.

Barthelme revealed that he has been making sponge cakes from scorpion flour and brownies with ground-up crickets, mealworms and tarantula cakes.

The baker believes that inserting bugs into cakes will raise awareness of alternatives to meat and change attitudes.

Barthelme told BBC Scotland: I’ve been reading and watching documentaries about how meat supplies and quality are falling all over the world and that eating insects might be a way forward. For example, the volume of water needed to feed animals is far higher than for insects.

“However, there is still the perception in the western world that eating insects is not very appealing so I thought if I ground them up into flour first before making cakes then they could be perceived as nice to eat. It has been challenging to turn the flour into cakes as the flour is much finer than wheat flour but by blending the two I have managed to create many different types of cakes.

He added: “It is a matter of education. In the West we are brought up to see insects as disgusting, but that’s not true. Insects are very nutritious.”

However, he also revealed that insect flour was 100 times more expensive than plain flour and he was not making a profit from the bug cakes.