The chocolatey treat is a failsafe for all ages and occasions, from kids’ and adults’ birthday parties (David Beckham and Dame Judi Dench are big fans), to farewell work dos.
In fact, it’s proved so popular with cake fans that M&S has launched an entire range of spin-offs: Colin got himself a girlfriend back in 2016 and has since branched out into mini rolls, wedding cakes and seasonal versions for events like Halloween, Christmas, Easter and Mother’s Day.
But trouble has been brewing for Colin in recent weeks as its status as the go-to caterpillar cake has come under threat from a bevy of imitators, including Aldi.
This week, M&S launched legal action against the budget retailer, claiming that its cake – called Cuthbert – infringes on Colin’s trademark. The company claims that the similarities between its cake and Aldi’s could lead consumers to believe they are of the same standard.
However, Aldi isn’t the only supermarket to have cottoned on to the celebrity caterpillar’s popularity. A whole host of other grocers have designed their own versions, albeit with different names: there’s Tesco’s Curly, Waitrose’s Cecil, Asda’s Clyde and Morrison’s Morris, to name a few.
If all this talk about cake has left you feeling hungry, we’ve rounded up all the different caterpillar cakes you can buy in supermarkets and online right now.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
M&S Colin the caterpillar: £7, Ocado.com
The OG caterpillar cake, Colin is made from a creamy chocolate sponge roll that’s filled with chocolate buttercream. It features a series of distinctive curves – which make it all the easier to cut 10 equal portions – and is covered in a milk chocolate shell.
It also has a decorative face made from solid white chocolate, which features milk chocolate eyes and a pink tongue, while its feet are also made from white chocolate. The cake is finished with a sprinkle of sugar-coated milk chocolate beans all over its back.
Aldi Cuthbert the caterpillar cake: £4.99, Aldi.com
The cake that’s causing all the controversy, Cuthbert is made with chocolate sponge and filled with chocolate buttercream. Like Colin, it has the same distinctive arches and is topped with a hard chocolate shell covered in multi-coloured chocolate beans. The cake also has a white chocolate face with milk chocolate eyes. Cuthbert costs shoppers less, at £4.99, and serves up to 12 people.
Waitrose Cecil the caterpillar cake: £7, Waitrose.com
Waitrose & Partners’s Cecil is made from hand-rolled chocolate sponge and also has a chocolate buttercream filling. It is coated with milk chocolate on the outside that’s finished with colourful chocolate beans and white chocolate drizzle. It serves 12 people and also comes with a solid white chocolate face that’s finished with green eyes made from icing.
Tesco Curly the caterpillar cake: £6, Tesco.com
Tesco’s caterpillar cake goes by the name Curly and consists of a chocolate Swiss roll that’s filled with chocolate-flavoured buttercream. It serves 12 people and is coated in solid milk chocolate that’s sprinkled with a generous amount of colourful sweets and a white chocolate drizzle. Unlike some other versions, Curly’s face is made from orange icing that’s finished with eyes and a round red nose.
Asda Clyde the caterpillar celebration cake: £5.92, Asda.com
Asda’s Clyde is made from chocolate sponge with a smooth buttercream filling the supermarket claims is “perfect for hungry caterpillars”. It features the same distinctive curves and is coated in solid milk chocolate that’s topped with colourful sweets and sprinkles. Clyde’s face and feet are both made from icing and it serves 12 people.
And if you’re hosting a big party – or just want more cake – you can buy a larger version of Clyde, called the colossal caterpillar cake (£12, Asda.com), which serves 24 people and measures 45cm long.
Sainsbury’s Wiggles the caterpillar cake: £6, Sainsburys.co.uk
Sainsbury’s clearly missed the alliteration memo and named its cake Wiggles. It’s made from chocolate sponge that’s filled with swirls of chocolate buttercream and comes enrobed in solid milk chocolate. It’s decorated with sugar sprinkles and on-brand orange-coloured chocolate beans, and also features a white chocolate face and feet. It’s one of the biggest in the line-up, serving 14 people.
Morrisons Morris the caterpillar cake: £6, Morrisons.com
Morris the caterpillar is the brainchild of Morrison’s and is big enough to serve 12 people. Made from chocolate sponge and filled with chocolate-flavoured buttercream, the cake is coated with smooth milk chocolate that’s decorated with chocolate beans and hundreds and thousands. Morris’s face is made from a thin slice of white chocolate and finished with eyes made from icing.
Co-op curious caterpillar cake: £7, Coop.co.uk
Made from a soft chocolate sponge filled with chocolate-flavoured buttercream, Co-op’s version of the caterpillar cake serves 12 people and comes covered in milk chocolate and is hand-decorated with sugar paste decorations, including a yellow drizzle, chocolate beans and sugar pearls. The feet are made from orange icing, as is the caterpillar’s face, which is finished with green eyes and a red nose.
Fancy making your own sweet treats? Read our guide to the best baking books, from Mary Berry to Yotam Ottolenghi