From Sainsbury’s Wiggles to Tesco‘s Curly, most British supermarkets have their own version of a caterpillar cake.
The original, Marks & Spencer’s Colin Cake – who turned 30 last year – has been a staple at British birthday parties for decades, with similar cakes gaining in popularity in recent years.
M&S lodged an intellectual property claim with the High Court last month, arguing the similarity of Aldi’s product -the £4.99 Cuthbert Cake – leads consumers to believe they are of the same standard and ‘ride on the coat-tails’ of M&S’ reputation with the product.
Aldi’s cake has not been seen in stores because it’s a seasonal product, but the German discounter has now brought it back into stores with a charity campaign.
But Aldi is by no means the only supermarket offering a rival caterpillar-shaped treat with all the big names selling a variation on the classic.
So, how do the imitators compare to the original Colin? As Aldi’s Cuthbert returns to stores this week, FEMAIL tried all eight of the cakes on the market, with surprising results…
As Aldi’s Cuthbert (pictured) returns to stores this week, FEMAIL tried all eight of the cakes on the market, with surprising results…
ALDI: Cuthbert the Caterpillar
VERDICT: A very good imitation- perhaps too good for it’s own good!
ALDI’s Cuthbert is very rich and sweet with the buttercream the standout taste in the cake.
The sponge is the teeniest bit dull but the cream really cuts through to create a sugary, buttery flavour.
It’s standout feature however is the white chocolate face and feet. I’m not usually a fan of white chocolate but Cuthbert’s features are exceptionally smooth and velvety with slight hints of vanilla flavour.
Where it lets itself down is the milk chocolate shell, while tasty at first after a few bites it starts to give that fake taste often found in American chocolate, while it’s also very crumbly and didn’t stick to the chocolate didn’t stick to the shell when cut – which wouldn’t be ideal at parties.
However, the smarties-style decorations aren’t too big, which adds a nice crunch and colour.
Overall, a very good cake for just 41p a serving!
Marks & Spencer: Colin the Caterpillar
FEMAIL’s Bridie Pearson-Jones said the Colin cake was the richest and creamiest of them all
VERDICT: The original is perhaps the richest and creamiest of them all! You can really taste a step up in quality from the others, particularity in the chocolate shell (it taste like real chocolate) and the chocolate buttercream.
It’s the same size as Wiggles (from Sainsbury’s) but serves less, which is surprising as it’s so rich I couldn’t eat too much of it.
Maybe it’s because it’s the original, but I also think it looks the most sleek and classy (as classy as a Caterpillar cake can be). I don’t think it’s too dry because the buttercream is so smooth and full.
Looks wise, the smarties-style sweets are a great feature, but don’t add much to the taste.
Sainsbury’s: Wiggles the Caterpillar
Wiggles was the least flavoursome of all the cakes and lacked real flavouring, although the chocolate shell was nice
VERDICT: This was the least flavoursome for me.
While the texture of the cake was great, light and airy, I couldn’t really taste the chocolate in the sponge and it dried very quickly.
The buttercream was fantastic however, and the chocolate on the outer shell was melt-in-your-mouth creamy, reminded me of a galaxy bar.
I think the sprinkles may have been a little bit of overkill, but it’s a fun cake nonetheless.
Tesco: Curly the Caterpillar
Tesco’s Caterpillar cake – named Curly – but said that the orange face wasn’t as nice as the white chocolate
VERDICT: Delicious – just not as delicious as the others!
It looks cheaper than the sleek OG Colin and the biggest difference is the orange fondant face (most Caterpillar cakes are white chocolate), which is very sickly and less easy to consume that the Colin face.
For it’s price not bad at all, and I’m sure no one would complain if it was brought out at a party. but it wouldn’t be my top choice.
Co-op: Charlie the Curious Caterpillar Cake
Simply delicious! The sponge of the Coop caterpillar cake was light and delicious
VERDICT: The decoration on this version of the caterpillar is fun and brightly coloured, although maybe not quite as neat and polished as the other offerings.
Like Tesco’s Curly, Co-op’s Charlie is missing the signature white chocolate feet and face.
That being said, the sponge is light and fluffy and there is just enough gooey chocolate buttercream between the swirled layers.
The milk chocolate topping is crispy and delicious too. Wouldn’t hesitate to buy again and think it would go down a treat at a party or a summer BBQ!
Waitrose, Cecil the Caterpillar
Waitrose’s Cecil the Caterpillar was lacklustre in appearance while the icing all fell away from the cake
VERDICT: Having been excited to try the Waitrose version of the caterpillar cake, I have to admit I was incredibly disappointed with Cecil.
From the outset, his appearance was lacklustre, with very few colourful smarties on top and small white feet – and surely everyone knows the best part of an original Colin is the feet?
Meanwhile the icing seemed to fall away from the cake, which tasted cheap and sickly sweet.
Given that it’s nearly the same price as the real deal, I’d say there was very little competition over which is better value for money.
Asda, Clyde the Caterpillar Celebration Cake
Cheap and cheerful: Asda’s Clyde is nothing to write home about, but it doesn’t disappoint
VERDICT: The cheapest caterpillar in our taste test and I was pleasantly surprised by the decoration.
The face is cute and would be perfect for a children’s party, although it is fondant rather than the white chocolate of the original Colin.
The chocolate sponge is nice and moist with tasty icing between the swirls. But you can tell it’s not as rich in taste as an original Colin and it has an aftertaste that lingers after you’ve finished a mouthful. The same goes for the layer of chocolate on top, which tastes a little cheap and very sugary.
Overall though, for less than £6 it’s perfectly acceptable and won’t spark any complaints.
Morrisons, Morris Caterpillar Celebration Cake
Morrison’s Morris is one of the cheaper versions of the caterpillar cake, but certainly didn’t taste it
VERDICT: This is one of the cheaper versions of the caterpillar cake, but certainly didn’t taste it.
The buttercream was very rich and the sponge was light – it was so decadent that I don’t think you could eat too much of it.
There’s a white chocolate face like the original Colin and a good sprinkling of Smarties.
Super fans of Colin might argue that the chocolate face is thinner and it looks a little less polished overall, but unless you’re very particular, this is hard to beat as an alternative.