The UK Can't Get Enough Of This Adorable Chocolate Caterpillar

If you grew up stateside, then you may have been lucky enough to celebrate a birthday or two with the lovable, whale-shaped ice cream cake from Carvel known as Fudgie the Whale. Of course, Americans aren't the only ones who love a good character cake, and birthday parties across the pond have a whimsical celebratory dessert all their own. We'd like to introduce you to Colin the Caterpillar — England's iconic, multi-legged, chocolate cake.

Colin is sold by British retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) and makes an appearance at all kinds of celebratory events. Judi Dench even celebrated her 83rd birthday with a Colin the Caterpillar cake (via Vice)! According to M&S, Colin is a chocolate sponge roll cake filled with buttercream, covered in milk chocolate (giving him an earthy brown appearance), and decorated with colorful milk chocolate pieces, white chocolate boots, and a grinning face.

In 2020, the frequent birthday guest celebrated a birthday of his own: his 30th. According to The Guardian, some of Colin's longstanding success is owed to quality mums can't help but love: the cake is easy to slice. Once M&S knew they wanted to make a long, easily sliceable cake, they considered other animal shapes, including snakes, crocodiles, and fish, before ultimately landing on a caterpillar, and it's a good thing they did! Not only has Colin lasted three decades, but he has also spawned several knockoffs like Wiggles the Caterpillar and Curious Caterpillar cake sold at competing stores.

Colin the Caterpillar has had a few adaptations

Of course, some nuances have been introduced over the years to keep the Colin story fresh for new generations. According to Scotsman Food and Drink, Colin was married in 2017 to a pink-bowed Connie the Caterpillar (no name change required). Now, miniature versions of both Colin and Connie are available to complete the caterpillar family.

Aside from the iconic birthday cake, there have also been a number of seasonal Colin cakes. According to Delish, mini Christmas Colins were introduced in 2017 (complete with red boots and a red Santa hat perfect for the ho-ho-holiday). There have been a variety of Halloween Colins, and 2019 brought Creepy Colin with a ghoulish green face, pink eyes, and chocolate maggots (via My London News). There has even been an Easter Colin, which Good Housekeeping reported in 2020, complete with bunny ears, rabbit teeth, and orange carrot-shaped decorations.

Perhaps the most exciting advancement in the Colin the Caterpillar story, though, has a little something to do with those kiddie birthday parties of yesteryear. Once upon a time, young birthday-goers were torturously forced to look on longingly as the birthday boy or girl got to enjoy the best part of Colin the Caterpillar: the face! Thankfully, a solution has been found. In 2020 M&S started selling mini versions of the chocolate Colin face, and in 2021 the original, cake-size chocolates were introduced (via Delish). Why should the birthday kid get to have all the fun?