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Consumer Panel - Iced Christmas Cakes

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The second of our Christmas Consumer Panels - today we are testing 4 of the most delicious iced Christmas Cakes in the shops

Christmas would not be complete without that taste of marzipan and icing on Christmas Cake.

The Panel:

1. Victoria Doyle
2. Wally Sheridan
3. Niamh Craven
4. Jayne Homan

Each panelist has been asked to give their marks out of five taking the following points into consideration:

. Appearance
. Taste
. Ingredients
. Presentation - what was the packaging like? Would you buy it?
. Value for money
. Marks out of 5


Christmas Cakes -

1. Superquinn - Small traditional Cake 970g- €9.99 from €14.99, save 33%

2. Lidl - Snowylodge Christmas Cake - 907g €5.49

3. M&S - Christmas Tree Cake - 907g - €12.99

4. Dunnes - Christmas Cake - 700g - €4.99

Prices vary depending on the shop, but these were bought in Dunnes, Marks and Spencer Lidl and Superquinn.

The Results are: (All out of 20)
. 1st Place - 19 points - Marks & Spencer Christmas Tree Cake
. 2nd Place - 17 points - Superquinn Small Traditional Cake
. 3rd Place - 14 points - Lidl Snowylodge Christmas Cake
. 4th Place - 7 points - Dunnes Christmas Cake


Superquinn - Small traditional Cake 970g- €9.99 from €14.99, save 33%

. A small cake very well presented cake - very festive
. But the icing is much too thick and hard.
. There's more icing than cake! It's fruity and nutty, but not sweet enough & a little dry
. Nice rich texture and flavour.
. Very surprised at the cost of this cake - too expensive
. 3/5

. Taste - Really liked the flavour of this cake not too heavy.
. Ingredients - Plenty of lovely fruits throughout with very noticeable cherries.
. Icing and decoration - Lovely icing the whole way round with lovely decorations on top..very homemade looking - a good thing.
. Came in a lovely red festive box.
. At a reduced €9.99 excellent value!!
. 5/5 - loved it!!

. Tasted lovely nothing too overpowering just a nice even fruit cake taste to it. The icing was delicious
. Full of lovely sultanas and mixed peel all packed in nicely
. Very simply decorated nice stars on it but could have done with some colour as it looked like a tier of a wedding cake!
. Grand packaging nothing too hectic or interesting
. At 9.99 its great value, it would cost more to make a cake that nice
. 4/5 - lost points for lack of imagination on the decoration and packaging

. Very nice, well moist, nice little tint of whisky, a good thing
. Plenty of fruit, nice bit of spice
. Icing plain enough for the cake that was in it, let the cake down a bit, need more
. Don't like marzipan, but it was fine
. No decorations on the cake, needed more
. Packaging very good on them all
. Good value, he'd buy it
. 5/5

Lidl - Swowylodge Christmas Cake - 907g €5.49

. Really fruity, soft textured cake with a serious boozy kick. The icing isn't too thick but it was very hard. Very rich, tasted nice and there's a good amount of marizpan.
. Lovely presentation, all red bows and festive.
. Very good value for money.
. 4/5

. Very dry taste.. did not like it.
. Plenty of ingredients nothing left out.
. Lovely to look at - with lovely holly decoration on icing but icing nearly impossible to cut through.
. Festive packaging.
. €5.49 not a bad price but I did not like the cake so no matter what the price - this cake not for me.
. 2/5

. Taste - Yummy! Moist and rich in flavour. Icing and marzipan were scrummy as well!
. Ingredients - Full of fruit, heavy in weight with all the ingredient
. Icing and decoration - Christmassy look of the cake
. Packaging - Nice and festive looking box
. Value for money - At €5.49 its superb value
. 5/5 - I loved it

. Too dry. Plenty of fruit, but too dry. Few spices.
. Icing was very good lovely taste - just the top iced
. No plate under it would have been useful
. If it was 49 cents he wouldn't buy it. Poor
. 3/5

M&S - Christmas Tree Cake - 907g - €12.99

. This looks lovely - very festive with a blue ribbon and silver balls.
. This is moist, fruity and nutty.
. Quite dense and sticky but not too heavy.
. Icing nice and soft and not too thick.
. 5/5

. Taste - Beautiful rich flavour
. Ingredients - Again this was full of lovely ingredients
. Icing and decoration - Beautifully iced with silver little edible balls - lovely look to cake
. Packaging - Lovely Silver festive box.
. Value for money - €12.99 most expensive but well worth it...lovely cake
. 4/5

. Taste - Delicious, nice hint of the brandy of it as well which mixed in lovely with the fruit
. Ingredients - It had stuff in it I'd never even heard of! Lovely mix of spices
Icing & Decoration - Lip licking lovely! Very professional looking you'd go a long way to beat it
. Packaging - A bit blue I know it's in keeping with the M&S logo at the moment but blue isn't Christmas it should have been red.
. Value for money - A bit expensive but you would be happy you went and spent that money as its lovely
. 5/5 - Satisfied customer!

. Very good, nice taste, something extra to it
. Brandy to it, plenty of fruit
. Very tasty icing - not too heavy, not too much sugar
. Couldn't complain about it at all
. Nicely decorated, little silver balls, Christmas tree on it
. Very good value for money
. 5/5

Dunnes - Christmas Cake - 700g - €4.99

. Not a very festive looking cake at all.
. The icing's nice if you prefer a less traditional-looking cake.
. It has a very light texture but tasted ok.
. Less sweet than some of the others, this is a good choice if you don't have such a sweet tooth.
. 2/5

. Plain, bland taste - nothing like Christmas cake taste more like a very plain fruit cake. (It did say on packaging it was an iced fruit cake-so to give it's dues it is not claiming to be a Christmas cake.
. Says on front packaging 'glazed cherries' but she didn't taste or see any in cake.
. Only icing on top of cake not the whole way round cake - when cut the icing fell of straight away maybe because there was no marzipan.
. Came in only clear plastic not in box.
. €4.99 although it is the cheapest I still would not buy it cause I would get a better tasting fruit cake for a better price
. 1/5

. Taste - Exactly like its Halloween barn brack only disguised as a Christmas cake! Bread like and dry
. Ingredients - Not enough fruit and no marzipan
. Icing & Decoration - Eh no decoration and no marzipan i could peel the icing of the top and think it was a brack
. Packaging - Stop the was wrapped in clear plastic and cooked in a paper fairy cake case! No thought at all
. Value for money - Don't bother it might ruin your Christmas and certainly don't be boasting about it to your dinner guests
. 1/5 - Can't say anymore, sorry Dunnes.

. Nothing interesting in it,
. False looking icing - looked like a wig on a bald man's head!
. Didn't like the flavour, very dry, crumbled when it was cut.
. Packaging, very good in all
. Very bad value - wouldn't pay 49cent for it.
. 3/5