Sunday Times Food Awards

Where to buy SA's most delectable caramel & vanilla cupcakes

Our panel of taste testers has spoken: here's which supermarket's cupcakes will best satisfy your sweet tooth

10 September 2017 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
From top tier down: cupcakes from Checkers, Pick n Pay (left), Spar (right) and Woolworths.
From top tier down: cupcakes from Checkers, Pick n Pay (left), Spar (right) and Woolworths.
Image: Christoph Hoffmann


It's free and fair!

Taste is a subjective thing, we know, but if you gather a group of people - as we did with 40 Sunday Times readers - and ask them to blind-taste cupcakes from leading supermarkets, you will come to an agreement on the winners and the losers.

The panel of tasters were presented with each of the products "naked" without any branding or packaging. They were asked to judge them according to their appearance, taste and texture and to say whether they would buy them or not.

To be sure of fairness, auditor Jade Craig oversaw the event and tallied the scores. 


FIRST PLACE: Checkers Vanilla & caramel cupcakes

Price: R32.99 for 6

Judges's comments:

  • Liberia: A perfect cupcake, tastes good.
  • Ansa: This cupcake has the advantage that it is larger, looks appealing, texture is great and it’s moist.
  • Dede: An excellent cupcake, the last to taste and the best of all four.

SECOND PLACE: Pick n Pay mini vanilla & caramel cupcakes

Price: R35.99 for 12

Judges's comments:

  • Shereen: Too little caramel and cupcake is spongy. Cupcakes are meant to be likea cake, not spongy.
  • Zaheda: Looked good, very little caramel and icing is too sweet.
  • Lisa: Dainty appearance, tastes divine and there is a perfect balance between icing and cake.

THIRD PLACE: SPAR Freshline mini caramel cupcakes

Price: R19.99 for 6

Judges's comments:

  • Kgomotso: Tastes a little soapy.
  • Denise: Loved the appearance of the cupcake.
  • Amkelani: I enjoyed the unique look of this cupcake.

FOURTH PLACE: Woolworths Vanilla caramel cupcakes

Price: R39.99 for 9

Judges's comments:

  • Catherine: Appearance is good but was a bit tasteless.
  • Arlene: It’s dry and I feel they have used too much vanilla essence.
  • Thirusha: The icing tasted like it came from a home-industry store.