Sunday Times Food Awards

Which supermarket makes the most decadent Christmas cakes?

Our taste-testers have spoken: here's where to head to buy the best Christmas cake this festive season

26 November 2017 - 00:00 By Hilary Biller
Christmas cakes from left: Checkers, Woolworths, Pick n Pay and SPAR.
Christmas cakes from left: Checkers, Woolworths, Pick n Pay and SPAR.
Image: Christoph Hoffman


It's free and fair!

Taste is a subjective thing, we know, but when you gather a group of 42 Sunday Times readers together and ask them to blind-taste readymade Christmas cakes from four retailers, there will be winners and losers.

The cakes were served without any packaging or branding, and the tasters were asked to rate them according to price, appearance, taste and fruitiness.

Auditor Morne Kok oversaw the event, tallied the scores and gave the tasting his stamp of approval.


FIRST PLACE: Checkers Luxury Christmas Cake

Price: R184.99

What our taster's said:

  • Daisy: An excellent cake, well baked and well spiced.
  • Loraine: I love it although it's a bit pricey.
  • Amina: My number one but it didn't look that great and a bit sunken in the middle.

SECOND PLACE: Woolworths Rich Dark Round Christmas Cake

Price: R169.99

What our taster's said:

  • Arnold: Moist, pleasant brandy aftertaste and marzipan not too overpowering.
  • Jakkie: A bit unattractive, no nuts or fruit, but delightful aftertaste.
  • Tracy: It looks plain but tastes the best. Nice taste of booze.

THIRD PLACE: Pick n Pay Luxury Christmas cake

Price: R149.99

What our taster's said:

  • Sylvia: The cake is dry.
  • Loraine: Good price, looks pretty and generous but is a bit dry.
  • Craig: Pretty dry and flavourless.
  • Katlego: Wow, it looked way better than it tasted.


Price: R94.99

What our taster's said:

  • Arnold: Fake-tasting marzipan layer. Bitter spice aftertaste and on the dry side.
  • Jakkie: Not very attractive. Topping is plastic looking. Unpleasant aftertaste.
  • Jessica: Dry and bitter. Burnt? I'd rather eat a car tyre.