Battle of the Supermarket Cupcakes

I’ll never turn down a red velvet cupcake’ – Shay Mitchell

It’s amazing how cupcake culture has taken over in the last few years in the UK. They’ve always been present in the states. I was accustomed to them when I lived on an army base when I was younger and the American kids would bring these massive white frosted besprinkled beauties into school on their birthdays. In the UK the best we’d ever had were fairy cakes, which were half the size with a sorry little dribble of glacier icing and a circle of rice paper with a picture of Banana Man on if you were lucky.

I got to taste the real American style cupcakes again when I went to New York in 2008 and visited the Magnolia Bakery which had been featured in Sex and the City; it seemed to be not long after that, that cupcakes had made their way over the Atlantic, and now even supermarkets have cashed in on these baked beauties. In the name of science, I’ve done some tasting on your behalf (you’re welcome!) and below is a run down of what’s available when you’re picking up your eggs and milk:

Tesco Red Velvet Cupcakes (2 Pack) – £1.50
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What they say:

2 Red sponge cakes filled with chocolate flavoured sauce, topped with vanilla flavoured frosting and decorated with strawberry pearls.

What we say: 

Very tasty, the icing in particularly is lovely and cream, full of vanilla flavour and sweet. The icing to cake ratio is also very generous, the cake it’s self in moist and the filling in the middle is a good touch. They’re a little on the small side, particularly for being to calorific, and the chocolate as a flavour in the middle doesn’t work with the flavour of the red velevet sponge as much as jam or vanilla would.

Other flavours available: Strawberries & Cream, Chocolate Fudge, Salted Caramel, White Chocolate & Vanilla, Raspberry Pavlova, Jelly Belly Tutti Fruiti Vanilla. 

Sainsburys Lemon Cupcakes (2 Pack) – £1.45

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What they Say:

Moist sponge cake topped with a a tangy lemon frosting, crunchy sugar and a jelly slice

What we say:

Consistency and the flavour of the cake was very tasty. The lemonyness (is that a word?!) was just right, not too strong and not too weak. The icing has very much a buttercream consistency, with the lemon candy on top an nice finishing touch. Perhaps a little too much icing per cake ratio but over all a good flavour and nice refreshing change from chocolate/vanilla flavours.

Other flavours available: Red Velvet, Chocolate, Vanilla and Chocolate Chip

Greggs Raspberry Ripple Cupcakes (4 Pack) – £2.80

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What they say:

We top our tasty sponge cupcake with a raspberry and vanilla flavour frosting and sprinkle with candied hearts.

What we say:

Love the frosting, which has much more of a moussey whipped texture than butter cream (I personally prefer whipped icing to thick butter cream), cake is nice and moist and at £2.80 for 4 these are good value. More effort could be put in the flavouring of these cakes, they’re supposed to be raspberry but to be honest just taste generically sweet and the candied hearts baked into the sponge get lost in all the frosting. The flake on top is also quite redundant as the chocolate doesn’t b;end particularly well with the (albeit artificial) fruit flavour.Great little sugar bombs if you’re looking to satisfy your sugar craving, but flavour wise not as good as other available.

Other flavours available: Novelty ring buns

Asda Carrot Cake Cupcakes (2 Pack) – £1.24 (unavailable online)

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What they say:

Topped with our thick soft cream cheese flavour frosting and crisp walnut pieces

What we say:

Staying very much true to the classic cake formula these cupcakes didn’t disappoint with a welcome raisin in the first bite. The cream cheese frosting is a refreshing change from the sweet buttercream we’ve come accustomed too in cupcakes of late. Slightly smaller than the cupcakes from other supermarkets (but also the cheapest so could argue you get what you pay for!). The sponge is nice and moist but somewhat overloaded with icing. Either less icing or more cake is needed!

Other flavours available: Vanilla butterfly, Lemon daisy, Red Velvet

Morrisons Salted Caramel Cupcakes (2 pack) – £1.35

What they say: 

Chocolate sponge topped with caramel frosting and decorated with a salted caramel sauce and chocolate flavoured mini flakes

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What we say:

Quite small, the chocolate sponge is lovely and moist with good cake to icing ratio. The icing is very creamy and so thick it almost has a fudgy consistency. It doesn’t taste very much like caramel though, just normal vanilla buttercream really.

Other flavours available: Strawberries & Cream, Chocolate Fudge

Waitrose Rich & Gooey Chocolate Cupcakes (4 pack) – £2.50

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What they say:

Chocolate cupcakes, topped with chocolate buttercream and decorated with white chocolate decorations.

What we say:

Considering these are from Waitrose I thought they’d be crazy expensive but £2.50 for 4 is on par with other supermarkets (in fact, they’re even cheaper than Greggs!) and they taste pretty good. A perfect amount of icing to cake and the cake is very moist and fudgy, The icing tastes like it’s made with actual chocolate as well, not just cocoa powder. Definitely one for the chocoholics out there!

Other flavours available: Vanilla Butterfly, Chocolate & Vanilla Butterfly

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