Taste Test - Christmas cake alternatives

  • The List
  • 11 December 2008
Christmas cake alternatives

From top left to bottom right: Stollen , Wheat Free Satsuma Cake, Turrón, Peppermint Crisp Tart, Makoweic and Panettone


Margiotta, Edinburgh, www.margiotta.co.uk; also available at the Glasgow and Edinburgh Christmas markets, £4.69 per cake.
A traditional German bread-like fruitcake, this loaf represents baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes. A strong contender for the Christmas cake replacement crown, it was the most typically festive with its currants and marzipan. Definitely wholesome comfort cake.

Wheat Free Satsuma Cake

Delizique, 70-72 Hyndland Street Glasgow, 0141 339 2000, www.delizique.com. £2.50 per slice.
Finally a wheat-free alternative to Christmas cake that isn’t disappointing, bland or rock-like. This was the undisputed favourite around The List office for its beautifully moist consistency and natural satsuma flavour. A light alternative to the usual Christmas glutton-fest, and perfect for those watching their waistline.


Lupe Pintos, Edinburgh and Glasgow, www.lupepintos.com
£3.50 per box. A traditional Spanish Christmas delicacy that comes in a variety of flavours and can be either hard or soft. This hard variety was nice and dry, and a small sliver would be perfect with a good strong espresso. Reminiscent of peanut brittle or hard nougat, this is much more manageable than cake in your bloated post-turkey state, watch your teeth though.

Peppermint Crisp Tart

Zulu Lounge, 366 Morningside Road Edinburgh, 0131 466 8337. £2.00 per slice.
One for the sugar fiends, this South African Christmas fridge dessert makes a refreshing choice in the December heat. Like Viscount biscuits in cheesecake form, this was perhaps too heavy and sweet to tackle after a full Christmas meal. Still, it saves on the usual faff of custard making/pudding lighting, and its minty decorations look very festive.


Pani Solinska, 73 Broughton Street, Edinburgh 0131 557 6900. £2.95 per slice.
This Polish poppy seed cake traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve was the most unusual of our festive offerings, and the poppy seed element avoided any overpowering sweetness. Although much plainer than the other cakes, it was light and felt very Continental, reminiscent of Danish pastry-style cakes. Good for a mid-morning coffee break.


Marcella’s Italian Bakery, Brougham Place, Edinburgh, 0131 622 5781; La Cucina, Great Western Road, Glasgow, 0141 357 1577, £5 per cake or 80p per slice.
An Italian fruitcake eaten over Christmas and New Year, normally with sweet wine or toasted and buttered. With its fluffy bread-like texture and currants, it is reminiscent of hot cross buns. A light afternoon tea treat, large enough to feed an extended mafia family.