REVIEW: Waitrose Christmas Cake Kit 2013 and decorating inspiration (updated)

This is the second cake kit Waitrose have sent me to review, the first being Delia's 2011 kit which after the suggested 4 hour cooking time came out a little, well, burnt. The kit this year is Waitrose branded and I found it easier and better. You still need to add eggs, butter and citrus zest but the brandy has been added to the supplied fruit this time. You also don't need to construct that mad newspaper wrap around the tin which I still have no idea what the point was for as the cake didn't have it this year and came out better. You do need to double line the tin with baking paper and construct a "lid" but, again, so much easier.

Using a cake kit really does feel like a cheat but honestly, when you have a family and a job and all of the rest, some shortcuts are needed. Essentially you just throw this together. My 2 year old toddler even "helped" with the making of this, as he fancies himself as a bit of a cook already and I didn't need to concentrate on weighing. The only foggy part of the instruction is that it isn't clear if you use 10g of the overall 170g butter to grease the tin, leaving 160g for the cake or if you require an additional 10g. As the sugar and flour were weighed out in 160g amounts I assume then that 160g of butter was correct as these are often equal quantities.

I was really pleased with the outcome and the suggested cooking time was ideal. Noone need know it came from a box (TOP TIP: sneak it in your neighbours recycling bin along with all those wine bottles you don't want people judging you for). I've decided to keep this for Christmas day so will be wrapping it for storage, however below are some ideas I have for decoration. I'll also update this post with the taste test but I can say there is a decent festive whiff of brandy coming from it which can only be a good thing.

Highly recommended if you are short on time and at £10, a fair price for everything included.

For decoration I'm toying with traditional, vintage kitch or modern. What do you think?

Image credits clockwise from top left:
Elegant Berry Wreath Cake BBC Good Food
Frosty Berry and Rosemary Cake Enjoy Cupcakes
Crystallised Fruits and Berries Cake Delicious Magazine
Painted Gold Graphic Cake
Vintage Style Cake Decorations from Hunky Dory Home
Classic Style Cake BBC Food (Dan Lepard)
White Spots Cake


I was so pleased with this cake, the best kit Waitrose have had I'd say. It made it to Christmas day and was incredibly rich but not too heavy or sickly like some Christmas cakes. This one was spot on tastewise and I think I would struggle to make a better cake from scratch really. I went for a twist on a classic for decoration, and as I was short of time, something that looked nice on the side but with little effort.