It’s that time of the year when Christmas treats and festive foods are plentiful.
I’ve decided to put my taste buds to the test and try the delights at Starbucks, Greggs, Costa and McDonald’s, to tell you which ones I loved – and which ones I would pass.
These limited edition treats are only available during the festive season – so make sure you get your hands on them before they run out.
There is a wide variety of treats to try across your favourite café chains, with many incorporating staple Christmas flavours including mint, minced pie filling, orange chocolate, toffee and many more.
With Christmas just two a week away, these treats will definitely get you in the holiday spirit.
But which ones came out on top?
We’ve sampled dozens of sweets to tell you which ones we think you should try, and which ones to skip.
The popular café chain offers a wide variety of festive treats to choose from.
Starbucks’s menu offers six sweets and cakes as well as muffins, shortbread and brownies.
This is what I thought of each one:
Cran-merry Cheesecake Muffin – 7/10
The muffin is full of flavour, not too sweet and is moist – a winner in my books.
North Pole Nat Shortbread – 8/10
I was quite surprised at how delicious this shortbread was. A really nice proportion of icing vs. cookie. I’d definitely order this again.
Christmas Tree Brownie – 9/10
This is by far my favourite treat from Starbucks, and in my opinion, their best brownie. Think of a rich chocolate brownie that’s crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. Perfection.
Red Velvet Loaf Cake – 5/10
I was disappointed in this one and had high hopes, considering I love red velvet. The cake was too dry with little flavour. Nice icing on it but overall, wouldn’t buy again.
Toffee Nut Latte Cupcake – 6/10
I’m only giving this a lower rating because it was too sweet for my liking. However, the toffee icing was delicious. If you’re a mega sweet tooth and don’t mind the sugar rush, I suggest giving it a go.
Jolly Jammie Cookie – 7/10
A traditional jam cookie. I can’t fault that, it goes well with a cup of coffee and was delightful.
Costa is one of Britain’s best-loved café chains and this year they’ve taken their Christmas menu to a whole other level.
I’ve previously sampled their Christmas drinks and was very impressed by their commitment to their festive menu.
Costa offers a total of 18 Christmas cakes, muffins and cookies galore – and I can say I’m incredibly impressed with the variety.
Here’s what I thought:
Gingerbread Muffin – 6/10
I thought the muffin tasted flavoursome but the sponge was a little dry for me.
Gingerbread Latte Vegan Cookie – 8/10
I’m quite a fan of this cookie and considering it’s vegan it tastes really good for the fact it’s plant-based. A solid 8.
Jammy Rudolph Shortcake – 7/10
A delightful shortcake with a red nose of jam in the middle. A traditional pick-me-up biscuit for a mid-afternoon snack.
Vegan Santa Gingerbread – 8/10
I really liked this gingerbread biscuit, so I bought a few more to store in my cupboard for afternoon tea – I highly recommend.
Christmas Cake – 7/10
A traditional Christmas fruit cake topped off with icing. It’s rich and very moist, and I would say it’s a very decent fruit cake.
Chocolate Sparkle Cake – 9/10
I was very pleasantly surprised at this cake – it tastes like it came fresh from a bakery. The hazelnut icing in the middle is perfect compared with the soft chocolate sponge.
Winter Frosted Marble Cake – 6/10
I really liked the icing on this cake however I felt the sponge was a little dry for my liking.
Clementine & Cranberry Loaf Cake – 8/10
I really liked this loaf, the sponge was moist and the orange and cranberry were delightfully paired together. A winner in my books.
Reindeer Cake – 3/10
I didn’t like this cupcake very much, the sponge was too dry and it didn’t stand out to me as much as the other cakes.
Golden Billionaire’s – 6/10
I did quite like this shortbread, I would purchase it paired with a coffee. However, it wasn’t as flavoursome as I expected. The texture of the shortbread was good.
Florentine Mince Tart – 2/10
Considering I’m not a huge fan of mince pies, I did not really like this. There was too much going on with the combination of caramel, chocolate, seeds and cherry. I would pass.
Chocolate & Salted Caramel Torte – 4/10
I expected slightly more from this torte considering how good it looked. The flavours didn’t stand out and the texture was a little rubbery.
All Butter Mince Pie – 6/10
I’m not a mince pie fanatic, as you can probably tell, but I was impressed with this one. It’s probably my favourite mince pie of all time, if I had to choose one.
Mince Tart (gluten free) – 6/10
There’s not much difference between this gluten-free version, I was quite pleased and could hardly tell the difference between the two mince pies.
Terry’s Chocolate Orange Muffin – 9/10
I’m not a fan of orange chocolate – but this muffin is a game-changer. There’s orange chocolate filling in the middle and it tastes absolutely delicious.
After Eight Muffin – 8/10
A mint chocolate muffin with mint filling inside, what a spectacle. It’s a special treat to have this Christmas, I suggest you try this one.
Crispy Chocolate Star – 8/10
This was one of my favourites. It’s a chocolate and caramel rice crispy covered in white chocolate. Yummy.
Chocolate & Caramel Bun – 7/10
The chocolate filling inside paired with caramel icing on top makes this one of the top contenders when it comes to Christmas treats. I would definitely recommend giving this a go.
Greggs offers a select number of Christmas treats, and they are affordable.
They aren’t as fancy as the other cafes with a focus on biscuits, shortbreads and cookies – but they are still delicious as ever.
Christmas Star Biscuit – 5/10
A crunchy biscuit coated in milk chocolate. Nothing too special about this one.
Christmas Shortbread Bites – 5/10
A crumbly shortbread biscuit topped with caramel and milk chocolate. Didn’t strike me as anything outstanding, would have to give it a lower rating.
Christmas Tree Biscuit – 4/10
This biscuit comes in a similar texture to the others but with a ginger flavour.
Christmas Bun – 7/10
I quite liked this vanilla flavour bun, dipped in fondant icing and topped with sprinkles. The sponge was moist and delicious. They also have festive sugar paste decorations on each and are lovely for children. They come in a pack of four.
McDonald’s was by far the cheapest when it comes to Christmas treats.
However, the fast-food chain only has two options on their menu – the Celebrations McFlurry and their Festive Pie.
Here’s what I thought about them:
Celebrations McFlurry – 8/10
The McFlurry is loaded with chocolate bits including Maltesers clusters, Galaxy chocolate drops, Caramel pieces, Mars Chewy pieces and Twix. I don’t think it gets any better than that.
Festive Pie – 7/10
I quite liked this festive pie, it has a combination of mincemeat and custard. McDonald’s pies never disappoint – and this one doesn’t either.
My favourite Christmas treat of all is Starbucks’ Christmas Tree Brownie.
But I think it is clear which café chain reigns the champion when it comes to festive menus.
Costa has gone the extra mile this Christmas, with a large variety of options to choose from.
They also have the best festive treats in my opinion with their Terry’s Chocolate Muffin and Chocolate Sparkle Cake taking the second and third top spots as my ultimate favourite Christmas treats.
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