Best Christmas Pudding
By Sarah Ingrams
We reveal the best Christmas puddings – we’ve tested traditional puddings from supermarkets and major retailers so you can wow your guests this Christmas.
Covered in flaming brandy, a rich, fruity Christmas pudding is the finale to your traditional Christmas feast – so picking a good one is the route to success on a special occasion.
More than half (56%) of Which? members count Christmas pudding among their favourite Christmas desserts, so our panel of Christmas pudding experts tasted their way through 11 premium Christmas puddings to find the top picks for 2016.
Between them, they have decades of experience in baking, food-writing, patisserie and production. They tasted premium traditional Christmas puddings from Tesco, Asda, Harrods, Lidl and more looking for pudding perfection. Three Christmas puddings impressed our experts enough to become Best Buys.
The best Christmas pudding balance ‘booze, sweetness, richness and bitterness’, according to our expert panel. The texture should be ‘not too cakey’ and ‘firm enough to cut but gives way when you eat it’. Our experts were also looking for a variety of fruit and spice to lift the pudding.
But spending more won’t necessarily get you the best pudding. One of the priciest Christmas puddings we tested ranked second lowest.
Members can log in to see our full results, and tasting notes.
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Table notes: Prices are for 900g puddings or the closest size available, and correct as of November 2016. All puddings are suitable for vegetarians.
Gluten-free Christmas food
The popularity of gluten-free diets is growing – and so too is the list of gluten-free Christmas products supermarkets are stocking. Our expert panel said gluten-free Christmas puddings can have poorer texture and often ‘fall apart’. So we put gluten-free pudding to the test with a panel of 42 Christmas pudding fans.
We asked them to sample a traditional pudding and a gluten-free alternative without knowing which was which.
Log in to find out what our tasters thought and for a list of gluten-free Christmas desserts and treats stocked by supermarkets this year.
If you can’t eat gluten, but fancy something unique, our experts suggested a twist on Christmas pudding using vine fruits soaked in brandy, served with cinnamon crème brulee.
Christmas pudding serving suggestions
Brandy butter or rum sauce? Custard or cream? What do you like to eat with your Christmas pudding?
Your favourites are the simplest - cream or custard - according to our survey of 723 Which? members who like Christmas pudding in September.
But if you want to wow your guests this Christmas, why not try our experts’ different take on these traditional serving suggestions? Brandy stirred into whipped cream runs elegantly down the pudding. Or contract hot and cold by serving steaming hot pudding with cold custard or ice-cream.
Drink with Asti or Muscat to complement the sweetness of the pudding, our wine experts recommend.