Our expert panel taste-tested 10 premium Christmas puddings from Aldi, Iceland, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and more, but only one stood out from the pack enough to be named a Which? Best Buy and make one of our experts exclaim ‘yum!’ – the Lidl Deluxe 24-month matured Christmas Pudding (81%, £11.99).
It impressed with the variety of fruit and nuts, and our panel liked the texture, too. It is a boozy pudding though, making this quite an adult way to round off Christmas dinner.
Best Christmas puddings – find out how the rest of the bunch fared
How our experts taste-test Christmas puddings
Our four experts rated the 10 Christmas puddings for taste, texture, aroma and appearance.
We heated each pudding in the microwave (because 64% of you who heat your Christmas pudding prefer to microwave it) according to pack instructions, before our panel blind-tasted them. Each expert tried the puddings in a different order, before discussing their tasting notes and agreeing on a score for each pud.
This year, our expert panel were food experts Dan Lepard, Patrick Moore, Suzy Pelta and Ryan Simpson.
Christmas puddings past
Some of our panel felt that the quality of puddings was lower than in our previous taste tests, and that many of the puds were lacking in traditional ingredients such as figs, prunes and apricots. They’d also have liked to see a higher quality of currants and whole nuts, plus some more spice. Generally, there was little to pick out between the puddings, and Lidl’s deluxe pudding was the only one that stood out from the crowd.
Why pay more for your pudding?
Don’t presume that a pricier pudding will taste better, as there was one pudding for under a fiver that our experts rated higher than more expensive puds – in fact, you could buy two of this 454g pudding for less than the price of some of 907g puds on test.
Christmas puddings – packaging vs reality
During our taste-testing, we noticed quite a difference between the glamorous gleaming globes on the packs of the Christmas puddings, and the finished heated puddings you actually end up with. In a separate experiment, we cooked up seven puddings again, specifically to compare them with the images on the pack.
Watch our video to see which brands were most picture perfect, and the puddings that failed on post-microwave presentation.
How to add more pizzazz to your Christmas pudding
One of the puddings we tasted this year was the Morrisons Pear and Pedro Ximénez Sherry Christmas Pudding (£8) – a gold Christmas pudding. Our experts praised the glorious gold presentation but felt that it was style over substance. If you’d like to get the same gold look on one of our top-scoring puddings, watch our video below to see how easy it is.