We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

Home & garden.

When you click on a retailer link on our site, we may earn affiliate commission to help fund our not-for-profit mission.Find out more.

Best Christmas pudding

Whether you prefer your Christmas pudding served with a dollop of brandy butter or lashings of cream, discover which supermarket offers the tastiest version of this traditional festive dessert
Rebecca Marcus
Christmas pudding on a plate topped with holly and berries

We’ve tested 10 supermarket premium Christmas puddings for the December 2020 edition of Which? magazine to bring you our recommendations for a crowd-pleasing pud. 

Our panel of consumers blind-tasted traditional recipe Christmas puddings from supermarkets including Aldi, M&S and Tesco, rating the taste, appearance, aroma and texture of each one.

The best Christmas puddings were moist and full of festive flavour. But not all were as impressive – some were dry and bland, offering little in the way of spice or booze.

The results below are from Christmas 2020. This year, our in-house food researchers tasted nine alternative festive desserts from supermarkets including Aldi, M&S and Sainsbury's. Find out which alternative Christmas puddings are worth trying. 

Best Christmas puddings

Asda’s bargain offering claimed the top spot in our taste test, showing there’s no need to splash out to get a great-tasting Christmas pudding.

All prices correct as of November 2020.

Best Buy Asda Extra Special 9 Month Matured Christmas Pudding 75%

£7/907g (77p per 100g)

Asda’s Christmas pudding was the overall favourite, with well-balanced flavours, plump fruit and crunchy nuts.

And the good news doesn’t stop there for Asda shoppers as this was also the cheapest pud we tested per 100g, costing less than half the price of the most expensive from M&S.

Co-op Irresistible 12 Month Matured Christmas Pudding 74%

£4/400g (£1 per 100g)

Deliciously moist and bursting with fruit, Co-op’s Christmas pudding was a hit with our tasters.

It’s filled with juicy sultanas, raisins, currants and cherries, making it a great choice for those who favour a fruity pudding.

Morrisons The Best 9 Month Matured Christmas Pudding 73%

£8/800g (£1 per 100g) 

Morrison’s pudding ticked plenty of boxes for our panel, with its lovely deep colour, rich flavour and satisfying texture.

While it’s not quite as cheap as Asda’s pudding, it’s still a good-value option, costing a fair bit less than some other puddings we tested.

Lidl 24 Month Matured Christmas Pudding 71%

£12.49/907g (£1.38 per 100g)

Lidl’s pudding was well-liked overall and had a good boozy flavour, although the texture was too soft for some of our tasters.

It’s worth bearing in mind that despite typically being known for budget prices, Lidl’s Christmas pudding is more expensive per 100g than most others we tested.

Aldi Specially Selected 30 Month Matured Pudding;
Tesco Finest 12 month matured Christmas Pudding;
Waitrose No.1 12 Month Matured Christmas Pudding with Courvoisier 70%

£9.99/907g (£1.10 per 100g);
£8/800g (£1 per 100g);
£12/800g (£1.50 per 100g)

Aldi, Tesco and Waitrose tied midway down the rankings with 70%.

There was little to separate them when it came to flavour, with all three well-liked. However, fans of boozier puddings might prefer Aldi's, which has a stronger alcohol taste.

Texture-wise, Aldi’s pudding was rated the best of the three, with some finding the Waitrose and Tesco puddings too dry.

M&S Collection 18 Month Matured Vintage Pudding 69%

£15/800g (£1.88 per 100g)

Ideal for those with a sweet tooth, the M&S pudding is heavy on the fruit, making for a soft, squidgy texture. Several tasters said they would have liked more nuts to balance the amount of fruit.

It was the most expensive on test, costing more than double the price of the top-scoring pudding from Asda per 100g.

Iceland Luxury 12 Month Matured Christmas Pudding 66%

£4/400g (£1 per 100g)

While Iceland’s pudding satisfied tasters on the texture front, its flavour was considered bland and lacking in spice, with little in the way of enticing festive aromas. Some of our panel also thought it tasted slightly bitter.

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference 18 Months Matured Christmas Pudding 64%

£9/800g (£1.13 per 100g)

Both the flavour and texture of Sainsbury’s pudding disappointed tasters, causing it to sink to the bottom of the rankings.

It lacked moisture, with around two thirds of tasters finding it too dry, and also lost marks for its weak alcohol and spice flavour. More than 40% of tasters wanted a sweeter taste.

How to get a perfect dome

Christmas puddings always look delectable on the packaging, but getting a neat dome of cake from the plastic tub on to your plate isn't always an easy exercise. If you've ever been left scraping half your pudding from the side, then follow these easy steps to serve.

  1. First up, steaming your pudding is preferable to microwaving - it'll give a much better taste. It might seem like more hassle, but it's surprisingly easy and you won't have to worry about it once it's on the hob (save for checking the water doesn't dry up). It's practically impossible to overcook it this way, whereas the microwave can separate the fat too quickly and you can definitely leave it in for too long.
  2. Almost all of the cooking instructions recommend leaving the pudding to stand for one or two minutes before serving, if you do decide to use the microwave. It's tempting to start serving as soon as possible, particularly when you catch a whiff of the lovely, fruity aroma, but waiting gives the dessert a chance to settle and keep its shape better.
  3. Run a knife around the edge of the pudding to separate it from the basin.
  4. Put a plate over the top of the basin and turn the plate and basin over. Wait a minute or so, or until you feel the pudding come free.
  5. If your pudding comes in a plastic tub and shows no sign of shifting, take a corkscrew and make a hole in the base of the tub. This will allow some of the pressure to escape and you should feel the pudding drop on to the plate in no time.

Best wine pairing for pudding

We asked wine expert Charles Metcalfe for his recommendations on wines to serve with Christmas pudding. Here's what he had to say.

‘The wine has to be sweet, and asti or another moscato spumante are brilliant, refreshing, perfect in flavour. For a heavyweight, look out for an Australian liqueur muscat’.

You can find out which wines scored highest in our taste tests in our best champagne and best red wine advice guides.

Serve it with a cocktail or mocktail

Cocktails add (even more) fun and theatre to your Christmas lunch. You can get all the family involved with shaking, stirring and garnishing drinks to serve with your Christmas pudding. Here are our favourite cocktails and mocktails that pair perfectly with Christmas puddings.

  • Espresso Martini Our experts recommend coffee as a pairing for Christmas pudding. For a boozy twist, a traditional Irish coffee works well or an espresso martini.
  • Spicy cocktails Anything with ginger is ideal, as the firey taste will blend well with the spices in your pudding. Go for some ginger wine or ginger beer. You can make this into more of a mocktail by rubbing fresh ginger around the inside of your glass (filled with ice), before pouring in the ginger beer. Then garnish with fresh slices or grated ginger.
  • Brandy Alexander Try a brandy alexander cocktail by  mixing one part fresh cream, one part brandy and one part creme de cacao. Sprinkling some fresh grated nutmeg on top is delicious.
  • Negroni Don't limit negroni to the summer; its orangey tang makes it perfect with Christmas pudding. Make your own by stirring together one part gin, one part vermouth rosso and one part campari over ice. Garnish with a slice or some orange peel.
  • Mulled Cider A mulled cider will go better with a Christmas pudding than mulled wine. Our experts suggested heating cider with spices. Also add brandy and (surprisingly) butter when you heat it as it will give your drink more depth.

How to make Christmas pudding vodka

Homemade Christmas pudding infused vodka is a great way of using leftovers to give drinks a festive twist. If you're not a vodka fan, you can also try liqueurs such as Southern Comfort. Liam Trotman and Ryan Simpson, chef proprietors of Orwells, told us how they make it.

  1. Crumble leftovers into a bottle of vodka
  2. Leave in storage for a couple of months to let the flavours infuse
  3. Strain through a muslin cloth and it's ready to drink - either on the rocks, or added to cocktails.

How we tested

The products were assessed by a large panel of consumers who like Christmas pudding.

The make-up of the panel broadly represents the demographic profile of adults in the UK.

Each Christmas pudding was assessed by 61 people.

The panellists rated the taste, texture, aroma and appearance of each product, and told us what they liked and disliked about each one.

The taste test was blind, so the panellists didn’t know which brand they were trying. The order they sampled the Christmas puddings was fully rotated to avoid any bias.

Each panellist had a private booth so they couldn’t discuss what they were tasting or be influenced by others.

The overall score is based on:

  • 50% flavour
  • 20% appearance
  • 20% aroma
  • 10% texture

Free From Christmas puddings

We didn't test free from Christmas puddings this year but if you're shopping for one, here's a roundup of what's on offer from the major supermarkets:

  • Asda Extra Special Free From 6 Month Matured Christmas Pudding, £1.55/100g - gluten free. Available from Asda.
  • Asda Free From Christmas Pudding, £3/454g - gluten and milk free. Vegan. Available from Asda.
  • Co-op Free From Christmas Pudding, £1.50/100g - gluten and milk free. Available from Co-op.
  • Harvey Nichols Christmas Pudding Alcohol Free, £6.95/230g - alcohol free. Available from Ocado.
  • Lidl Favorina Christmas Pudding, £1.99/400g. Vegan.
  • LilyPuds Premium Alcohol Free Christmas Pudding, £12.50/454g - alcohol free. Available from Ocado.
  • LilyPuds Premium Vegan & Gluten Free Christmas Pudding, £8.75/240g - gluten free. Vegan. Available from Ocado.
  • M&S Alcohol Free Christmas Pudding 6 Month Matured, £4/454g - alcohol free. Available from Ocado.
  • M&S Made Without Wheat & Dairy Christmas Pudding 6 Month Matured, £4/454g - gluten, dairy, wheat and egg Free. Vegan. Available from Ocado.
  • M&S Plant Kitchen Christmas Pudding, £2/100g - gluten and dairy free. Vegan. Available from Ocado.
  • Matthew Walker Alcohol & Nut Free Christmas Pudding, £1.50/100g - alcohol and nut free. Available from Waitrose.
  • Morrisons Free From Vegan Christmas Pudding, £3.50/400g - gluten and milk free. Vegan. Available from Morrisons.
  • Morrisons The Best Free From Christmas Pudding, £1.70/100g - gluten free. Available from Morrisons.
  • Sainsbury's Free From Christmas Pudding, £4/400g - gluten, milk and nut free. Available from Sainsbury's.
  • Sainsbury's Free From Taste the Difference Christmas Pudding, £1.50/100g - gluten and milk free. Available from Sainsbury's.
  • Tesco Finest Free From Christmas Pudding, £1.50/100g - gluten and wheat free.
  • Tesco Free From Christmas Pudding, £3.75/400g - gluten, wheat, milk and egg free. Vegan.>
  • Waitrose Gluten Free Christmas Pudding, £5/400g - gluten free. Available from Waitrose.