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 are worth trying.
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.
£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.
£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.
£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.
£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.
£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.
£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.
£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.
£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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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:
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: