We’ve tested seven traditional premium mince pies to bring you our top pie picks for the festive season.
Our mince pie taste test from the December 2021 edition of Which? magazine includes products from budget supermarket Aldi, along with Co-op, Iceland, M&S, Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco.
Only logged in Which? members can view the rest of our results and tasting notes below. If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the mince pies on test. To get instant access
All prices correct as of November 2021. All pies contain alcohol.
£1.49 for 6, 25p a pie
These are the cheapest on test, but we’ve seen low-cost pies score well in the past. Will Aldi’s Christmas treats make the grade this year?
£2 for 6, 33p a pie
Can Co-op’s port-infused mince pies deliver the festive flavour you’re craving?
Available from Co-op (in-store only)
£1.89 for 6, 32 a pie
Iceland’s mince pies include unusual ingredients such as yuzu juice and cider. But does this break from tradition deliver a good pie?
£2.50 for 6, 42p a pie
Expectations must be high for these pies as they’re the priciest on test. Are they worth paying the premium?
£2 for 6, 33p a pie
Morrisons claims its mince pies are ‘The Best’, but did our tasters agree? Find out who came out on top in our mince pie showdown.
£2 for 6, 33p a pie
Sainsbury’s pies have had a patchy record in recent years, but have they managed to nail the festive classic for 2021?
£2 for 6
There’s a trio of boozy additions here in the form of cognac, port and brandy. Did the bakers get the balance right with these all-butter pies?
All the pies featured above contain butter so aren't suitable for vegans, or indeed those who need to avoid lactose. Additionally, they all contain wheat flour so therefore contain gluten.
However, many of the supermarkets sell free-from mince pies. These vary, but most are gluten-free and many of them are vegan. Some are also alcohol free, but you should check the ingredients list of these products carefully as some won't state specifically that they do or don't contain booze.
Below is a list of some free-from options, and where they can be bought. Information and pricing correct as of November 2021.
The ingredients of a typical mince pie include a mincemeat filling made from vine fruits such as sultanas, currants, cranberries and raisins, spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, sweetened with sugar and encased with a butter-enriched shortcrust pastry.
Alcohol is a key ingredient, too, with all the pies we tested containing at least one from a list of cognac, cider, brandy and port.
Other ingredients might include:
Pre-made pies often have additional stabilisers and texturing agents such as pectin, and many contain oils including palm and rapeseed.
Yes, you should be able to freeze most mince pies for up to three months in an air-tight container, although some of the brands on test here suggest you don't. Do follow the advice on the packaging.
If your mince pie of choice can be frozen and you spot it in offer, you could always stock up early.
To defrost, simply take them out of the freezer at least a few hours before serving. Once thawed you can pop them in the oven or microwave to warm them through.
|Brand of mince pie||Calories per pie (kcal)|
While mince pies do contain plenty of fruit, we wouldn't classify them as one of your five-a-day. As such, the calorie content of an individual pie might raise some eyebrows.
Above is the brands' stated calorie content of a single pie. M&S produces the lowest-calorie pie at 214kcal, while Tesco tops the charts with its 239kcal pie.
Keep in mind that the different brands will have pies that weigh slightly more or less than each other, so this could be a factor in why different products have such different calorie contents.
Or try this mincemeat cheesecake recipe for something a bit different:
The products were assessed by a large panel of people who regularly eat mince pies.
The make-up of the panel broadly represents the demographic profile of adults in the UK. Each mince pie variety was assessed by 66 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 mince pies 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: