The Good Housekeeping Institute tested 21 classic Christmas puddings, including those from supermarkets through to more luxury offerings.
ASDA Extra Special Jewelled Topped Christmas Pudding 800g
With its beautiful jewelled fruit topping, our winning Christmas pudding is ultra-traditional. Pops of candied orange peel add interest to the moist, sweetly spiced dough and there’s a strong brandy presence too.
Waitrose No.1 Christmas Pudding 800g
Made with plump vine fruit, cream, pecans and a generous splash of cognac, our runner-up Christmas pudding has been matured for an entire year to develop its rich, rounded flavour. Citrus, cinnamon and ginger brings out a sweet marmalade flavour our panel loved.
Tesco Finest Christmas Pudding 800g
Tesco’s take on the traditional dessert has an intense boozy kick, thanks to a combination of brandy, cider, sherry and port, so it’s best saved for grown-ups! It’s packed with flavour, from rich vine fruit to sweet molasses and light spice.
M&S Collection Perfectly Matured Christmas Pudding 907g
Not only is this fruity pudding bursting with brandy and cognac, gigantic juicy raisins and whole almonds, but it is also hand-wrapped in a beautiful tea towel, making it a lovely gift for that hard-to-buy-for foodie on your list.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Christmas Pudding Laced with Cognac 800g
Testers felt that this premium pud from Sainsbury’s had a homemade feel, thanks to plump sultanas, raisins and currants. Overall, you can expect a well-balanced level of brown sugar sweetness which creates a comforting flavour, just ready for a dollop of fresh cream.
Co-op Irresistible Christmas Pudding 400g
If budget is front of mind this year, Co-op is your best bet for a great value pudding. It’s not overly sweet, so would benefit from a splash of brandy cream; however, the panel enjoyed the long-lasting spice, chunky nuts and light alcohol note.
Aldi Specially Selected 18 Month Christmas Pudding 800g
Aldi’s 18-month matured pud has a deep molasses-like sweetness, but it was the flavour of the vine fruit that dominated each bite. The sponge is lovely and rich, with alcohol adding depth and complexity, although some would have liked to taste a touch more spice.
Meg Rivers Traditional Christmas Pudding 800g
If time isn’t on your side, allow Meg Rivers to step in — each of its Christmas puddings is handmade and packed with flavour. Packed with brandy, apple chunks and fresh oranges and lemons for an extra zesty hit, it was the cloves that most noticeably lingered on the palate, for a proper spicy finish.
Harvey Nichols Classic Christmas Pudding 454g
Described as rich, nutty and zesty, you can expect syrupy sweetness and crunchy toasted nuts in every bite of this posh pud. It’s deliciously indulgent, so you should find that a little slice is enough to sate your appetite!
Cartwright & Butler Christmas Pudding 910g
Uplifting citrus is the star of the show in Cartwright & Butler’s traditional suet-like sponge pudding. A touch of salt adds a slightly savoury element to the spicy dried fruit, which avoids this moreish bake from becoming too sweet.
Best organic Christmas pudding
This organic pud is packed with plump vine fruit, rum and stout. Testers found it beautifully balanced, with cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger working in harmony. Candied citrus peel adds freshness, the chopped nuts ensure an interesting and varied bite, and the soft sponge is wonderfully moist.
Morrisons The Best Christmas Pudding 800g
Containing brandy-soaked cherries and cooking spices, Morrisons gets the festive flavour spot on here. Expect moist fruit and a mild, honeyed sweetness, coupled with tangy candied peel and warming alcohol.
Betty’s Classic Christmas Pudding 800g
With a nod to its Yorkshire heritage, Betty’s includes a glug of local ale in its classic Christmas pudding recipe. Testers thought it struck the perfect balance of sweet and savoury, with zesty citrus coming to the fore and a lick of ginger on the finish.