/ Food & Drink

Pick of the puddings: pricey doesn’t always mean best

Luxury Christmas pudding with a sprig of holly on top

In our expert Christmas pudding taste test, the panel awarded Best Buy status to luxury offerings from Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Tesco. How much would you spend on a Christmas pudding?

Christmas puddings from M&S and Waitrose, which were the most expensive in our blind taste test, came out bottom of the scoreboard. It seems that price doesn’t always reflect quality.

Our panel disliked the overly sweet and sticky texture of Waitrose’s cherry and almond topped Christmas pudding with edible glitter (£14.99 for 907g). But they really liked the ‘pleasant citrus notes’ and mellow alcohol flavour of the Tesco Finest Christmas Pudding with Courvoisier VS Cognac, which costs almost half as much (£7.99 for 907g).

Pudding the boat out

2012 Which? Christmas pudding taste test resultsI spend Christmas Day with relatives and they serve Christmas lunch with lots of champagne, wine and other treats. My contribution for the day is always the Christmas pudding, so would it be acceptable for me to take a £7.99 one? Personally, I feel that I should spend a bit more to reflect what my hosts have spent.

Instead I’ve bought a luxury pudding from an artisan producer that cost around £25. Who knows if we’ll be able to tell the difference, but I’ll at least feel better about it.

If the shoe was on the other foot and I was hosting, I’d happily serve up a Best Buy pud and feel proud of my savings.

How much do you spend on a Christmas pudding? Do you make your own?

Does Christmas pudding feature on your festive menu?

Yes, I buy one (57%, 547 Votes)

Yes, I make my own (17%, 165 Votes)

No, I don't like it (16%, 157 Votes)

I don't know (5%, 49 Votes)

No, I don't celebrate Christmas (4%, 40 Votes)

Total Voters: 966

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I love Christmas pudding, but am not too keen on ones that are very rich. In my experience home-made puddings are usually very good and often better than those bought from shops.

What I hate are some of the tasteless offerings that you usually get if you go out for a meal. Any supermarket offering would probably be better, and if you are offered anything decent, it’s usually a tiny portion.

I’ve found Which? advice on Christmas puddings to be very useful.


I’ve answered Yes I make my own, when in fact its my mum and now Cousin that makes them. Not had one from my cousin yet, so keeping fingers crossed. The ones I have from my mum are always the ones she’d make from last year.


I wonder if Waitrose hide one of those little green counters they give you at the checkout in their puds? With Tesco’s it no doubt half a sixpence and Morrisons probably can’t even spare a groat.


Unfortunately health & safety considerations seem to have outlawed the manufacture of food containing the coins we remember from our youth. This can be found in the Christmas and Other Festive Puddings Regulations 1978, as amended. I believe that there is an exemption for consenting parents (or guardians) and their children to be allowed to make and consume the offending objects.

Incidentally, the traditional use of holly with red berries to decorate Christmas puddings is the first known use of the ‘traffic light’ symbols to denote food with a high fat and sugar content. I believe that it fell through a time warp, to use the language of science fiction enthusiasts.


As ever, Wavechange, we are indebted to you for your pearls of wisdom on even the most improbable subjects. I seem to remember those regulations being made on April 1st 1978, and like a good pudding, to the gullible, they remain edible almost for ever. Of course, to replicate the spending power of a pre-decimal sixpence you would probably have to put a £2 coin in the mix and hope not to choke on it.

Rosemary says:
19 November 2012

I am amazed so few people make their own Christmas puddings. It is not difficult, tastes good and also much cheaper.

Malc.Moore says:
20 November 2012

I am surprised Aldi Christmas pudding got any rating a couple of years ago i took 1 back to the shop and complained about how many nuts it contained the manager gave me a refund and apologized.Aldi
extra special Stollern at£3.99 is very tasty though if you can get one they usually sell fast.

Anton says:
23 November 2012

Nobody seems to have commented on the ludicrously high quantities of sugar in all supermarket Christmas puddings — sometimes as much as 60%, never less than 40%. This makes for sickeningly oversweet (as well as scarcely healthy) puddings. I know Brits have a notoriously sweet tooth but they would find that puds with 25-30% sugar (and that’s scarcely low) would be no less tasty. And the hypocrisy of said supermarkets, when they’re always proclaiming their commitment to low fat, salt and sugar!


I agree that it would be nice to have healthier Christmas puddings. Whether they would taste nice is another question.

If you have Christmas pudding once a year, the sugar and fat are u