Discover the best supermarket mince pies, Christmas puddings and desserts, as taste tested in our Christmas Taste Awards 2019.
All products were chosen independently by our editorial team. This review contains affiliate links, powered by Skimlinks, and we may receive a commission for purchases made. Please read our FAQ page to find out more.
The results of the BBC Good Food Christmas Taste Awards 2019 are in! Our expert panel of judges tried over 200 festive products from 12 UK supermarkets to bring you the best buys of the season, and included were dozens of mince pies, puddings, cakes and desserts. See the full results and put together your ultimate festive shopping list for Christmas 2019. But first, read on to discover which retailers won the all-important sweet categories.
The best mince pies 2019
The Best all butter deep filled mince pies (pack of 6) Available from Morrisons (£2)
A clear favourite, these taste like traditional, homemade mince pies. The mincemeat is nicely spiced, juicy and packed with whole, plump pieces of fruit, while the pastry is short and buttery.
The best gluten-free mince pies 2019
M&S made without gluten mince pies Available in-store from M&S (£2.50)
These star-topped pies have an appealing homemade look. The pastry is short and crumbly with a sweet, buttery taste, while the filling is contrastingly sharp with a good level of spicing and chunky fruit.
The best panettone 2019
The Best classic panettone Available from Morrisons (£8)
With a golden, buttery and light (but not remotely dry) crumb; juicy, well-distributed fruit and subtle alcohol kick, this panettone is a no-frills knockout that feels supremely well made.
The best Christmas cake 2019
Waitrose & Partners No 1 richly fruited Christmas cake Available from Waitrose & Partners (£16)
This mature, deeply flavoured Christmas cake ticks all the boxes. Not only is it nutty, boozy, packed with plump fruit, heavy with citrus and nicely spiced, it also has – according to our judges – the perfect ratio of icing, marzipan and cake.
The best traditional centrepiece dessert 2019
Heston from Waitrose ‘The Fig & Port Cheese Cake’ Available from Waitrose & Partners (£12) [launching 13 December]
Don’t be fooled into thinking this Heston creation (designed to look like a wheel of cheese on a cheeseboard) is just a gimmick. This clever dessert combines creamy, feather-light cheesecake with a complementary fig & port ‘chutney’-style filling and a ‘cheeseboard’ made from crisp, buttery biscuit.
The best chocolate centrepiece dessert 2019
Waitrose & Partners the giant Jaffa cake dessert Available in-store from Waitrose & Partners (£13) [launching 13 December]
This elegant layered dessert has a pronounced, natural chocolate-orange flavour that fully lives up to the nostalgic Jaffa title. Its slender shape, distinct layers and shiny lustre finish make this easy-to-portion pudding look as if it’s come from a fancy French patisserie.
The best vegan dessert 2019
Vegan chocolate & cherry dessert Available from M&S (£10)
A stand-out winner, this impressed with its balance of rich chocolate and sharp, sour cherry. It tastes festive and indulgent, and ‘you wouldn’t know it’s vegan’ – high praise indeed.
The best Christmas pudding 2019
Deluxe 24 month matured Christmas pudding Available in-store from Lidl (£11.99)
This plump, juicy pud is packed with lots of whole fruit and nuts and a balanced level of spice and peel, providing a moreish, lasting flavour. Its ample size and pronounced, but not too strong, brandy flavour makes it great for the whole family.
The best gluten-free Christmas pudding 2019
Free-from Christmas pudding Available from Tesco (£3.75)
Filled with plump raisins and whole toasted nuts, this glossy, gluten-free pudding offers a good level of juiciness without being too sickly sweet. Praised for having a nice balance of spice, booze and citrus flavours as well as a good texture and appealing outer shine, it’s also one of the larger puds we tried, so would cater well for a crowd.
The best stollen 2019
Heston From Waitrose pistachio stollen loaf Available from Waitrose & Partners (£8) [available in December]
Golden, spice-laced, buttery brioche dough and a perfectly soft marzipan centre makes this stollen a real standout. Although the shape is traditional, its syrupy apricot glaze and topping of toasted flaked almonds, verdant pistachios and sweet dried cherries helped elevate this above its rivals.
The best yule log
Woodland yule log Available from M&S (£15)
A showstopper through and through, the novel tree-stump design of this cake (with added woodland toadstools and acorns) makes it stand out at first glance, then it goes on to wow in flavour and texture, too. Cleverly coiled chocolate sponge – light, yet certainly not dry – melds perfectly with sweet chocolate buttercream, rich ganache and slightly bitter cocoa dusting.
The best sweet canapés 2019
Co-op Irresistible Belgian chocolate cups Available in-store from Co-op (£3.50)
These attractive-looking mini morsels come in two distinct, punchy flavours to please all party goers. Choose from sweet, tangy passionfruit with white chocolate or rich chocolate with salted caramel.
More Christmas shopping pages
This review was last updated in November 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ready to do your big Christmas food shop? First, check out the full list of winners in this year's BBC Good Food Christmas Taste Awards.