- Christmas cake
- Mince pies
- Party food
- Advent calendars
- Christmas main
- Vegetarian & Vegan Christmas Main
- Pigs in blankets
- Smoked salmon
- Showstopping dessert
- Christmas pudding
- Cranberry sauce
- Festive drinks
- Christmas fizz
- Christmas wines
- Food gifts
- Special Recognition Awards
- New Brand or Product
Welcome to woman&home's Tried & Tasted Christmas Awards. Our expert food team have blind-tasted an array of products submitted by both independent producers and supermarkets to help ensure you buy the very best Christmas food and drink this year.
The Tried & Tasted Christmas Awards were judged by the expert members of the Future food team: Food Editor Samuel Goldsmith, Deputy Food Editor Rose Fooks, Senior Food Writer Jessica Ransom, Food Writer Keiron George and Freelance Food Writer Rosie Bensberg.
The team taste thousands of food and drink products throughout the year and are well practised in spotting the very best products in a variety of categories. For the wine tasting, the team were joined by wine experts Alex Layton and Shivani Tomar from Decanter who have over a decade’s experience in the wine industry.
Organising the taste tests is a huge logistical operation. The samples are delivered to the test kitchen where they are prepared and blind-tasted by the panel who make a unanimous decision of the winners in each category. They take into account the taste, look and feel of each product. This year for the first time sustainability was an additional category of which the judges chose one very special winner.
This roundup of the best Christmas food and drink includes the runners up in each category too that also received high scores. We’re so happy to share our best festive food suggestions with you, and hope they make your Christmas extra special.
Best Christmas cake
No.1 Rich Fruit Cake
This cake is a stand out winner that tastes just as great as it looks. Cut through the icing and marzipan to reveal a nut and fruit-filled cake with a fantastic texture that is moist and rich and holds together well. We also enjoyed the rich marzipan which has a lovely almond flavour.
The Best Iced Christmas Cake
Morrisons’ festive bakes never fail to impress, and this delicious cake was no exception. By the time you enjoy this cake, it will have been maturing for a minimum three months, allowing the flavours to intensify. The flavour is very boozy, which we love, with a subtle hint of nutmeg and spice. It looks less impressive than some of the other entries, but the design is simple and classy. Exceptional quality for a supermarket cake and at under £10 it's a real bargain.
Biscuiteers Christmas Greenery Christmas Cake
This cake won us over with the charming hand-iced design. It tasted homemade with every slice packed with ginger, figs and chunky pieces of cherry. It’s quite heavily spiced giving it an extra festive feel.
Best Mince Pies
Biscuiteers Handmade Mince Pies
This exceptional pie has a real artisanal feel and the textures and flavours are very well balanced. The pastry is buttery and flaky and the mincemeat filling is rich without being overly sweet. Each pie has a frangipane top that adds a crisp nuttiness to round them off. The judges agreed that these luxury pies have the Christmas wow factor.
Waitrose Gluten-Free Mince Pies
These mince pies stood out because they were larger than the other entries which could make them perfect for sharing - although we'd understand if you'd prefer not to! Topped with a crisp and delicious pastry with an elegant design, these pies are filled with a mincemeat bursting with flavour thanks to the chunky, coarse fruits.
Riverford Organic Vegan Mince Pies
These were the best vegan mince pies that we tried, they're from Riverford, so you know they are going to contain the best quality organic ingredients. Despite containing no dairy they still have a rich decadent flavour. When tasting we did find the pastry a little crumbly, but the perfectly spiced filling more than compensated.
Best Party Food
Mini New Yorker Style Pastrami Toasties
Miniature sarnies filled with oozy cheese, pastrami, mustard and pickles. It doesn't get much better than that. With a great balance of flavours, these are guaranteed to be a real crowd-pleaser. Our judges commended the mustard and enjoyed that they were something a little different from the norm. They are a little on the greasy side, which we kind of love about them. But if you don’t want your guests to get greasy fingers why not pierce them with a cocktail stick and perhaps add a cornichon for good measure.
Clementina Cakes Great British Brownies
Pure chocolate indulgence, the brownies were a hit with our judges who couldn’t stop sneaking bites of these beauties. The brownies have blue cornflowers petals scattered on top, so would look pretty at a buffet, or if you’re hosting a canapé party you could cut each brownie into four pieces to make a delicious bite-sized nibble.
Booths Salt and Pepper Chicken
Chunky chicken pieces encased in a crunchy peppery crumb, with a spicy dip—our judges were impressed with the punchy flavour. These tasty bites are sure to be a hit at a party and would complement a glass of white wine or light beer.
Irresistible Sea Salt & Chardonnay Fish Rosti Stackers
These Fish Rosti Stackers are sure to be a hit at parties this festive season. They have the flavour of the seaside in every bite and will add a nostalgic charm to your soiree. The judges adored the addition of mushy peas for a little fun, and the zingy salt and vinegar powder.
M&S Beef Burger Spring Rolls
Beef burger spring rolls? Yes, you heard us right. The judges were big fans of this unorthodox combination and if you’re a fast food fan you will likely love these. Bite through the crispy crunchy exterior and these unassuming rolls have all the components of a burger—the addition of pickles was an inspired move!
Best Advent Calendar
Hotel Chocolat The Grand Advent Calendar
This supersized calendar contains an amazing array of gifts to enjoy in the lead-up to the big day. From chocolates to lip balm to gin, this calendar has a real variety of treats to give each day an extra special surprise.
Lakrids By Bülow Christmas Calendar
Have you discovered Lakrids By Bülow yet? They are a Danish liquorice brand that specialises in making remarkably delicious chocolate coated liquorice balls—and they come in an enchanting array of flavours from mango to salted caramel. In this calendar each door hides a packet of two with an extra special treat for the 24th.
Morrisons The Best Panettone
A great tasting classic with a well-balanced flavour and springy texture, this panettone is bursting with juicy candied peel and raisins and has a lovely golden colour. Morrisons has become our go-to destination for great quality Christmas panettone.
Crosta & Mollica Hand-wrapped Apricot Panettone
This apricot panettone was a joy to eat. The judges praised the vanilla buttery flavour and sturdy texture. It was less fruit-heavy than some others in this category so would be a good option for breakfast. In Italy, the home of the panettone, it’s customary to take a panettone to people you visit around Christmas and this one comes wrapped up in pretty orange paper, so would make a lovely gift.
Parson's Nose turkey
A stand out winner. This bird really impressed the judges with its exceptional flavour and magnificent looks. The skin was deliciously crispy and the meat incredibly succulent. The cooking time was a little inaccurate, but it helpfully comes with a popper to signal when it’s ready to come out.
Co-op Irresistible Organic Pembrokeshire Turkey
This turkey has a lovely crispy golden skin while the meat inside stays perfectly moist—and the jus would make for a spectacular gravy.