Nothing says Christmas like a good mince pie, scoffed at lunchtime with a cup of tea, or gently warmed in the oven for pudding with a dollop of cream.
But with so many options on the high street, it can be tricky to know which ones to choose for the ultimate festive feast. To help, we’ve completed our annual HuffPost UK taste test, sampling mince pies across nationwide supermarkets.
For classic flavours, M&S and Co-Op scored highly, while Aldi and Sainsbury’s both impressed on innovation. Meanwhile, those on a budget may want to hotfoot it to Tesco, where a pack of six tasty treats is just 87p.
Still can’t decide? Here are the reviews in full.
Aldi Sloe Gin Mince Tarts (£2.49, pack of six) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“This. Is. Amazing. I’d love to play it cool and pretend this wasn’t the best mince pie I’ve ever bought, but that would be a lie. Bear in mind, this little pocket of joy does have alcohol in it so won’t be to everyone’s taste, but that flavour does not really come through when you eat it.
“Instead, you get the sugary, buttery pastry, the gooey centre from the sloe gin and the almond flakes sprinkled on the top. It probably is worth noting that I have a sweet tooth and so am more inclined to like desserts more than the average joe, but I find it hard to believe anyone would turn their nose up at this.” – Kate Nicholson, senior trends reporter
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Cookie Cup Pies (£2, pack of four) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“I usually avoid mince pies around the festive season, for taste reasons and as many of them contain alcohol so aren’t halal, which means any alternative will catch my eye. The cookie cup pies are completely unexpected – in a good way.
“Dusted in gold sugar, they look extra special (and extra sweet). Are they too sweet to handle? Wholeheartedly yes. Are they good enough to go in for seconds? That’ll be a yes again, but I draw the line at thirds. The spiced crumble topping is straight out of a winter wonderland dream. I followed the instructions on the packaging to warm them up in the oven and it’s a game-changer. After all, if you’re going to indulge, you might as well go all out!” –Nabihah Parkar, audience engagement reporter
M&S Collection Mince Pies (£2.50, pack of six) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“These mince pies taste like a real treat and are well worth the price tag. The melt-in-the-mouth shortcrust pastry is rich and buttery, and the brandy, cider and Cognac blend provides a subtle yet warming alcoholic hit. The fruit mix consists of dried vine fruits, glacé cherries and cranberries, which is chewier that others on the market and provides an enjoyable bite. Overall, the flavour is not too sweet, not too savoury, and I love the simple yet effective star design.
“If you’re looking for a classic mince pie, I can’t fault these. A pack of six disappeared in my house at an alarming rate. I’ll be going out to buy more.” – Rachel Moss, Life editor.
Co-Op Bourbon and Bitter Orange Mince Pies (£2, pack of four) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“I’ll level with you. Once you’ve tasted as many mince pies as I have in the name of Christmas content, they become as mushed up in your mind as mincemeat. So it’s genuinely exciting to find a memorable one – and these All Butter Pastry Bourbon and Bitter Orange Mince Pies are that.
“Part of Coop’s Irresistible range, they look fancy in the packet, and even fancier out of it, dusted in edible gold sugar with a buttercream star on top. They are also mini-mouthfuls of deliciousness: the pastry buttery but compact, the orange mincemeat more like marmalade than your usual meaty stodge.
“These pies taste like little patisserie tarts. Purists may complain, and you could quibble that £2 is a lot to pay for four small ones, however fancy, when the same price gets you six bigger pies, also in the Irresistible range (and two packs of six from Co-Op’s basics line). But these are a treat, whether you take them to a party or scoff them all yourself as I did.” – Nancy Groves, head of Life
Waitrose Brown Butter Mince Pies with Courvoisier VS Cognac (£3, pack of six) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“These mince pies are strong in spice, booze and fruit which gives them a proper bite. If you like chunky fruit in your food, then you’ll love them. The mincemeat made with apricots, glacé cherries and almonds laced with Cognac, is moist and rich. But the star is the buttery pastry.
“It’s light, crumbly and not too dry. If anything, the pastry could be a bit thicker because we want more. At £3, these pies are the higher end of the price bracket but worth the spend if classic mince pies are your thing.” – Melanie Grant, audience editor, HuffPost Shopping.
Morrisons 9 Mini Mince Pies (£1.75, pack of nine) ⭐️⭐️⭐️
“I’ve never had a mince pie before just because I don’t really like mincemeat. So naturally I opt for Morrison’s mini mince pies from its Best Range, as they look cute and more manageable, and are a great price for a pack of nine.
“The size is perfect to get down in one bite. The pastry is super soft and flaky which I really enjoy and it has a nice zesty fragrance, too. I just don’t like fruity desserts, so I can’t get behind the mincemeat. I don’t think I’d go for another one, but can certainly see the appeal of these little treats for pie fans.” – Faima Bakar, Life reporter
Tesco Mince Pies (£0.87, pack of six) ⭐️⭐️⭐️
“The price of these mince pies has instant appeal at 87p for a pack of six. It’s slightly reflected in the taste; the pastry is more crumbly and less buttery than others, and there’s no booze included. Still, the spiced mincemeat made with sultanas, currants and raisins is tasty, if a little smooth and missing a bit of texture.
“It’s worth noting that Tesco’s also has a Finest range of mince pies, which may be worth exploring if you’d like a little more decadence. But if you’re on a budget, this standard range certainly does the trick – just enjoy with a cup of tea or blob of custard or cream to counteract the dryer pastry.” – Rachel Moss, Life editor.
Lidl 6 All Butter Mince Pies (£1.49, pack of six) ⭐️⭐️⭐️
“Before you even open the Lidl mince pies, you can smell them. This pack of six all-butter mince pies smells like Christmas. Lidl’s versions are filled with lightly spiced mincemeat, laced with cognac and finished with a sweet sugar dusting.
“I’m a big fan of shortbread and enjoy this flaky shortcrust pastry, hugely. The filling is also as promised, sweet, fruity and fragrant. But, I’m sorry, Lidl, I still don’t like mince pies. It’s not you, it’s me.” – Faima Bakar, Life reporter