A good Christmas pudding is the perfect indulgence: rich, moist, fruity and flavoursome. If you don't have the time, or talent, to make your own, there are plenty of ready-made puddings available from supermarkets, boutique producers and through charities and community fundraisers.

But which one is worthy of being the grand finale to your celebratory feast?

What we looked for

As the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so we've put 15 products to the test – from high-end offerings by specialist producers to supermarket brand puddings.

In a blind taste test, our experts assessed the puddings for general appearance, quality of finish, moistness, texture, mixture quality, flavour, and aroma.

The experts also looked for good shape, weight, balanced fruit, spice and alcohol flavours, even distribution of good-quality fruit ingredients and puds that held their shape when cut.

What do you look for in a Christmas pudding? Do you serve it with a sauce? And if you make your own, do you add in silver coins, or have family members take turns to stir in good wishes? Share your Christmas pud-related recipes and traditions in our member comments section at the end of the article.

Are expensive puddings better?

If you've ever made Christmas puddings at home, you'll know they're not cheap to produce. The cost of quality ingredients such as dried fruit, butter and alcohol, and the fact that they're generally made to a labour- and time-intensive recipe, all add up. So if you're buying ready-made, it's reasonable to assume you might have to fork out a little more for a top-quality pud.

Our taste test results certainly reflect this. The three most expensive puddings we bought (all $4.80 or more per 100g – that's almost $50 for a 1kg pud) rated amongst our best-tasting. But if you've already blown your budget on the seafood spread or glazed ham, don't despair. Our experts deemed two supermarket puddings to be equally deserving of being the centrepiece for your Christmas spread.

Pick of the puds

According to our experts, these were the five tastiest puddings we tested:

Pudding Lady Traditional Christmas Pudding

Pudding Lady Traditional Christmas Pudding

This traditional pudding cooked in cloth was a big hit with the panel. 

Tasting notes:
"Beautiful flavour. Would be happy to pass it off as one I made myself."
"Just how a traditional Christmas pudding should be. Dark, rich, fruity and delicious."

Price: $4.40/100g*
Contact: puddinglady.com.au

Itha's Traditional Plum Pudding

Itha's Traditional Plum Pudding

Our experts felt this was an exemplary traditional pudding.

Tasting notes:
"Good balance of fruit, spice and alcohol. Looks a heavy pudding but isn't."
"Very pleasing pudding in appearance, texture and flavours."
"Lovely pudding."

Price: $4.80/100g*
Contact: ithaspuddings.com.au

Coles Finest Luxury Christmas Pudding

Coles Finest Luxury Christmas Pudding

Our experts found this pud difficult to cut and messy to serve, but were impressed with how it presented. 

Tasting notes:
"An attractive centrepiece."
"A delicious, rich, moist and very festive Christmas pudding."
"Looks stunning!"

Price: $1.33/100g*
Contact: coles.com.au

Heston for Coles Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding

Heston for Coles Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding

Its hidden orange made it tricky to serve, but our experts were won over by how it tasted. 

Tasting notes:
"Loved the flavour of this even though not the traditional pudding."
"Good flavour from orange and syrup."
"A delicious, rich pudding."
"Excellent, exciting and flavour delivery – loved it!"

Price: $1.67/100g*
Contact: coles.com.au

Pudding Lane Classic Christmas Pudding

Pudding Lane Classic Christmas Pudding

Our experts felt this presented more like cake than pudding, but enjoyed its flavour and texture.

Tasting notes:
"Very good mouth feel."
"Love the taste."
"Lovely whole pieces of fruit falling out from mixture – very appealing."

Price: $4.40/100g*
Contact: puddinglane.com.au

Expert tip

Take care when following microwave heating instructions. All microwaves vary and the overall consistency and density of the pudding can also affect the final result, so it's best to err on the side of caution.

To get the best results when reheating solid foods such as cake, place it on a microwave-safe rack or saucer. This will help it to reheat evenly.

The pudding taste test

We tested 15 puddings, ranging in price from $1.13/100g to $4.80/100g. We've listed them below in alphabetical order. To order by another criteria, simply click on the column headings.

Product name Pack image Expert pick? Price per 100g* Total fruit (%) Contains peel? Nuts listed Alcohol listed Energy per 100g (kJ) Total fat per 100g (g) Saturated fat per 100g (g) Sugars per 100g (g) Sodium per 100g (mg) Country of origin Gluten free option available from this supplier?
Coles Finest Luxury Christmas Pudding Yes 1.33 Not stated Yes almonds brandy, port 1230 7.6 1.6 43.9 81 Made in New Zealand from local and imported ingredients Yes
Heston for Coles Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding Yes 1.67 50 Yes almonds, walnuts, pecan nuts cider, brandy, sherry, rum 1269 6.5 3.4 45.7 104 Made in United Kingdom from local and imported ingredients No
Itha's Traditional Plum Pudding Yes 4.80 Not stated Yes brandy 1010 4.9 3 28.2 220 Made in Australia. Made from local and imported ingredients. Yes
Pudding Lady Traditional Christmas Pudding Yes 4.40 45 Yes brandy 1375 9.7 5.9 39.1 197 Made in Australia from local and imported ingredients Yes
Pudding Lane Classic Christmas Pudding Yes 4.40 36 No brandy 1340 11.3 7.2 34.6 190 Made in Australia Yes
Aunt Betty's Christmas Plum Pudding 1.14 35 Yes brandy 1250 6.3 1.8 38.2 235 Made in New Zealand from local and imported ingredients No
Fowlers Luxury Plum Pudding 2.50 53 No brandy 1300 5.9 3.3 49 80 Made in Australia from Australian and imported ingredients No
Lions Traditional Lions Pudding 1.33 45 Yes brandy, rum 1530 8.3 5 50.7 195 Made in Australia No
Mills & Ware's Plum Pudding 2.00 42 Yes rum 1450 8.3 3.4 51 340 Made in Australia from local and imported ingredients No
Pud for all Seasons Traditional Plum Pudding pud for all seasons christmas pudding 3.62 Not stated No sherry, brandy 1320 7.1 4.1 42.1 294 Made in Australia from mostly local and very few imported ingredients Yes
Specially Selected (Aldi) Premium Vintage Christmas Pudding 2.00 45 Yes rum, brandy 1390 7 4.4 23.9 140 Made in Australia No
The Fabulous Food Company (Target) Traditional Christmas Pudding 1.43 37 Yes brandy 1250 6.3 1.8 38.2 235 Made in New Zealand No
Woolworths Gold Champagne Pudding 2.20 49 Yes almonds, macadamia nuts Marc de Champagne, port, cider, sherry, Champagne 1267 5.9 2.4 33.7 43 Made in England from imported and local ingredients No
Woolworths Select Matured Christmas Pudding with Cognac 1.13 45 Yes brandy, cognac, sherry 1270 7.8 1.9 53.7 70 Made in New Zealand from imported and local ingredients Yes
Yuletide Bakehouse (IGA) Irish Christms Pudding 2.64 Not stated Yes almonds, walnuts stout, cream liqueur, whiskey 1380 8.8 5 47.7 60 Made in Ireland No

* Price per 100g based on price paid in October 2015 for a pudding 1kg or closest.

Meet the experts

Meet the experts

From left to right:

  • Alison Mutton represents the Country Women's Association (CWA). Her experience ranges from judging The Land Cookery competitions for more than 14 years at both a local and state level, to appearing as a guest judge on MasterChef.
  • Jan Boon is a home economist who has been involved in the food industry for more than 40 years. She is a regular judge for the Royal Agricultural Show (RAS) Fine Food Show and has been judging for local, interstate and regional shows for over 35 years.
  • Gert Knudsen teaches Patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute in Sydney. He is a pastry chef with over 30 years' experience, having trained in Denmark and worked internationally in executive positions. He previously owned his own patisserie, producing hand made French patisserie and viennoiserie.
  • Maureen Simpson was food editor for Australian House & Garden for 30 years and is the author of three cookbooks. She was a regular on ABC radio for over a decade, discussing food on Sunday mornings.  Maureen is a judge for the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show.
  • Veronica Cuskelly is a home economist who has enjoyed a rewarding career in the food industry. Her experience led her into food judging at Sydney and regional RAS Shows, District Exhibits and Fine Foods. She is a cookbook author and editor.


A survey of Voice Your Choice members revealed that for many, what you eat with Christmas pudding is as important as the pud itself. So we asked our home economist, Fiona Mair, to serve up her own recipes for brandy sauce and brandy butter, to go with a steamed Christmas pudding recipe from the Australian Women's Weekly. You'll find all three recipes below.

Christmas pudding recipe

Make your own steamed Christmas pudding with this recipe from Pamela Clark, director of the Australian Women's Weekly test kitchen.


  • 3 cups (450g) chopped mixed dried fruit
  • ¾ cup (180ml) water
  • 1 cup (220g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 100g butter, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • ¾ cup (120g) finely chopped dried seedless dates
  • ¾ cup (120g) finely chopped raisins
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • ¾ cup (110g) plain flour
  • ¾ cup (110g) self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Combine mixed fruit, water, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for six minutes. Stir in bicarb soda. Transfer mixture to large bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  2. Stir in eggs, chopped fruit, rum and sifted dry ingredients.
  3. Grease a two-litre (eight-cup) pudding steamer; spoon mixture into steamer. Top with pleated baking paper and foil (to allow pudding to expand as it cooks); secure with kitchen string or lid.
  4. Place pudding in a large pot with enough boiling water to come halfway up side of steamer. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and boil for four hours, replenishing water as necessary to maintain level. Stand pudding for 10 minutes before turning out onto plate; serve with custard if desired.

Photo credit: Ian Wallace; Styling: Louise Pickford.

Hot brandy butter sauce recipe


  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup thickened cream
  • 2 tablespoons of brandy
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Heat butter, cream and sugar over a gentle heat until sugar is dissolved; do not let it boil.
  2. Add brandy and vanilla.
  3. Heat gently for another minute. Serve hot.

Brandy butter recipe


  • 220g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cups pure icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4–6 tablespoons brandy


  1. In a mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer until pale
  2. Add icing sugar and vanilla, beat until smooth
  3. Gradually add the brandy, to taste
  4. Place in a small bowl and refrigerate. Serve cold

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