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What’s the best tasting Christmas pudding?

We review Christmas plum puds from Aldi, Coles, Itha’s, Pudding Lady and more. 

christmas pudding plate and spoon
Last updated: 12 November 2019

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?

We blind taste test and review 13 Christmas puddings, from brands including Aldi, Coles, Itha’s and Pudding Lady. Whether you're a seasonal scrooge or prepared to splurge, there's a perfect Christmas pud for you.

Best Christmas puddings

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

Aldi Specially Selected Golden Champagne Pudding

It says Christmas!

Aldi Specially Selected Luxury Golden Champagne Pudding (900g)

  • CHOICE score: 89%
  • Price: $10.99 ($1.22 per 100g)
  • Country of origin statement: Made in New Zealand from imported and New Zealand ingredients.
  • Experts say: "Unusual pudding with whole fruit and jazzy with glitter! A generous topping, adds a real festive feel – it says Christmas! Moist, rich and fruity flavour and well balanced. Cut well (even through the topping). No need for sauce or extras, it has it all. Yum!"
Pudding Lady Traditional Christmas Pudding

Pudding Lady Traditional Christmas Pudding (1kg)

  • CHOICE score: 79%
  • Price: $47 ($4.70 per 100g)
  • Country of origin statement: Made in Australia from at least 90% Australian ingredients.
  • Website: puddinglady.com.au
  • Experts say: "Great product. Looks good and holds well when cut, good density, moist but not too wet. Loved the flavour, and the initial orange aroma. Fruit has some fruit flavour rather than just sweetness. Not a lot of spice evident in aroma or flavour but a nice eating pudding. Well balanced with a good, lingering aftertaste."
Coles Christmas Pudding

Coles Christmas Pudding (700g)

  • CHOICE score: 75%
  • Price: $4 ($0.57 per 100g)
  • Country of origin statement: Made in New Zealand.
  • Experts say: "Good traditional shape and good colour. Cuts well. Rich aroma. Quality fruits used, with good distribution. Not a lot of spiciness, but nice flavour and balanced lingering aftertaste."
Coles Finest Luxury Christmas Pudding

Coles Finest Luxury Christmas Pudding (900g)

  • CHOICE score: 72%
  • Price: $12 ($1.33 per 100g)
  • Country of origin statement: Made in New Zealand.
  • Experts say: "Good product. Well presented with an interesting topping. Not as easy to cut and hold its shape. Moist and full of fruit. Good eating quality. Good, sweet flavour with a slightly bitter aftertaste."
Coles 9 Month Matured Christmas Pudding

Coles 9 Month Matured Christmas Pudding (700g)

  • CHOICE score: 72%
  • Price: $7 ($1 per 100g)
  • Country of origin statement: Made in the United Kingdom.
  • Experts say: "Good shape and size with a smooth appearance. Full of (large) fruit. Very moist and rich – cuts well, considering.  Quite sweet but no spiciness apparent, so little depth of flavour." 

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.

But if you've already blown your budget on the seafood spread or glazed ham, don't despair – our results show you can buy a delicious centrepiece for your Christmas spread and still have change from $20.

Although the most expensive product in our test (Pudding Lady Traditional Christmas Pudding, $47 or $4.70 per 100g) was amongst the best-tasting, four much cheaper supermarket puddings – including a $4 ($0.57 per 100g) pud from Coles – rounded out our experts' top five.

Christmas puddings compared

taste testers ready to taste test christmas puddings

Ian Huntley, Brigid Treloar and Alison Mutton

Meet our expert taste testers 

Ian Huntley is a pastry chef by trade and has been in the industry for 35 years. Ian studied confectionery, cake decorating and bread making in the UK before moving to Australia in the mid 1980s. After five years of working in two of Sydney's top hotels, The InterContinental and The Regent, he started his wholesale patisserie business, supplying desserts and pastries to airlines, department stores, hospitals, restaurants and coffee shops. Today Ian is the chair of judges for the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) Professional Bakery competition and chief assessor for patisserie for leading French culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu.

Brigid Treloar has been a freelance food consultant for over 30 years. The author of eight cookbooks, she ran a cake business for 10 years for private, corporate and commercial clients and also contributes to newspapers and magazines, reviews restaurants, and judges cookery and recipe competitions, including the RAS Fine Food Professional Bakery Competition. Brigid has presented specialist cooking classes in Sydney, around Australia and overseas, and often appears on TV and radio. She is an industry assessor for Le Cordon Bleu, advises many of Australia's food companies on product and recipe development, and also provides recipes and cooking information for company websites.

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.

Christmas pudding recipe

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

Brandy butter and sauce recipes

What you add to your Christmas pudding is as important as the pud itself.  Our CHOICE home economist, Fiona Mair, serves up her own recipes for brandy sauce and brandy butter.

How we test

person writing notes on paper next to plate of crumbs

Experts independently judged all Christmas puddings

Products

We tested 13 Christmas puddings, from high-end offerings by specialist producers to supermarket brand puddings that are available nationally in-store or online. Price is based on the price we paid for a 1kg (or closest) pudding (not including postage and handling where applicable) in October 2019.

three people smelling christmas pudding

Aroma was one criteria the experts judged

Tasting

We re-heated puddings in the microwave according to directions on pack. 

Our experts tasted the Christmas puddings 'blind' (without knowing the brands). They assessed the puddings for appearance and quality of finish, flavour and aroma, texture and baked quality and quality of mixture.

The experts were looking 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.

christmas pudding next to a laptop with person typing

Scores are calculated and verified

Scores

Experts independently judged all Christmas puddings. The CHOICE score is made up of appearance/quality of finish (25%), flavour and aroma (40%),  texture/baked quality (20%) and mixture quality (15%). 

We recommend products with a CHOICE score of 70% or more.

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