Skip to content   Skip to footer navigation 

Which Christmas fruit mince pies taste best?

We review fruit mince pies from Aldi, Bakers Delight, Walkers and more.

three_different_christmas_fruit_mince_pies
Last updated: 08 December 2020
Fact-checked

Fact-checked

Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Fruit mince pies are a firm Christmas favourite. And unlike a pudding that's often reserved for Christmas Day, you can indulge in fruit mince pies throughout the festive season, from afternoon tea with your aunt and the picnic lunch at the beach, through to when neighbours drop in for drinks after dinner.

If you're not a fan of traditional fruit mince filling, that's not a problem – these days you can take your pick from spiced orange and cranberry, sloe gin, blood orange and fig and more. And a flavoursome filling is made even better when it's encased in a delicious shortcrust pastry.

So which store-bought fruit mince pies taste best? We review 26 products from brands including Aldi, Bakers Delight, Coles, Walkers, Woolworths and more, to find out which pies to feast on this Christmas.

Best tasting fruit mince pies

The following fruit mince pies received a CHOICE Expert Rating of 80% or more.

aldi_specially_selected_sloe_gin_fruit_mince_tarts

Aldi Specially Selected Sloe Gin Fruit Mince Tarts

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 83%
  • Price: $0.83 per pie ($4.99 per 6-pack)
  • Our experts say: "European-looking, appealing appearance. Light, crisp, buttery melt-in-mouth pastry. Great product. Feels premium. Roasted flaked almonds are a nice finish."
coles_finest_traditional_fruit_mince_pies

Coles Finest Traditional Fruit Mince Pies

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 81%
  • Price: $1 per pie ($6 per 6-pack)
  • Our experts say: "Visually appealing product. Very short [buttery], crumbly pastry. Even bake on base. Good, soft/moist mix of sultanas, currants. Some alcoholic notes. A pleasant product with a good balance of filling and pastry."
aldi_specially_selected_all_butter_almond_mince_tarts

Aldi Specially Selected All Butter Almond Mince Tarts

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 80%
  • Price: $0.83 per pie ($4.99 per 6-pack)
  • Our experts say: "Very premium, good product. European-looking attractive appearance with flaked almonds. Pastry has good flavour and holds together well. Filling a little dry, stodgy. Strong alcoholic note."
woolworths_shortcrust_fruit_mince_pies

Woolworths Fruit Mince Pies

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 80%
  • Price: $0.67 per pie ($4 per 6-pack)
  • Our experts say:  "Well-presented product. Looks commercially made but attractive and well presented. Moist, very sweet filling with some spice. Buttery, golden colour, firm pastry which balances with sweet filling."
woolworths_gold_gin_infused_pear_and_riberry_fruit_mince_tarts

Woolworths Gold Gin Infused Pear & Riberry Fruit Mince Tarts

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 80%
  • Price: $1.50 per pie ($9 per 6-pack)
  • Our experts say: "Cute-looking open tartlet, pleasant vanilla aroma. Thin (yes!), good tasting, slightly sweet pastry that holds together well. Filling has more sauce than fruit which affects texture and mouthfeel. Not enough filling."
woolworths_shortcrust_summer_berry_mince_pies

Woolworths Summer Berry Mince Pies

  • CHOICE Expert Rating: 80%
  • Price: $0.67 per pie ($4 per 6-pack)
  • Our experts say: "Appealing appearance but 'common' look. Faint berry aroma. Short (buttery) pastry. Filling is a deep burgundy colour, thick, with chunks of quite firm fruit. Good ratio pastry to filling. A pleasant flavour with subtle cranberry/cherry/blueberry notes."
coles_gluten_free_fruit_mince_pies

Best tasting gluten-free fruit mince pies

If you're coeliac or have an intolerance to gluten, that doesn't mean you have to miss out on these tasty treats at Christmas. We bought three different gluten-free mince pie products and included them in our test. 

The best tasting? Coles Gluten Free Fruit Mince Pies, with a CHOICE Expert Rating of 77%.

Cheapest fruit mince pies

The cheapest fruit mince pies are from Aldi, Coles and Woolworths:

  • Aldi The Cake Stall Fruit Mince Pies ($0.25 per pie, CHOICE Expert Rating 72%)
  • Coles Fruit Mince Pies ($0.25 per pie, CHOICE Expert Rating 71%)
  • Woolworths Essentials Fruit Mince Pies ($0.25 per pie, CHOICE Expert Rating 74%)

None of them scored high enough to make our recommended list, but they're good options if you're on a tight budget, and there were other products that cost more and scored lower.

Woolworths Gold Gin Infused Pear & Riberry Fruit Mince Tarts ($1.50 per pie) is the most expensive fruit mince pie we tested – six times the price of the cheapest options – but it's among the top rating.

Where are your fruit mince pies made? 

In a review of pies, it would be remiss of us not to include – you guessed it – a pie chart. So for a country of origin breakdown, see our pie chart, below.

A handful of the fruit mince pies we tested are made in Australia, but the majority are imported (from New Zealand, UK, Scotland and the Netherlands). 

Of the highest scoring pies, just one is made in Australia: Woolworths Gold Gin Infused Pear & Riberry Fruit Mince Tarts, with 81% Australian ingredients.

Fruit mince pies FAQ

Do fruit mince pies contain alcohol?

Twelve of the fruit mince pies we tested – including five of our top six – list alcohol as an ingredient.

Brandy and rum are the most common (and more traditional) alcoholic additions. But gin/sloe gin appears to be the alcohol du jour, with four products in this year's test sporting this ingredient.

As a proportion of ingoing ingredients, alcohol ranges from 0.07% to 4% in the pies that include it, although some of this would be cooked out during baking, so you're unlikely to get tipsy from eating a pie or two. 

But if it's a boozy flavour you're after, try Aldi Specially Selected All Butter Almond Mince Tarts (1.7% brandy), Coles Finest Traditional Fruit Mince Pies (3% brandy, 1% port) and Walkers Luxury Miniature Gin Infused Fruit Tarts (4% gin). These were the only products where alcohol rated a mention in our judges' tasting notes.

Are fruit mince pies vegetarian?

Most fruit mince pies are vegetarian, but we did come across one product that isn't. Woolworths Gold Gin Infused Pear & Riberry Fruit Mince Tarts are made with margarine that contains beef fat, so they're not suitable for people who want to avoid meat products.

Coles Gluten Free Fruit Mince Pies are even suitable for vegans, as their pastry is made from vegetable rather than dairy fats. The remainder aren't, as their shortcrust pastry contains butter. 

Are fruit mince pies unhealthy?

Fruit mince pies are something of an indulgence – the heady combo of fruit mince, pastry and often alcohol means they're loaded with sugar, fat and their associated kilojoules. 

For many of us, diet plans are thrown out the window during the festive season. But if you're counting calories at Christmas, note the following:

  • Most kilojoules: Bakers Delight Fruit Mince Tart (1153kJ per pie). That's 13% of the average daily intake, before you've added any custard or brandy butter! At 73g, these are the largest pies we tested.
  • Least kilojoules: Walkers Luxury Miniature Gin Infused Fruit Tarts (384kJ per pie). At 23g, these are the smallest pies we tested.
homemade brandy butter sauce

Brandy butter and sauce recipes 

Fruit mince pies are delicious on their own, but a creamy sauce (with the obligatory splash of brandy!) can take them to a new level. 

Fiona Mair, CHOICE home economist, shares her own recipes for brandy sauce and brandy butter.

four_taste_test_judges

Our judges (L–R): Brigid Treloar, Michele Walsh, Adam Moore, Ian Huntley

Meet our expert taste testers

Adam Moore is a prolific culinary judge, with credits including judging for Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) Fine Food competitions across a range of categories. 

He has formal qualifications in pastry, charcuterie and butchery, sensory evaluation, food styling and food photography. With more than 25 years in the industry, he has worked in restaurants, food service, retail, food manufacturing, marketing and sales and is ranked among the world's top corporate chefs. 

Brigid Treloar has been a freelance food consultant for over 30 years. The author of eight cookbooks, she also contributes to newspapers and magazines, reviews restaurants, judges cookery and recipe competitions, and is a judge in the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show Bakery Competition. 

Brigid has presented specialist cooking classes around Australia and overseas, and often appears on TV and radio. She's an industry assessor for Le Cordon Bleu, and advises many of Australia's food companies on product and recipe development.

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. 

Michele Walsh has worked in the baking industry for more than 30 years, starting as an apprentice and now working as a tertiary-educated professional in the vocational education and training sector, where she delivers training to apprentices and non-apprentices in retail baking and patisserie. 

She has more than 15 years' experience in judging, including the RAS Professional Bakery and WorldSkills trades competitions. 

rows_of_fruit_mince_pies_ready_for_taste_test

Coded samples randomised and ready for tasting.

How we test

Products

We taste tested 26 fruit mince pie products that are available in major supermarket chains and the leading national bakery chain. 

Price is based on the price paid in Sydney stores (not on special) in November 2020. 

Tasting

Our experts tasted the fruit mince pie samples 'blind' (without knowing the brands) in a randomised order, which was different for each expert.

Scores

Experts independently judged all fruit mince pie products, scoring a range of criteria for each sample, as follows:

  • Visual appeal (points out of 20)
  • Aroma (points out 15)
  • Flavour (points out of 20)
  • Mouthfeel (points out of 15)
  • Eatability (points out of 15)
  • Pastry to filling ratio (points out of 15)

The CHOICE Expert Rating is the resulting points total (out of 100). We recommend fruit mince pies with a CHOICE Expert Rating of 80% or more.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact checking at CHOICE.