Queensland Taste road tests the latest Christmas treats from the supermarkets. Picture: Mark Cranitch
Queensland Taste road tests the latest Christmas treats from the supermarkets. Picture: Mark Cranitch

Picking the best Christmas sweet treats

Planning a Christmas feast at your place? Sometimes making everything from scratch can be hard, which is where pre-made supermarket options can be a life saver.

But with so many pies, puddings, cakes and treats on the market, which ones should you buy that are going to taste as good as homemade?

Executive chef of Brookfield's Wild Canary cafe Glen Barratt and New Farm Confectionery owner and chef Jodie Nielson tried their way through more than 20 festive season offerings to see which ones deserve a place at your table this year.

 

WOOLWORTHS GOLD PINEAPPLE & RUM PUDDING $14

Jodie: It doesn't hold together very well but it's incredibly moist. It's pretty flavourful. I'm quite impressed with that one. Presentation is great.

8/10

Glen: I like the idea of the pineapple. It's got lots of flavour. It's moist. The balance of flavour is there. I like the addition of the coconut and it comes as a little kit, which is great.

8/10

 

COLES FINEST TRADITIONAL FRUIT MINCE PIES $6

Jodie: It's almost stale. It's like a fake fat - that Chrisco lard stuff - it can't be butter. That one tastes cheap.

4/10

Glen: The pastry is a bit crumbly. It's got an almost fridginess to it from whatever fat or butter they've put in the pastry. There's nothing exciting about it.

4/10

 

 

Specially Selected Chocolate Chip Brioche Christmas Tree $7.99, Aldi
Specially Selected Chocolate Chip Brioche Christmas Tree $7.99, Aldi

 

ALDI SPECIALLY SELECTED CHOCOLATE CHIP BRIOCHE CHRISTMAS TREE $7.99

Glen: I like the custard. The chocolate is nice and bitter so it mellows out the sweetness of the custard and the pastry. The brioche is nice and soft and squishy, as it should be. It's probably got a good balance - it's not too sweet.

7/10

Jodie: That would be nice warm. The chocolate is great. I'm not a big fan of the custard - I think it's a bit stodgy. The brioche is good because it's not greasy.

6/10

 

 

Woolworths Giant Gingerbread Iced Cookie 250g - $4.00
Woolworths Giant Gingerbread Iced Cookie 250g - $4.00

 

WOOLWORTHS GIANT GINGERBREAD ICED COOKIE 250G $4

Jodie: He's aesthetically very pleasing. He's a little bit stale. I think he was made quite a substantial amount of time ago. I think if you ate a decent amount of it you wouldn't want it too much more ginger-y. But in a bite there's not a huge amount of ginger.

4/10

Glen: It's not gingerbread-y. It's like they've overcooked it - it's slightly dry. There's no spice excitement other than that ginger flavour. Sometimes you get layers of flavour with the spices where as that is quite flat. He's visually appealing, he looks cool. As a kid you'd be stoked with the size of it more than anything.

4/10

 

 

Coles Sausage Roll Wreath $8
Coles Sausage Roll Wreath $8

 

COLES SAUSAGE ROLL WREATH $8

Glen: I like the idea that it's a wreath, but with sausage rolls, if it's not a roll with two ends that go crispy and cook through and you get almost the crackling and crispy bits of the mince, so you get flavours with the juices coming out the end. It's like having a roast with no crispy or crackling bits.

4/10

Jodie: The pastry is really stodgy. It's not crisp at all, it's soft and soggy. That fat layer in my mouth is also not good.

4/10

 

ALDI SPECIALLY SELECTED PANFORTE TRADITIONAL $7.99

Jodie: Nice texture - lots of nuts - but it doesn't have a huge amount of flavour, it's just sweet. It's like they put all the fruit and the nuts in it, but forgot to put the spice in it.

6/10

Glen: They're normally spicier with hints of pepper and nutmeg or both. The nuts are good though - it's really nutty. I don't mind it for what it is. It's one of those things you wouldn't make at home. It's just like marmalade and nuts, that's all you can taste.

5/10

 

 

Coles Pork Belly Bites spiced apple $12
Coles Pork Belly Bites spiced apple $12

 

COLES PORK BELLY BITES SPICED APPLE $12

Glen: It's not bad. The sauce is nice - it's got a good acidity to it. The pork is cooked properly, which is really good. You could just put some herbs on top and be like, 'here's one I prepared earlier' and probably get away with it.

9/10

Jodie: I was expecting it to be a lot drier but it's moist. The sauce is sweet but not overly sweet. I'm actually quite impressed with that one.

8.5/10

 

WOOLWORTHS GOLD ALL BUTTER BRANDY INFUSED FRUIT MINCE PIES 6PK $5

Jodie: They're not as pretty as the others. There's whole chunks of fruit but there's no spice. I got a whole piece of fruit which I quite like. I like the flavour of the fruit in this one, but not the pastry.

4/10

Glen: The pastry is a bit flour-y. It almost tastes poorly homemade, where you've rolled out the pastry in too much flour as you were working it so it's got that doughiness. There's no spice to it. The initial flavour is sweet.

4/10

 

ALDI SPECIALLY SELECTED ICED ALL OVER XMAS CAKE $13.99

Glen: I think the amount of icing is cool between the two layers with the marzipan. I think overall it's got good balance. I like the marzipan. It's really flavourful. It's not too sweet because the icing's not too thick like you find sometimes. I'd buy that.

8/10

Jodie: There's marzipan underneath the fondant. It's not too dry, it's not incredibly moist, but I think it's acceptable. There's heaps of fruit. The fondant isn't too sweet. If you liked marzipan I think that's pretty good. I think it's pretty nice.

8/10

 

SHINGLE INN MINI FRUIT CAKE $19.95

Glen: It's almost like a boiled pudding, less cake like. I don't like the flavour of the icing. It's got a chemical flavour to the fondant. I don't mind the bottom. It tastes like old sultanas.

4/10

Jodie: It's a bit stodgy. This one is almost pudding-y. The fondant is almost floury.

4/10

 

 

Gold Spiced Gingerbread Pudding -$14.00
Gold Spiced Gingerbread Pudding -$14.00

 

WOOLWORTHS GOLD SPICED GINGERBREAD PUDDING $14

Glen: It's nice and moist. The sauce is nice. It's got a good ginger flavour to it.

8/10

Jodie: I like the stars on top. The stars are very cute. I really like the pudding. I think it's got nice ginger in it, it's nice and moist but it's holding together. My only criticism is that the sauce has too much salt in it. I love the ginger I've got in my mouth and throat now.

7/10

 

Woolworths Sticky Toffee Pudding 110g - $2.00
Woolworths Sticky Toffee Pudding 110g - $2.00

 

WOOLWORTHS STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING $2

Glen: It's pretty old school. You could almost get away with serving this as something you've just whipped up. I think it's got the right amount of sauce. All together I really like it but if you eat just the bottom of it it's a bit plain.

7/10

Jodie: That reminds me of my grandmother's old steamed pudding. I actually really like that. That's nostalgic for me. It doesn't have a huge flavour profile, it's just sweet and caramel, but it's nice and moist. I like that it's small and cute. I really like that one because it's so old-fashioned, traditional, nostalgic, moist and caramel-ly.

8/10

 

WOOLWORTHS ICED FRUIT CAKE BITES $5

Jodie: That's fine. It's almost homemade. It's not overly spiced or anything but it's got lots of fruit.

7/10

Glen: It's something that grandma would whip up. The spice is good in it. I think the ratio of icing is right - it's not sickly sweet. The fruit tastes good in it, there's nice sweetness.

7/10

 

Specially Selected Luxury Black Forest Stollen $9.99, Aldi
Specially Selected Luxury Black Forest Stollen $9.99, Aldi

 

ALDI SPECIALLY SELECTED LUXURY BLACK FOREST STOLLEN $9.99

Glen: It's like a white bread that they've put some fruit it but still just tastes like white bread. I like the marzipan.

5/10

Jodie: I always find stollen too dry. It's a bit doughy. It's got a decent amount of fruit in it, a bit of spice. It's very sweet. It's not a bad representation of a stollen but it's not a fabulous representation.

6/10

 

 

Coles Passionfruit and Mango Trifle $14
Coles Passionfruit and Mango Trifle $14

 

COLES PASSIONFRUIT AND MANGO TRIFLE $14

Jodie: Oh my god, that's terrible. That cream. The cake was soggy. That doesn't even rate. It's gross. The cream tasted terrible - I don't think a cow went anywhere near it.

0/10

Glen: That cream is wrong. The passionfruit has the acid of passionfruit but it's got the wrong flavour. That's one where should just definitely get the kids to make it at home. Everything was bad about it. If I bought that and tried it at home I'd probably take it back. I'd be just angry.

1/10

 

 

Specially Selected Shortcrust Pastry Mince Pies 6pk $4.49, Aldi
Specially Selected Shortcrust Pastry Mince Pies 6pk $4.49, Aldi

 

ALDI SPECIALLY SELECTED SHORTCRUST PASTRY MINCE PIES 6PK $4.49

Glen: The top is a bit thick. I like the smell of it, I like the spice. The pastry is good - it's super short and doesn't have any residual weird flavours that you can sometimes get. There's good spice. It presents well - it's pretty.

8/10

Jodie: It's actually nice tasting pastry. There's lots of apple and sultanas. There's lots of spice in it too. I quite enjoyed that one.

8/10

 

 

Specially Selected Premium Vintage Xmas Pudding 700g $14.99, Aldi
Specially Selected Premium Vintage Xmas Pudding 700g $14.99, Aldi

 

ALDI SPECIALLY SELECTED PREMIUM VINTAGE XMAS PUDDING $14.99

Glen: It smells good. I don't mind it. The fruit's nice, the spices are good. I like the fact that it tastes like it's homemade but a good homemade. That with whipped cream, ice cream, it's pretty yum. You wouldn't be disappointed if you had that. You wouldn't tell anyone you didn't make it.

9/10

Jodie: It's very moist. There's the old school glace cherries in it. I think we could pretend to have made it. That with some custard out of a carton you could totally pretend to have made it. You would think your grandmother had made it.

9/10

 

Specially Selected Luxury Christmas Chocolate Sponge Pudding $14.99, Aldi
Specially Selected Luxury Christmas Chocolate Sponge Pudding $14.99, Aldi

 

ALDI SPECIALLY SELECTED LUXURY CHRISTMAS CHOCOLATE SPONGE PUDDING $14.99

Jodie: It's the medicinal cherry sauce. It's just a warm chocolate cake. It's aesthetically pleasing - like the little mould that it's in that's great. It's got artificial flavours.

5/10

Glen: It tastes like chocolate cake packet mix. It's oversweet with that syrup. It's sickly.

4/10

 

 

Coles Gingerbread & Butterscotch Sponge pudding $12
Coles Gingerbread & Butterscotch Sponge pudding $12

 

COLES GINGERBREAD & BUTTERSCOTCH SPONGE PUDDING $12

Jodie: That one is really good. Nice and moist - really light and fluffy. The caramel sauce is really good - not overly sweet - and it looks pretty. The gold is lovely.

9/10

Glen: I don't mind that. It's similar consistency to puddings I've made in the past. Good texture. The sauce is probably a little bit sweet which sort of overpowers the spice in the pudding. If you're serving it with a custard or an ice cream though it would probably even out. Nice consistency in the pudding. It presents cool with the gold, it's just probably a little bit floury with the finish of it. It's not as good as it could be.

7/10

 

COLES CHRISTMAS PUDDING ICE CREAM $4

Jodie: It's a bit icy. There's a bit of an artificial flavour going on and not really Christmas pudding-y

5/10

Glen: That's not as good. It's not as creamy. It's icy, which is sometimes what can happen when you incorporate all the flavours into it of a Christmas pudding. I think a bit more fruit or cake would be cool as well. You'd want to see more bits of Christmas pudding in it.

5/10

 

 

Coles Gingerbread Ice Cream $4
Coles Gingerbread Ice Cream $4

 

COLES GINGERBREAD ICE CREAM $4

Jodie: Nice ginger, chunks of the gingerbread and much creamier. It's not too sweet. The bits of gingerbread in it are good.

7/10

Glen: It tastes really good and is nice and clean on the palate too. It's not sickly or cloying. I'd go higher in the score if it had more biscuit in it.

8/10



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