Traditional Australian Christmas Foods

by Admin

When you hear the word “Christmas,” the first thing that pops into your head is usually winter, snow, and all things cosy. However, things are quite different in Australia. Believe it or not, Christmas falls during one of the hottest months down under. Despite the heat, Christmas is an amazing time of the year in Australia. It’s a period everyone eagerly anticipates as a time to hang out with family and friends. Christmas is celebrated on December 25th, which is a public holiday across the country. But the festive season really spans from late November to mid-January in Australia. The sun is out, casting a warm glow; the ocean looks inviting; and the locals are in a joyful and laid-back mood for the holiday break. You will see Christmas decorations adorning both cities and small towns.

What’s pretty cool is that most Aussies, regardless of their religious beliefs, totally get into the Christmas spirit. And oh, the food! Christmas in Australia is also known for its traditional dishes. So, in this blog, we have put together a list of the top favourite foods people enjoy on Christmas Day. From traditional main courses to yummy sides and desserts, you’ll find it all here.

1. Pavlova


You can’t talk about an Aussie Christmas feast without mentioning the iconic pavlova—it’s like the star of the show! Named after the legendary Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, this dessert is a must-have at holiday tables. Picture this: a massive, beautifully homemade pavlova that’s as light and fluffy as a cloud. The base is a dreamy meringue that’s crisp on the outside and oh-so-soft on the inside. And the toppings? Ah, they’re the real magic—heaps of freshly whipped cream piled high and adorned with juicy, vibrant fruits like mangoes, cherries, and strawberries. 

It’s a masterpiece that’s not only mouthwatering but also a visual feast. The origin of this delightful treat has been a bit of a friendly rivalry between Australia and New Zealand. Both sides claim to have created it, but in all honesty, people are more interested in enjoying it than arguing about who came up with it. Since a pavlova is a necessity to complete the celebrations, you know it will be Christmas Down Under!

  • Ingredients: Pavlova is a dessert consisting of a delicate meringue base topped with whipped cream and fresh fruits, made from egg whites, granulated sugar, cornflour or vinegar, and vanilla extract.
  • Texture: Pavlova has a crispy outer shell with a tender, marshmallow-like interior, creating a delightful texture contrast.
  • Pairs Best With: This dessert pairs perfectly with a variety of fruits such as strawberries, kiwi, and passion fruit. Whipped cream adds a creamy richness.
  • Tips: Achieve pavlova perfection by using room-temperature eggs, gradually adding sugar, gently folding in flavourings, and baking at a low temperature.

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2. BBQ Seafood Platter

BBQ Seafood Platter

The next thing mentioned on the list is a true-blue Aussie Christmas tradition – the BBQ seafood platter. It’s like a taste of summer right there on your plate. We are talking about firing up the grill, soaking in the sunshine, and indulging in a feast of fresh seafood that’s as Aussie as it gets. Imagine a platter piled high with succulent prawns, juicy fish fillets, and maybe even some tender calamari – all sizzling and getting that perfect smoky flavour from the BBQ. And don’t forget the zesty marinades and sauces that take these ocean treasures to a whole new level of deliciousness.

It’s all about laid-back vibes and enjoying the company of friends and family while relishing these ocean delights. Some folks might throw in a bit of salad or a few crispy chips to balance things out, but make no mistake, the BBQ seafood platter is the main event. It’s a celebration of the beautiful coastal lifestyle, and there’s no better way to soak in the Aussie Christmas spirit than with the taste of the sea right off the grill.

  • Ingredients: A variety of oceanic delicacies, including prawns, squid, fish, and shellfish, are featured on the BBQ seafood plate, usually with marinating sauces and seasonings.
  • Texture: The seafood platter is a delectable blend of textures, from the smoky char of grilled seafood to the soft, juicy meat within.
  • Pairs Best With: This meal pairs well with zesty citrus sauces, fresh herb garnishes, and sides like grilled vegetables or buttery garlic bread.
  • Tips: To achieve BBQ seafood greatness, pre-heat the grill, use skewers for fragile foods, and marinate ahead of time for maximum flavour infusion.

3. Christmas Ham

When it comes to Christmas in Australia, one of the traditional foods that holds a special place in their hearts is Christmas ham. While roasting ham is a customary practice in many countries during this festive season, Australians have their own distinct approach. Given the soaring temperatures Down Under, it’s no surprise that many Australians opt to prepare the ham a couple of days beforehand and serve it cold on the actual day. Speaking of mouth-watering flavours, each family often has its own unique recipe.

There does, however, seem to be a recurring theme: glazing. The ham is generously covered in a rich mixture that is both sweet and sticky, which is prepared by combining honey and mustard harmoniously or adding a sprinkle of pineapple juice to create an amazing caramelised topping. Accompaniments like baked apples or cranberry sauce are frequently used to complete this festive ensemble. Beyond being just a dish, the Christmas Ham embodies an Australian yuletide tradition that seamlessly blends global influences with their very own cultural flair.

  • Ingredients: Christmas ham, which is traditionally made from a cured and smoked pig leg, has a tasty glaze made out of elements such as honey, brown sugar, cloves, and mustard.
  • Texture: Slow cooking or baking results in a juicy and soft texture, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth feeling.
  • Pairs Best With: Tangy fruit chutneys, spicy apple sauce, and sides like mashed potatoes or roasted winter veggies are ideal flavour partners for this Christmas centrepiece.
  • Tips: To achieve ham perfection, score the skin before baking, brush it with the glaze for a glossy finish, and allow a resting interval before carving for optimal juiciness.

4. Trifle


In the realm of traditional Australian Christmas foods, one dessert that claims a spot of honour is the beloved trifle. This layered wonder, though originally borrowed from the colonisers, has firmly entrenched itself as an outstanding treat for the festive season. Imagine a medley of flavours and textures that elegantly concludes the grandeur of a Christmas lunch. Crafting a trifle that truly shines demands an investment of time and affection, but the end result never fails to justify the labour.

Their Christmas trifle is unique because it allows for a wide variety of ingredients. It’s like an unrestricted canvas where creativity can run wild. However, some components continue to be treasured. Jelly serves as a foundation because of its enjoyable bounce. Rich cream layers give the dish a velvety feel, and the addition of fresh fruit adds a burst of juiciness that balances the richness. They make sure to make a place for this delicious treat among the elegance of a hearty Christmas meal. It is the icing on the cake that transforms a luxurious spread into an unforgettable culinary experience.

  • Ingredients: Layers of sponge cake, jelly, custard, berries, and typically a dash of fortified wine combine to create a delicious blend of flavours and textures in Australian trifles.
  • Texture: From the soft cake and wobbly jelly to the creamy custard and explosion of fresh berries, the Australian Trifle offers a lovely contrast of textures.
  • Pairs Best With: This Australian delicacy pairs well with summer fruits like strawberries, passion fruit, and kiwi, and a drizzle of port or sherry adds depth to the flavour profile.
  • Tips: When making the trifle, make sure each layer is well-set before adding the next, then refrigerate the dessert fully for the best results.

Pro Tip:

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5. Fruit Mince Pies

Fruit Mince Pies

Fruit mince pies are among the collection of traditional Australian Christmas dishes that have their roots in British heritage but have been seamlessly integrated into the Australian festive spread. This British import has been embraced with open arms Down Under, and it’s easy to see why. The Australian version of a mince pie involves a delectable sweet pastry that enrobes a delightful blend of sultanas, apples, almonds, and an array of aromatic spices. Notably, a hint of brandy is also added, infusing a touch of merriment into every bite.

These mince pies have a specific role in the Australian post-lunch custom, serving as a sweet interlude. These pies awaken the senses after the lavish Christmas feast when food-induced exhaustion takes control. They are the perfect pleasure for the day, especially when served with a velvety swirl of cream that enhances their attractiveness. One can easily imagine a relaxed holiday ambience, where they leisurely enjoy these fruit mince pies, reflecting on the balanced blend of traditions that have found a home on their festive table.

  • Ingredients: Fruit Mince Pies are filled with spiced dried fruits, apples, and sometimes brandy and enclosed in a buttery, golden pastry shell, encapsulating the essence of festive flavours from Down Under.
  • Texture: These pies offer a delightful contrast between the crisp, flaky pastry and the rich, sticky texture of the fruit mince filling.
  • Pairs Best With: Fruit Mince Pies are best served with a cup of tea or coffee, letting the warm, spiced flavours blend with the comforting warmth of a beverage.
  • Tips: When making these pies, consider adding a touch of citrus zest to the filling for an extra layer of flavour, and ensure the pastry is properly chilled before baking for a perfect flaky crust.

6. Prawns


Let’s delve into one of the outstanding Christmas delicacies of Australia that makes the mouths of people watery at the mere thought – prawns. These ocean treasures are suitable for the Australian summer festivities, almost like an edible embodiment of the season itself. Imagine a platter brimming with succulent prawns, their shells bearing the marks of either the grill’s embrace or a meticulous boiling process. This visual instantly ushers in the holiday ambience. The tradition among Australians involves gathering– whether it’s by the seaside or in outdoor spaces – to engage in prawn-peeling sessions intertwined with storytelling.

Prawns are fascinating because they provide more than just a culinary treat; they include the whole experience. The charm comes from the group laughs, the messiness, and the togetherness. Prawns have a remarkable ability to infuse any Christmas celebration with an authentic Australian spirit, whether they are served as the main course or are included in a lavish seafood ensemble. In our opinion, the best way to get into the Christmas spirit in Australia is to munch on well-cooked prawns.

  • Ingredients: Prawns are often eaten fresh or cooked and require little seasoning to bring out their natural, sweet flavour.
  • Texture: These prawns boast a succulent, firm texture with a slight snap when bitten into, making them a prized seafood delicacy.
  • Pairs Best With: Prawns are best paired with zesty lemon wedges, garlic butter, or a simple cocktail sauce, allowing their exquisite taste and texture to shine.
  • Tips: When cooking prawns, avoid overcooking to maintain their tender texture and consider grilling, sautéing, or enjoying them on chilled seafood platters for the freshest experience.

7. Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding

Let’s take a delicious journey back in time to discover a treasured Aussie Christmas classic – Christmas pudding. This culinary tradition traces its origins to mediaeval England and was brought Down Under during the early days of British colonisation. The exact mention of Christmas pudding conjures up images of a dense, dark, and flavorful dessert that’s as essential as the star on the tree. The recipe reads like a symphony of rich ingredients – cinnamon, ginger, and mixed spices, along with a variety of dried fruits such as currants, raisins, sultanas, figs, almonds, and dates. Oh, and let’s not forget the generous dose of brandy or rum that both keeps the pudding moist and adds a spirited kick to the batter.

It’s interesting how Christmas puddings in Australia have a unique personality because orange is a main ingredient and gives the dish a zesty, summary flavour. Every bite is like taking a bite out of the sun. Christmas pudding is accompanied by custard, in typical Australian style. Consider a warm plate of this sentimental dessert that is topped with a silky custard pool. As people enjoy the Christmas pudding’s fulfilment of tradition and flavour, it’s a special occasion that brings generations together.

  • Ingredients: Christmas Pudding features a rich blend of dried fruits, nuts, spices, and sometimes brandy, creating a festive dessert centrepiece.
  • Texture: This pudding has a rich and moist texture that bursts with the flavours of the ingredients and the depth of the spices.
  • Pairs Best With: Traditional Christmas Pudding is served with a dollop of creamy custard or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which adds a delightful smoothness to the heated dish.
  • Tips: When making the pudding, allow ample time for the flavours to meld by preparing it well in advance, and consider steaming for a traditional and moist outcome.

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8. Roasted Turkey

Roasted Turkey

Nothing can compare to the excitement that grows as the holiday season in Australia approaches. The delicious roasted turkey is another traditional dish served at Christmas that always appears on the tables. It conjures up thoughts of family gatherings, the sound of laughter all around, and the comforting warmth of the summer sun just by thinking about it. Despite the extreme heat, Australians have adopted this culinary tradition brought over from colder regions and adapted it to fit their particular celebration style.

The turkey is made extra tasty with special flavours and cooked until it’s a perfect golden colour. It’s like the main attraction of the meal and is served with lots of colourful salads, fresh seafood, and other yummy holiday foods. This mix of old traditions and the Aussie way of doing things shows how we all come together and enjoy the happy times of the season. So, when folks gather wearing their Santa hats and using sunscreen to stay safe in the sun, the amazing smell of roasted turkey reminds them to keep these special traditions alive, no matter where they are in the world.

  • Ingredients: Roasted Turkey is a savoury and festive main meal that comprises a juicy turkey seasoned with herbs and spices and typically glazed with honey or marmalade.
  • Texture: This turkey has a golden, crispy skin that gives way to delicate, succulent meat, creating a delicious blend of textures.
  • Pairs Best With: The roasted turkey is wonderfully matched by cranberry sauce, gravy, and sides like roasted veggies and stuffing, producing a harmonious feast of festive flavours.
  • Tips: When roasting the turkey, brush it frequently to keep it moist and use a meat thermometer to verify that it reaches the ideal internal temperature for both safety and flavour.

Pro Tip:

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9. Eggnog


If you really want to experience a truly Australian Christmas vibe, then you should definitely try eggnog. The store-bought version isn’t that great, so why not make your own? Making eggnog is like creating a perfect mix of flavours, where you can adjust the sweetness and add spices to your liking. Sprinkle some nutmeg on top and it’s ready to go. It’s not just a drink, it’s a celebration of the Australian Christmas spirit.

Simply visualize: You are enjoying the warm Australian sun during the holiday season while sipping on a glass of delicious homemade eggnog. Sounds amazing, right? Making your own eggnog is like composing a symphony of flavours where you get to decide how sweet it is and what spices to use. A touch of nutmeg adds warmth to the drink. It’s more than just a beverage, it’s a tribute to the Australian Christmas spirit – unique, creative, and full of happiness. So why not give it a try and make your own eggnog?

  • Ingredients: Eggnog is a creamy blend of milk, cream, eggs, sugar, and a dash of nutmeg, frequently enhanced with a splash of rum or brandy for a festive touch.
  • Texture: This eggnog has a luscious, velvety texture and a smooth mouthfeel, making it a pleasant and delicious holiday drink.
  • Pairs Best With: Eggnog is best enjoyed alongside holiday treats like fruit mince pies, gingerbread cookies, or spiced nuts, enhancing the warm, seasonal flavours.
  • Tips: When preparing eggnog, temper the eggs by gradually adding warm milk to avoid curdling, and refrigerate the mixture before serving for a chilled and refreshing experience.

10. White Christmas

White Christmas

Australia has its own distinctive way of enjoying the holiday season, and its Christmas celebrations are a special blend of customs that reflect the nation’s many cultural influences. The well-known “White Christmas” dessert is one of the cherished traditional Australian Christmas dishes that is especially dear to Australians’ hearts. As a sweet and festive complement to the holiday menu, this wonderful dessert has established itself as a mainstay on many Australian Christmas tables. A popular Christmas dessert in Australia, White Christmas is determined by both its mouthwatering taste and its eye-catching look.

This no-bake slice is made by combining a variety of ingredients, including rice bubbles, desiccated coconut, white chocolate, mixed dried fruits, and powdered milk. Red and green cherries add a festive touch to the otherwise pristine white concoction. Making this dish together fosters a sense of community and shared delight over the Christmas season and is frequently done by families and groups of friends. White Christmas has become a hallmark of the holiday season in Australia, whether it is consumed as a delectable post-dinner dessert or given as a present.

  • Ingredients: White Christmas is a festive treat crafted from a medley of dried fruits, coconut, rice bubbles, and white chocolate, capturing the flavours of the holiday season.
  • Texture: With the crunch of rice bubbles and the chewiness of dried fruits encased in creamy white chocolate, this dessert offers a delicious contrast of sensations.
  • Pairs Best With: White Christmas goes well with a cup of hot spiced tea or coffee, allowing the sweetness and textures to complement the warming beverage.
  • Tips: When making White Christmas, ensure the white chocolate is melted gently to avoid burning and feel free to personalise the dried fruits and nuts to your preference for a unique twist.

11. Gingerbread


The warm and nostalgic aroma of ginger wafting through the air is an ideal part of the Australian Christmas tradition. As December dawns, both the young and the old embark on a heartwarming journey of baking and decorating gingerbread treats that embody the festive spirit. The act of carefully cutting out Christmas shapes and those beloved gingerbread people has become a cherished ritual, infusing homes with the joyous essence of the season. These edible creations serve a dual purpose – as delightful decorations adorning tables and mantels, and as irresistible delights that find their way into eager hands.

Each biscuit becomes a canvas, a blank slate eagerly awaiting a painter’s touch of colourful icing. But it’s not just about personal consumption; these gingerbread delights often transcend into thoughtful gifts, shared with the intention of spreading both warmth and sweetness. And for those seeking an even more elaborate expression of their holiday creativity, gingerbread houses stand as towering testaments to the magic of this season. From premade kits lining supermarket shelves to handcrafted architectural wonders, these charming sweets allow Australians to build and ornament their very own edible winter wonderlands. 

  • Ingredients: Gingerbread is made with molasses, ginger, spices, and flour, and it is often created into festive figures or houses and topped with icing and sweets.
  • Texture: This gingerbread embodies a delicate balance of textures, with a slightly crispy exterior and a tender, slightly chewy interior.
  • Pairs Best With: Gingerbread is a delightful accompaniment to a cup of hot cocoa or mulled wine, adding a warm and spicy note to the comforting beverages.
  • Tips: Allow the dough to chill before rolling it out for easier handling while baking Gingerbread, and have fun decorating with colourful icing and candies to make your own edible holiday creations.
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12. Christmas Fruit Punch

Christmas Fruit Punch

The Christmas fruit punch is a well-known symbol of Australian Christmas celebrations. This colourful mixture, which combines seasonal favourites like watermelon, mangoes, and citrus fruits, finds a special place on Aussie’s holiday tables among the sun-drenched festivities. As friends and family lift their glasses and clink them with the fruity blend, it embodies the spirit of an Australian Yuletide and promotes community. The punch displays the simplicity and joy that characterise this wonderful time of year, whether it is served in opulent crystal glasses or unpretentious mason jars.

The Christmas fruit punch is remarkably adaptable, blending in with a variety of settings, from boisterous gatherings to leisurely beach picnics. The ice cubes bouncing against the punch bowl add to their relaxing appeal, which provides relief from the summer heat. The punch is more than just a drink; it captures the essence of Australian Christmas by fusing old and modern customs and by capturing the vibrancy of the holiday in its sweet and zesty flavour.

  • Ingredients: Christmas Fruit Punch blends tropical fruit juices, citrus slices, soda, and a touch of mint, creating a refreshing and vibrant holiday drink.
  • Texture: The fizz from the soda complements the fruit juices in this punch’s smooth and thirst-quenching texture.
  • Pairs Best With: Christmas Fruit Punch complements light appetisers, seafood platters, and fresh fruit skewers beautifully, adding to the festive and summery ambience.
  • Tips: When preparing the punch, chill all the ingredients beforehand and consider adding ice cubes made from fruit juices to prevent dilution as they melt.


During Christmas time in Australia, people celebrate in a way that’s unique to their country. The hot weather and coastal vibes make for a festive atmosphere that lasts from late November to mid-January. Aussies enjoy a mix of traditional dishes that embody the spirit of the season, including the iconic Pavlova with its meringue, whipped cream, and vibrant fruits. The BBQ Seafood Platter is also a favourite, as it embodies their coastal lifestyle. Other dishes that play a role in their celebrations include Christmas Ham, layered Trifle, nostalgic Fruit Mince Pies, succulent Australian Prawns, and comforting Christmas Pudding. They also make adaptations to traditional dishes, such as Roasted Turkey for summer and homemade Eggnog. They have their own version of a White Christmas and aromatic Gingerbread, too. The Christmas Fruit Punch captures the essence of their Australian Yuletide, which is a fusion of cultures, warmth, and joy.
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