Catalysis by gold and gold-palladium nanoparticles has attracted significant research attention in recent years. These nanocrystalline materials have been found to be highly effective for selective and total oxidation, but in most cases the catalysts are prepared using precipitation or impregnation. We report the preparation of Au-Pd nanocrystalline catalysts supported on carbon prepared via a sol-immobilisation technique and these have been compared with Au-Pd catalysts prepared via impregnation. The catalysts have been evaluated for two selective chemical syntheses, namely, oxidation of benzyl alcohol and the direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide. The catalysts have been structurally characterised using a combination of scanning transmission electron microscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The catalysts prepared using the sol immobilisation technique show higher activity when compared with catalysts prepared by impregnation as they are more active for both hydrogen peroxide synthesis and hydrogenation, and also for benzyl alcohol oxidation. The method facilitates the use of much lower metal concentrations which is a key feature in catalyst design, particularly for the synthesis of hydrogen peroxide.