Are you ready for Christmas? The season simply wouldn’t be the same without the sweet smell of Christmas baking wafting through the house, welcoming people into the warmth from the cold outside. If you want to make sure there is always something delicious in the house for when those unexpected guests drop in to wish you season’s greetings, here are ten of the best Christmas baking recipes to try.
This Neapolitan delicacy dates back to ancient times and the Greek diaspora of Southern Italy - hence the name, which comes from the Greek word for ‘rounded’. They are balls of sweet dough with honey and bits of candied orange peel, and they are fired in oil. Get the recipe for struffoli here.
Yule log cake
This traditional Christmas cake is steeped in seasonal tradition and pagan ritual. Combining the practice of bringing nature indoors to honour the winter solstice, the god Thor, and the culinary celebration of the feast of Christmas, the Yule log cake we know and love comes from the French tradition of the bûche de Noël, which spread from French-speaking countries and former colonies all over the world. Get the recipe here.
The German tradition, related to the gingerbread house featured in the Brothers Grimm fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, has in recent years boomed once again because of a renewed interest in cake decoration and its unique Instrgrammable characteristics. However, a good gingerbread house needs to be eaten by gleefully destructive kids and not kept on display for the entire season.
Sticky toffee pudding
This British pudding is a perennially popular treat during the Christmas season, especially since the '90s. The rich sweetness of chopped dates is augmented by the sticky toffee sauce. It’s very easy to make and always a winner. Get the sticky toffee pudding recipe here.
Another traditional Italian Christmas specialty, panforte, or ‘strong bread’, contains candied fruit, toasted nuts, and spice. It is incredibly easy to make even for those with absolutely no baking skills whatsoever. Get the recipe here.
This medieval English dessert is synonymous with Christmas traditions and forever associated with a Dickensian Christmas. It was originally made with suet or the fat of beef, lamb or mutton, and known as suet pudding. these days it remains a rich and dense Christmas dessert that is often doused in brandy and set alight and served with brandy butter. Get the original recipe here.
These sugar cookies are so simple to make and yet they are delicious treats that can be whipped up in minutes and served with tea or coffee at any time of the day. Get the recipe here.
This Norwegian Christmas cake is made with yeast, four, butter and sugar, and augmented with candied fruit, raisins and almonds, and flavoured with cardamom. It is not as sweet as some other forms of Christmas cake, and therefore is also known as Christmas bread. It is served either warm or cold and often spread with butter.
Flavoured with molasses and ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, these gingerbread cookies are the quintessential Christmas treat, especially when cut into cute shapes. Try this recipe for classic gingerbread cookies and the kids will devour them - head first, of course.
You might know what you're having for dessert this Christmas, but what about people around the world? Here's a look at some of the traditional Christmas sweets, puddings and cakes from across the globe.
People are getting ready for the holidays - but this is no ordinary Christmas. Our usual feasts may be somewhat smaller this year thanks to social distancing, so here are some handy ideas for snacks and bites this Christmas.
If the thought of charging up and down supermarket aisles in the run-up to Christmas sends you into a head spin, try getting the essentials delivered to your door instead with these 16 options for the US, UK and Oz!