Christmas Baking Recipes: 5 Of The Best Bakes

Christmas cooking can be all kinds of yummy fun, especially if you are looking for that signature festive bake to crown your Christmas table.

Christmas baking has moved beyond your traditional mince pie or pudding, and is now branching out to include all other kinds of delicious ingredients such as salted caramel, ginger and chocolate. And of course, because it’s Christmas (and you don’t want to be constantly oven-watching – one thing we’ve learned from Great British Bake Off), you want your Christmas baking recipes to be easy as well as scrummy.

Well, if you are in the market for some delectable treats, look not further. We’ve found five of the very best Christmas baking recipes for you to try at home.

(We know it’s Christmas, but try not to eat them all by yourself)

1. Gladwin Brothers’ Christmas Mince Pie Dodger

A modern take on the humble mince pie, the Gladwin bothers (who own The Shed & Rabbit restaurants in London) have created this fun festive snack to be enjoyed with copious amounts of brandy butter. The chefs would traditionally use their great grandmother’s mince meat recipe (see below), however, feel free to use your own or whatever good quality mince meat you can get your hands on. Just remember that homemade mince meat needs time to mature.

Christmas Mince Pie Dodger Cream, custard or brandy butter?


Ingredients

Mince Meat

500g raisins

500g sultanas

500g currents

250g mix peel

175g brandy

400g veal suet fat

400g demerera sugar

15g nutmeg

15g cloves

15g cinnamon

1 grated orange zest

Almond Sweet Pastry

110g butter 

80g icing  sugar

25g almonds

3 egg yolks

salt 

200g plain flour


Method

 – To make the pastry, rub the butter into the flour, sugar, almonds, salt, the butter should dissipate into the dry ingredients resembling the look of bread crumbs

 – Add the egg yolks and gently (without working the flour too much) bring the ingredients together. Wrap the dough in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 20 mins

 – Once the pastry dough is rested, on a lightly floured service, roll the pastry to about 50p coin thickness, then cut the pastry with a golf ball sized cutter; for the bottoms of the dodger, then cut the same amount for the middle layer. Then cut with a smaller pastry cutter a hole in the middle – so you should have 3 layers of pastry. Place on a lined baking tray

 – Brush with a egg yolk glaze, then sprinkle with demarera sugar. Bake at 160 c for 20 min. Leave to rest to make sure the pastry is cooked through – dry and crispy, but not coloured

 – To make the filling, use the matured mince meat and blitz so it holds its self together. Then simply spoon the mixture onto the top of the bottom pastry round, then pop the whole round of pastry on top of the mince meat. Add some brandy butter, then put the final top on the biscuit. Finish with a dusting of icing sugar.

2. Annie Stirk’s Chocolate and Chestnut Roulade

This traditional decadent dessert is a great centrepiece for festive family entertaining .The light airy sponge offsets the richness of the delicious chestnut and cream filling.
It also freezes well if you want to get ahead with your preparations.

Chocolate and Chestnut Roulade Just a small slice…or three

 

Ingredients
 

6 large eggs, separated

150g caster sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

50g cocoa powder, sifted

Icing sugar, for dusting

For the filling

250g tin sweetened chestnut puree

25ml Cognac, optional

25g icing sugar

200ml double or whipping cream, chilled

75g vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts or use a tin


Method

 – Pre heat the oven to 180C / 170C fan / gas mark 5

– You will need a shallow baking tin, 23 x 32.5cm and 1cm deep.  Lightly oil the baking tin and line with baking parchment, to stand 2.5cm proud of the tin

– In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand whisk, beat the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract on high speed, until the mixture has doubled in volume, is pale in colour and leaves a trail.  This will take approximately 10 minutes

– In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Make sure your bowl is grease free, or the egg whites will not whisk to the correct volume

– Using a large metal spoon, fold one third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, and then fold in the remainder, followed by the sieved cocoa powder

– Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes

– Remove the roulade from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.  Place a clean sheet of baking parchment over the roulade with a damp tea towel on top – this keeps the roulade nice and moist

– When the roulade is cold, turn it out onto sheet of baking parchment which is slightly larger than the roulade and which has been dusted with icing sugar

– For the filling, mix together the chestnut puree, cognac and icing sugar.  In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.  Then roughly chop the cooked chestnuts

– Carefully peel the lining paper off the roulade. Spread the chestnut puree mixture over the roulade, leaving a 2.5cm gap all round from the edge of the roulade

– Next, spread the whipped cream over the chestnut puree and then sprinkle with the chopped chestnuts

– Holding the baking paper, carefully roll the roulade widthways. Don’t worry when cracks appear on the surface of the rolled roulade – it’s the sign of a really good pud!

– Serve with a generous dusting of icing sugar

 
3. Pull-Apart Cheese Scone Christmas Wreath 

For a savoury treat, make a batch of cheese scones and bake them in a ring to look like a festive wreat. Perfect for Christmas Eve, or as a festive drinks n’nibbles evening centre piece.

Cheese Scone Wreath This will DEFINITELY impress the housemates


Ingredients

450g self-raising flour

½ tsp salt

2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

110g chilled Lurpak butter, cut into pieces

300g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

1 large egg

200ml milk, plus extra for brushing

Rosemary sprigs, to garnish

Olives, to serve


Method

 – Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan oven 200°C/ Gas Mark 7. Grease 2 large baking sheets

– Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped rosemary and stir it in. Rub in the chilled Lurpak with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in about three-quarters of the cheese

– Beat the egg and milk together, then stir it into the mixture with a knife. Bring the dough together with your hand, then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few moments until smooth

– Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 3cm, then use a small (3-4cm) cutter to stamp out the scones, re-rolling the dough as necessary. Arrange 15-16 scones an overlapping circle on one baking sheet. Put any remaining scones on the second baking sheet. Brush the tops with a little milk and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Bake for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden

 – Leave to cool for a few minutes. Garnish the wreath with rosemary sprigs and serve while warm, with olives and extra Lurpak.

4. Gingerbread Caramel Brownies from Chococo

To celebrate the impending launch of Chococo‘s new Gingerbread Caramel chocolate this Christmas, they’ve created this gingerbread caramel brownie using the same blend of spices in the caramel as in their new chocolate. This brownie is rich, but is delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream – a perfect pudding for festive celebrations!

Ginger Caramel Brownies Serve with a healthy dollop of whipped cream


Ingredients


Gingerbread Caramel

50ml double cream

20g unsalted butter

60g caster sugar

40g golden syrup

1 tbsp treacle

1 tbsp water

1 clove

½ tsp allspice

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of crushed sea salt
 

Brownie

250g 70% dark chocolate, chopped

175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes

125g light muscovado sugar

4 eggs

100g ground almonds (or 100g plain flour if you want it to be nut-free)

½ teaspoon crushed sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract


Method

 – line a 22cm square baking tin with baking parchment, around the base and up the sides. Also line 1 shallow dish with baking parchment for cooling the caramel

– Pre heat the oven to 180c 350F Gas 4

 – Put the cream, spices & salt in a small pan and warm gently to bring it slowly to just boiling point
 

– Put the caster sugar, golden syrup, treacle & water in another small pan and warm gently to melt the sugar. Once it has formed a dark liquid, increase the heat. Once it comes to the boil, time it for 2 minutes. During that time, regularly lift the pan off the heat to swirl the bubbling mixture (do not stir it!) to ensure that it doesn’t catch on the bottom

 – After 2 minutes, take off the heat to add the warm cream mixture & then the butter. Stir the mixture gently on a low heat to ensure that the butter melts in. Pour the mixture through a sieve into the prepared shallow dish lined with baking parchment and leave somewhere cool to set into a gooey caramel for at least 15 minutes

 – While the caramel is cooling, melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Do not allow the water to boil and once melted remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes

 – Beat the eggs & sugar together in a separate bowl with a hand-held electric whisk, until increased in volume, pale and fluffy

 – Fold the ground almonds, salt and vanilla extract into the egg mixture with a large metal spoon, add the melted chocolate mixture and gently fold it all together

 – Pour half of the brownie mixture into the prepared tin, drizzle in ¾ of the caramel using a spoon & if you have one, a kebab stick to spread it around the surface of the brownie

 – Then pour on the remaining brownie mixture. Finish by drizzling the remaining caramel mixture in swirly lines on the top of the brownie

 – Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-22 minutes, until risen at the edges but still squidgy in the middle.  Don’t worry if it seems undercooked, as it will continue cooking after being taken out of the oven. Don’t be tempted to overcook it as the brownie will be dry

 – Leave to cool in the tin before you cut into squares

5. Liggy’s Christmas Carrot Cake

Liggy Morgan of Liggy’s Cakes, an award-winning Scottish cake designer, has created this fab vegetable number just in time for the festive period. The zesty frosting is deliciously tangy, and the moist cake will serve as a great Boxing day afternoon treat.

Christmas Carrot Cake Serve a slice of this cake alongside your favourite brew


Ingredients

175 g self-raising flour

175g dark muscovado sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

175ml sunflower oil

140g grated carrots on a course grater

100g chopped walnuts

Grated zest of 1 large orange

Grated zest of 1 large lemon

1tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of mixed spice

Frosting

200g Unsalted butter

400g Icing sugar

Zest of 1 Orange

Juice of half of an Orange

Method
 

 – For the cake, preheat the oven to 170 C. Oil and line both the base and sides of a 20 cm deep round tin with baking parchment

 – Tip the sugar into a large mixing bowl, pour in the sunflower oil and the beaten eggs and lightly mix with a wooden spoon. Stir in the grated carrots, walnuts, orange and lemon zest

 – Mix in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices, then sift into the bowl. Lightly mix all the ingredients together. The mixture should be fairly soft and runny

 – Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40/45 minutes, until it feels springy when you press the centre.

 – Allow to cool in the tin for at least 5 minutes, then turn out. Peel off the paper and cool on a wire rack

– Using an electric food mixer, whisk the butter, orange juice and zest together while adding the sieved icing sugar slowly. Continue to whisk until the buttercream is light, fluffy and pale in colour. A dash of hot water can be added while mixing if the mixer is struggling!

 – When the cake is cooled completely, use a straight sided knife or pallet knife to smooth the buttercream on to the top of the cake. Start with a large dollop of buttercream in the middle, then work it gently out towards the edges until the top is covered

 – Decorate with dried sliced citrus fruit and cinnamon sticks and a dusting of ground mixed spice