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From traditional bakes like gingerbread men to something more unique, we’ve got a variety of delicious Christmas Baking ideas to help your festive season be as tasty as it can be. Whether you’re baking with the kids or looking for a show-stopping dessert for your party, why not try one of the recipes below?
Ingredients: 180g softened butter, 170g brown sugar, 190g treacle, 1 egg, a splash of vanilla extract, 420g plain flour, 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg.
For the cake: 120g softened butter, 120g caster sugar, 2 eggs, 1tsp vanilla extract, 120g self-raising flour
For the icing: 140g softened butter, 275g icing sugar, 1-2 tbsp milk, food colouring
1. Preheat the oven at 180c and fill a cupcake tin with your cupcake cases.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy then beat in the eggs and vanilla.
3. Fold in the flour and add milk little by little until it has a drop-like consistency and spoon into the paper cases.
4. Bake until golden - approximately ten to fifteen minutes - and then leave to cool completely.
5. Beat together the ingredients for the icing and spoon into a piping bag.
6. Pipe your design on to your cakes and serve
Top tips: These cakes are so simple to make that you can experiment with any festive flavours. Try adding spices or fruit zest to the batter to create Christmas Cake cupcakes, or, for an adult twist, adding cream liqueur to the icing. This recipe is perfect for creating cupcake wreaths - a wonderful way to serve your guests and create a centrepiece. Simply decorate your cupcakes as if they were one cake for a tear and share experience. You could even turn them into traditional Christmas characters by making legs and faces from fondant and chocolate.
For the mincemeat: raisins, currants, chopped mixed peel, apple, brandy, cold grated butter, dark brown sugar, vanilla, mixed spice, zest and juice of an orange and lemon.
For the pastry: 350g plain flour, 150g softened butter, 50g icing sugar, 2 egg yolks
1. Mix together the ingredients for the mincemeat and leave in the fridge for 24 hours or overnight. We've purposefully left out the measurements here so you can add a little, or as much, of the ingredients as you like for a taste that's unique to you. If you're making these pies for kids, try swapping out the brandy for orange juice.
2. Using your hands, mix together the flour, butter and sugar until it resembles breadcrumbs, then incorporate the egg yolks with a little water if necessary. When the dough has come together so it's smooth and soft, wrap it in cling film and chill it for half an hour.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 180c and grease your muffin or cupcake tin.
4. Roll out your dough to the thickness of a pound coin and cut out your bases using a cookie or pastry cutter that's a size larger than the space in your tin and place them inside.
5. Fill your pies with the mincemeat mixture and cut out the lids using a cutter that is a size smaller than your tin.
6. Top the pies with the lids and crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. Wash the tops with beaten egg using a pastry brush and sprinkle sugar over the top.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and golden. Leave to cool and serve.
Ingredients: Summer berries or fruit cocktail, cake (swiss roll, Madeira, and ladyfingers all work well), custard, jelly, double cream, sherry, flaked almonds.
1. Begin by adding the berries or fruit cocktail to the bottom of your trifle dish, ensuring there is an even layer.
2. Make your jelly according to the instructions on your gelatin or flavoured pack and pour the liquid in with the berries. Chill in the fridge until set.
3. Soak your chosen cake with sherry and layer it on top of the jelly.
4. Layer the custard on top.
5. Whip your double cream until stiff and add this on top of your custard.
6. Lightly toast your almonds and sprinkle over the top.
Top Tip: Play with the flavours of this traditional dessert for a unique twist. Why not try making a black forest trifle with chocolate cake and cherry jelly? You could even make a chocolate orange, or a winter spice inspired trifle. When making this pudding for children, soak the cake in the juice of your berries or fruit cocktail.