A sweet guide to holiday treats everyone will enjoy.
Relaxing in cozy pajamas and watching baking competition shows is a popular pastime during the cold winter months. If you’ve felt stuck in the same routine of baking sourdough and banana bread since March, it might be time to step up your baking with these festive baked goods.
Canadian Classic Inspired Bakes
From snow-covered wilderness to log cabins filled with wooden furnishings adorned with buffalo plaid, Canadian stereotypes are synonymous with many people’s idea of an ideal winter holiday. However, even if you don’t know a woodsy lumberjack or maple syrup farmer, plenty of Canadian desserts are perfect for holiday baking.
We found plenty of sweet Canadian holiday flavour inspiration from foodnetwork.ca and Canadian Living.
- Lumberjack sugar cookies look stylish on any cookie platter and are a great way to start practicing working with fondant.
- Elevate eggnog and give it an extra flavourful twist with this maple eggnog crème brûlée recipe.
- Butter tarts are an Ontario dessert institution, and Nanaimo bars are the same for British Columbia, but have you ever tried a giant maple butter tart or peppermint Nanaimo bars?
Bûche de Noël is the French Canadian version of the internationally beloved Yule log dessert. There are as many Yule log flavours as regular cake flavours, but turning ordinary cake into a bûche de Noël, decorated like a whimsical forest log, is the perfect way to make your favourite cake infinitely more festive. Serving this maple gingerbread bûche de Noël with salted walnut pralines would be the perfect rustic dessert to pair with a batch of lumberjack sugar cookies.
Bake your cake (or pie) and eat it too
Making a holiday cake is the perfect weekend project to get you in the joyous spirit. Plus, a show-stopping festive cake is the ideal thing to share with your family after dinner and share with your friends on Instagram. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!
This Christmas lights cake with almond buttercream uses green food colouring and almond M&M’s to create beautiful Christmas light decorations that aren’t difficult to replicate but look amazing.
Cupcakes are a hit for any occasion; we’re smitten with the little candy gifts adorning these mini present cupcakes from Canadian Living and these Starbucks-inspired eggnog latte cupcakes from Inside Bru Crew Life. If you need another dessert with coffee to keep you going during the holiday rush, try this mocha Yule log.
From a cute gingerbread man cake to a citrus Tannenbaum sheet cake that tastes and looks like holidays of yore to this gorgeous but minimalist vanilla-coconut holiday snowflake cake – whether simple and elegant or bursting with colourful flair, cakes are the ultimate edible holiday decoration.
If your family prefers pie or you want to include a more traditional dessert in your holiday lineup, a well-made pie never disappoints. Blueberry cranberry pie, winterberry pie and cranberry-orange custard pie are unique takes on the traditional pies many of us grew up enjoying during family gatherings around the holidays.
Cranberry gingersnap pie made with delicious cranberry curd and garnished with sugared cranberries takes the cake as our favourite full-sized holiday pie this year. Still, mini pies are a convenient and tasty option for your holiday table. These holiday pecan hand pies taste a lot like butter tarts but look much more jolly with their Christmas tree shapes and icing garland decorations.
One-pan mini pie bites are also an excellent option if your family can’t agree on which pie filling they love best.
Holiday Brunch Bakes
Freshly baked pastries are a welcome addition to any holiday brunch or special morning coffee delivery. If you have busy parents in your life, why not surprise them by helping take care of Christmas morning breakfast?
If you’re looking for a family-sized casserole-style bake, try this fluffy and not too rich eggnog french toast bake or this time-saving blueberry cinnamon roll casserole made with Pillsbury cinnamon rolls.
Cranberry breakfast cake is perfect for holiday bakers who love the sweet and tart flavour of cranberry desserts. Christmas morning cranberry-orange streusel muffins are another festive breakfast treat that helps you use up all the cranberries in your fridge or freezer.
If you like the Italian Christmas sweet bread panettone, you might want to add these panettone muffins to your holiday morning routine. Eggnog scones are another sophisticated (but not overly hard to make) bake for eggnog lovers who want a morning pick-me-up with the flavour of their favourite festive beverage, not unlike an eggnog latte from Starbucks.
Whether served a la carte or with your favourite breakfast proteins, enjoying baked goods with your morning meal adds a little extra luxury to the holidays.
The holidays can be a hectic time of year, and it’s understandable if you don’t always have the time or patience to bake. Making these treats will help you save time, so you can get to the serving and enjoying quicker. Hopefully helping you feel energized for all of those holiday errands on your to-do list.
- Rice Krispie dreidels are a fun treat for kids who celebrate or are learning about Hanukkah.
- These chocolate peppermint protein balls are a great healthy treat for a packed lunch or to bring along for energy on a winter hike or sledding excursion.
- Why should full-sized bûches de Noël have all the fun? These mini bûches de Noël are a time-saving treat that can be decorated with adorable miniature marzipan mushrooms and holly leaves.
- You can also make a gorgeous bûche de Noël using store-bought Swiss rolls, meaning you get to save time by not baking or worrying about properly rolling up a sheet cake – going straight to the icing and decorating.
- Don’t want to bake, but still want to create a full-sized festive cake or pie from scratch? Try one of these bake-free recipes for chocolate orange cheesecake or eggnog cream pie.
We hope you’ve found some sweet inspiration to add to your holiday baking traditions. Whether you’re whipping up a decadent dessert to serve after a nutritious winter meal or wrapping up goodies in bright packages to deliver as homemade holiday gifts, treat making is a creative and relaxing way to share holiday joy with your loved ones.