Each year, as the holiday season begins, I encounter a predicament of sorts: do I use this festive time of family, friends, faith and food to bake new recipes, or do I make my favourites again–the ones that I’ve made (and loved) several times before? It’s a time when I sit and reflect on everything I’ve baked throughout the year and beyond, and decide what baked goods might brighten the holidays even more. And even though I have some new festive sweets posts lined up for you, I thought it might be fun to share a round-up of some of the recipes that are on my holiday-baking-and-caking list this year. Am I the only one who starts thinking about this stuff somewhere around the day after Halloween? I didn’t think so. #bakerscurse
Winter Delight Peppermint Cake (above): This moist, deep dark domed chocolate layer caked filled with whipped peppermint frosting, crushed peppermint candies and topped with more frosting and sparkly sugar has my heart. I’ve secretly been waiting all year to make this again.
Red Velvet & Cinnamon Layer Cake: I have no idea what happened but I am just recently hooked on Red Velvet Cake. It’s rich hue and moist and decadent texture paired with cinnamon filling and classic rich cream cheese frosting is the ultimate holiday indulgence, if you ask me.
Double Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes: I think what draws me back to these is the whole gingerbread buttercream thing, but combined with the chocolate cupcakes these were memorable for me. I think I just may need to make these happen again. (It could have something to do with dipping those teeny gingerbread houses into lusciously dark chocolate.)
The Perfect Dark Chocolate Sugar Cookie: These cookies are truly a blank canvas for countless holiday cookie decorating designs. They keep their shape; they are buttery, rich and chocolatey; and they look so pretty under wintery icing and sprinkles.
Little Hands Sugar Cookies & Cards: Speaking of cookies, these were one of my favourite cookie projects to date. Talk about “hands on.” My girls and I had so much fun tracing their hands, baking the cookies, and getting them ready for packaging–Reese loved making the cards to go along with them. We gave them to grandparents and teachers, and they were a hit!
And after that little cookie break, we’re back to cake. Lemon-Blueberry Macaron Delight Cake: So maybe the holidays don’t exactly shout “lemon!” and “blueberry!” but if there’s ever been a time when we can justify a rather time-consuming-but-totally-worth-it-and-dare-I-say-showstopping-cake, it’s the holidays. Since the macarons, lemon curd and the buttercream can all be made in advance, I say it’s a must.
The same goes for this Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Buttercream Cake with Ganache Drizzle: What’s a holiday dinner without a hint of drama? (And the good kind–not the kind Uncle Les creates after too many rum & eggnog.) This cake will forever be a favourite of mine, and I’d like to make it forever & always.
Mascarpone Meringue Cake: I have to admit that sometimes I forget about this cake. I’m not sure how because it was one of the most incredible desserts I’ve ever made (honk, honk). Even my father-in-law claimed this as the “best dessert” he’s ever had. He had never said that to me before, and he hasn’t said it since. So either I need to improve on my baking ability or this cake was extra-special.
And let me say that no Christmas in our house would be complete without Cinnabon-Style Gourmet Cinnamon Buns. I started making these while we’re sort of unwinding after dinner on Christmas Eve, let them sit in the fridge overnight and then bake them in the morning while we’re drinking Bailey’s & coffee and unwrapping gifts. I think of these often throughout the year, and although I make them from time to time, it’s not nearly often enough. At least we always have that Christmas batch to look forward to. ♥
Now that we’ve looked back at some favourites, I will see you very soon with some of the new ideas I’ve been working on for this holiday season!