There's something very elemental about baking when the wind is howling outside, Jack Frost is painting his patterns on the windows and the mercury is dropping. And, with Christmas on the horizon, a day spent baking in the kitchen can be festive and fun too. 

1.“Tear and share” Christmas tree cinnamon rolls

cinnamon-rolls
Image via Lavender and Lovage

I make these “tear and share” rolls every Christmas Eve, and, they can be made two ways—with homemade croissant or Danish pastry dough or, if time is very short, you can use ready-made puff pastry. We always start the evening of festive feasting with these buttery, flaky spiced rolls, served with a mug of hot chocolate and cream while we decorate the Christmas tree.

Get the recipe for "tear and share" cinnamon rolls here

 

2. Shortbread biscuits with chocolate, mixed seeds and fruit

shortbread
Image via Belleau Kitchen

Perfect with a cuppa on a cold winter’s day! These shortbread biscuits are ideal to satisfy a sweet craving and, while all that butter and sugar is devastating for the calorie counter, you're really only going to have one or two, right?! Plus the fruity and mixed seed topping has the appearance of a healthy snack—so you can always fool yourself into thinking these are good for you! 

Get the recipe for shortbread biscuits here

 

3. Easy gorgeous chocolate banana bread

chocolate-banana-bread
Image via Eat Like a Girl

This cake is gorgeously squidgy and decadent. Rich with chocolate and moist and sweet with banana, it’s packed with warm winter spices too. This banana bread is best made in a loaf tin. If you only have a cake tin, just make sure you reduce your cooking time, as it will bake faster and possibly dry out. 

Get the recipe for chocolate banana bread here

 

4. Spiced apple and ginger cake

apple-and-ginger-cake
Image via Farmersgirl Kitchen

This cake couldn’t be more simple to make—you put all the ingredients into a bowl, mix and bake. You don’t even need a mixer, just a wooden spoon! It’s the perfect winter teatime treat. The result is moist thanks to the apples and gently spiced with ginger, cinnamon and cloves.

Get the recipe for spiced apple and ginger cake here

 

5. Mincemeat soda bread

mincemeat-soda-bread
Image via Lavender and Lovage

This recipe is perfect for any festive winter baking, as it uses up any spare (leftover) mincemeat that may be lurking in the back of your fridge after the mince-pie season has ended. The recipe is very simple and the result is a soft, crumbly and fruity scone-type quick bread. 

Get the recipe for mincemeat soda bread here

 

6. Beer and cheese bread for lazy bakers

beer-cheese-bread
Image via Cook Sister

This fabulous, easy-to-make beer and cheese bread is perfect for busy bakers—as well as lazy ones! Make a couple of loaves of this bread to accompany a big bowl of comforting soup or stew, or as an accompaniment to a slow-cooked casserole. Also perfect for a festive family breakfast or brunch.

Get the recipe for beer and cheese bread here

 

7. Sun-dried tomato bread

sun-dried-tomato-loaf
Image via Tinned Tomatoes

This loaf is bursting with sun-dried tomatoes, and is made in a breadmaker for ease. It’s made with half white and half wholemeal flour, dried parsley and chives. Fabulous when made into sandwiches or toast, as well as when served alongside breakfast, stews, soups or casseroles. 

Get the recipe for sundied tomato bread here

 

8. Bourbon biscuits

bourbon-biscuits
Image via Tin and Thyme

Classic British bourbon biscuits, but with a wee dram of whisky added for a touch of sophistication and added depth of flavour. Excellent party fare and perfect for the winter bakery; take time out to make a couple of batches of these to fill the biscuit tin for school and office lunch boxes, as well as for the festive teatime table. 

Get the recipe for bourbon biscuits here

 

9. Farmhouse “teacup” spiced fruit loaf 

teacup-loaf
Image via Lavender and Lovage

This is a low-fat tea loaf, made with a teacup of hot tea, which is very popular in fruited cakes and bread recipes (and similar to an Irish Brack recipe). It has the zest from an orange added, some mixed spice and is studded with plump dried fruit and peel...ideal for a winter afternoon snack.

Get the recipe for spiced fruit loaf here

 

10. Homemade crumpets

crumpets
Image via BBC Food

Nothing beats homemade crumpets, and they really come into their own during the winter months. Make a double batch of these, as they freeze beautifully and can be toasted from frozen. Serve with lashings of butter with cheese, jam, honey or maple syrup for an indulgent breakfast or high-tea snack. 

Get the recipe for homemade crumpets here

 

Karen Burns-Booth is a freelance Recipe Developer, Food and Travel Writer and is a member if the Guild of Food Writers. She writes for her own blog Lavender and Lovage.

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