Celebrating the Best of Baking with these Christmas Recipes

The festive season is here and because we are feeling particularly jolly, we’ve put together a series of recipes celebrating the best of Christmas baking, kicking of today with this showstopper of a cake plus a few more delicious treats. Parts two and three will follow in the next couple of weeks.

We’d also love to know your favourite Christmas recipes, so are launching a little competition here at the Mill House Kitchen. Share your favourite Christmas recipe and a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #millhousekitchenbakes and on Tuesday, December 20 we will choose our favourite. That lucky baker will win a lovely prize package valued at over $130, (see pic below.)

Manildra Christmas prize pack

 

Ginger and Honey Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

This cake is a lovely dessert to take to a holiday party. It’s definitely a festive show-stopper.

Serves: 10-12
Prep: 30 mins
Cooking: 30 mins

150ml milk
3 tbsp. honey
375g The Healthy Baker Self Raising Flour
375g brown sugar
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 tsp. ground ginger
1⁄2 tsp. ground cloves
1⁄2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1⁄2 tsp. salt
225ml auzure canola oil
300ml buttermilk
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla paste

For the Icing
250g butter, at room temperature
500g icing sugar
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup dulce de leche or thick caramel spread

To Decorate
1 log of marzipan
Edible gold glitter
Silver cachous

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Combine the milk and honey in a saucepan, stir and heat until mixture is well combined.

Meanwhile, use canola oil to grease two loose bottomed, 24cm cake tins and line with baking paper.

Measure the flour, sugar and spices into a large bowl, then add salt. Mix the dry ingredients together with a large whisk.

Whisk together the canola oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Add the warm milk and whisk again. Fold the wet and dry ingredients together and divide between your cake tins. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing, beat the butter, icing sugar and cream cheese together in an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the caramel and fold to combine. Spread a layer of the icing on one cake and top with the other cake. Cover the top with icing and then put the cakes in the fridge while you make the marzipan trees. The icing will firm up in the fridge and stop the trees from falling over.

Roll out the marzipan on a lightly floured surface and cut out with any Christmas themed shape. Use a small, clean paintbrush to paint with the gold dust and then stick shapes into the icing of cake. Sprinkle with the cachous.

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Santa Brownies

Chocolate lovers will adore this recipe. Honestly, who can go past chocolate, strawberries and cream!

Makes: 12
Prep: 10 mins Cooking: 25 mins
Ingredients

150g dark chocolate
110ml auzure canola oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla paste
200g caster sugar
100g The Healthy Baker Plain Flour
1⁄2 tsp. sea salt
150g hazelnuts, roasted and roughly chopped
1 punnet of strawberries, bottoms sliced to make a base
1 cup whipped cream

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a lamington tray with baking paper. Place the chocolate in a glass bowl, set on top of a saucepan of simmering water and melt.

Set aside to cool for 5 minutes then add the canola oil and stir until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and add the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Fold in the flour, salt and hazelnuts and spoon mixture into the prepared tray. Bake for 25 minutes or until just cooked. It should still be lovely and fudgy in the centre.

After the brownies have cooled in the tin, slice into squares. To finish, top with a little cream, a strawberry and then another tiny dollop of cream to make a Santa hat. Cute hey!

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Boozy Christmas Loaf

This loaf will get everyone into the Christmas spirit!

Makes: 2 loaves
Prep: 30 mins
Cooking: 1 3⁄4 hours

Ingredients

350g dried, pitted dates
100g glace cherries, roughly chopped
300g currants
200g dried cranberries
100g glace ginger, roughly chopped
250ml whisky
250ml auzure canola oil
200g brown sugar
1⁄4 cup golden syrup
Finely grated zest of one orange 4 eggs
300g The Healthy Baker Plain Flour
100g almond meal
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
150g whole blanched almonds

Method

Place the dried fruit, ginger and whisky in a big ceramic or glass bowl. Cover and set aside for a few hours. Preheat oven to 160°C and line and grease two loaf tins with three layers of non-stick baking paper. Allow the baking paper to be a few centimetres higher than the tin.

Cream the canola oil, sugar, golden syrup and orange rind until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. In a separate bowl, sift together the our, almond meal and spices. Fold this mixture into the butter & sugar mixture.

Fold in the fruit and spoon the mixture into your prepared loaf tins and smooth over the surface. Top with the blanched almonds. Wrap your loaf tins with 2 layers of newspaper, so they come slightly higher than the baking paper. Tie with kitchen string and bake for 2 3⁄4 hours or until the cake is cooked through (try the skewer test). Let cool completely in the tins.

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Almond and Cranberry Snowball Cookies

These perfect holiday cookies are so simple to make (and hard to resist!)

Makes: 20
Prep: 15 mins
Cooking: 10 mins

Ingredients

190g The Healthy Baker Plain Flour
220g caster sugar
3 tbsp. corn our
1 pinch sea salt
180ml auzure canola oil
2 tbsp. water
1 tsp. vanilla paste
1⁄2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1⁄2 cup cranberries
300g icing sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C and grease and line two baking trays. Combine all ingredients except the icing sugar in a large bowl and stir until well combined. Scoop batter into rounds and arrange on the baking trays a few centimetres apart, allowing space to spread. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on the trays for a few minutes. While still warm, roll in the icing sugar and let cool completely on wire racks. Roll through the icing sugar again and serve.