Food has undeniably become a huge part of Christmas- from pigs in blankets and brussels sprouts, to Christmas pudding and gingerbread houses. That’s why we love to combine it with thoughtful gifting, with a home-baked Christmas gift. A home-baked gift can be tied to the unique tastes of the recipient, personalised and creates a wonderful opportunity to embrace the Christmas spirit by getting family or friends involved. Home-baked gifts can also save money, plus they mean you won’t have to brave the crazy pre-Christmas shopping crowds. Thanks to our handy guide, you won’t be short of ideas, with gifts for all different skill levels. So, let’s get that Christmas playlist on and get baking!
Chocolate truffles can be surprisingly simple to make yet make an impressive Christmas gift, looking and tasting amazing. When it comes to flavour you could think Christmas themed (such as ginger or cinnamon) or tie it to the recipient's tastes. Don’t be afraid to get creative- you could have a Gin and Tonic flavour truffle after their favourite tipple or a create something more classic, such as a double chocolate flavoured delight. Present the handmade truffles in a gorgeous gift box or in a clear cellophane bag, tied with lots of ribbon.
A Christmas Cake
You can’t go wrong with cake, making it the perfect home baked gift at Christmas. Whilst traditionally Christmas cake meant a rich fruit cake, there is no reason not to break with tradition and create a cake that you feel your recipient would enjoy. You could even get creative with the sponge, adding red or green food dye to give it a Christmas colour scheme. The decorating is the time you can get really creative though. For inspiration, check out our Horny Rudolph Christmas Cake. For something a little different, consider something along the lines of our Christmas Turkey Roast Cake. This novel looking cake may resemble a turkey dinner, but is really brownie "meat" fudge, with an assorted nut stuffing of walnuts and hazelnuts, drizzled with our glossy salted caramel "gravy" and a festive sprinkling of red sugar pearls. Christmas turkey dinner has never tasted so good!
Christmas Tree Decorations
Whilst these are technically baked goods, they won’t necessarily be eaten…These golden cinnamon biscuits make gorgeous, unique tree decorations that can be kept for years to come. The trick? Adding some craft glue to the biscuit mixture! Use Christmas shaped cookie cutters and don’t forget to leave a hole for the ribbon before baking then.
Once baked, you can decorate them however you fancy- try using glitter and paint for decorations that truly stand out on the tree. A nice addition is to take a permanent marker and write a note to the recipient on the back, ensuring they will treasure it for years to come as an addition to their tree. Present your beautiful tree decorations in a gift box to make sure they won’t get damaged.
The Ultimate Hot Chocolate
Okay, so technically no baking is required for this one, but you can still have plenty of fun putting together the ultimate hot chocolate kit as a gift. To get really creative, try presenting them in glass tubes with stoppers. Start by filling the tube with the hot chocolate mix itself, then add a layer of chocolate chips before finally adding a layer of mini marshmallows. You can get creative with the toppings here too- perhaps adding some sprinkles or peanut butter chips instead. Once the tube is sealed, add some ribbon around the top to give it a Christmas twist.
A Gingerbread House
Admittedly more of a technical challenge, hand-making a gingerbread house is hugely satisfying and can create an impressive gift for a loved one this year. It also makes the perfect gift to take to a host’s house, as it’s something everyone can enjoy looking at (and eating, if you can bear to tear it down after all the work!) There are plenty of templates you can use online or you can draw and cut out your own using cardboard. To take your gingerbread houses up a notch, try our top tips:
- Create a stained-glass window effect by using a cookie cutter to cut ‘windows’ out of the house assembly pieces prior to baking them. Before popping them in the oven, add a coloured boiled sweet. The sweet will melt in the oven and harden as the gingerbread cools down, creating incredible coloured stained-glass windows!
- Create roof tiles for your gingerbread house using flaked almonds. Simply pop the top 1/3 of the flakes into the roof assembly pieces, prior to baking. To make the tiles look extra special, you can add some gold spray once they’ve been removed from the oven.
- When it comes to assembling your gingerbread house, just like with a real house, solid foundations are key! Use tins on the inside to keep the walls stable until they dry, which can then be removed before you add the roof.
- Get creative! Use lots of sweets, chocolates, piped icing and sprinkles to create the ultimate gingerbread house of your dreams. If you don’t fancy the challenge of a whole gingerbread house just yet, gingerbread cookies also make gorgeous gifts. Try using Christmas themed cutters (such as starts and trees), and decorating them with Christmas coloured icing. You could also add extras, such as sweets and sprinkles for some extra jazzy gingerbread men! These could be presented in a jar, gift box or cellophane bag.
A Christmas Croquembouche
For the ultimate Christmas gift, it has to be a Christmas croquembouche cake. The technically challenging cake features layers of profiteroles, which you can decorate with a variety of Christmas themed decorations, such as gingerbread men and chocolate baubles. The more outrageous, the better. Sound like too much work? Ordering a Christmas croquembouche cake will ensure all the wow-factor without any of the hard work. Featuring buttermilk “wreath” doughnuts as well as swirls of Swiss Meringue buttercream, it's guaranteed to give the recipient a very merry Christmas.
Brownies in a Jar
Whilst simple to put together, these baking jars can make really impressive looking gifts at Christmas. Simply layer the brownie ingredients in a glass jar, for example, sugar, flour, cacao powder, chocolate chips and nuts. Use a gift tag to write the baking instructions and tie it around the lid. You could even add a sprig of Christmas tree fern to the decorations to give it some extra Christmas spirit.