Not long to go until the moment we are all waiting for! With Christmas just around the corner, we can already smell cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and chocolate in the air. It seems like everyone is already on the lookout for delicious sweet treats to spice up their holidays. Some of us even started their preparations as early as September (we surely did!).
One thing is sure – We British know how to party when it comes to holidays and festivities. It all starts with making the traditional Christmas cake, which sets the tone to people’s curiosity in trying out more delicacies. Super-enthusiasts prefer to have a go at making their own Christmas baked goods, whilst others prefer more comfortable ways to get their favourite desserts for their loved ones, and we know how you could do that too!
In this article, we’ve put together our top 7 traditional British Christmas treats that you must try to make your holidays more festive and tastier. Who knows, you might be only a few clicks away from finding your favourite dessert, and even taking it on as a family tradition during the holidays!
1. Christmas cake
We have a whole tradition when it comes to English desserts, dating back when it began as plum porridge. We used to eat the porridge on Christmas Eve to line our stomachs after a day of fasting. From there onwards it’s poetry – dried fruit, spices, honey and everything in between got added to the porridge mixture, eventually turning into an actual Christmas pudding.
There are various ways of making a Christmas cake, but in general, they are simply different variations on the classic fruitcake. They can be moist, or dry, dark, light, spongy, or heavy, and can take different shapes covered in frosting, glazing, or in simple dust of sugar (or plain, but we prefer having some fun whilst making it). Baking a Christmas cake isn’t a challenging task, however, it takes meticulous planning in advance, and a very keen eye to detail.
If you don’t have time or patience to make a homemade cake this Christmas, you can rely on high-quality bakeries which have plenty of options to suit your taste buds. You can find them all at Bakers Market. Browse through a selection of bakeries such as PAUL, The Food Pantry and Bread a Manger
2. mince pies
Popular amongst many English-speaking countries, these sweet little pies are a British delicacy, made of shortcrust pastry filled with fruit, spices and a splash of alcohol (or more). Dating back to the Stuart and Georgian times, in the UK, mince pies represented a symbol of Christmas spirit.
Baking mince pies with your family is an enjoyable activity to do as the holiday season approaches. The pies can be baked in creative and colourful shapes such as stars, crescents, hearts and flowers of mixed sizes. Most people prefer having a mince pie the size of a cake, however, the little ones would way rather fit all that holiday cheer into a one-bite treat. Fun fact: Scousers from Liverpool are known to munch up an impressive 20 mince pies per person for Christmas. National average is 15, so they surely are as delicious as they sound!
An all-time favourite no matter the age, especially when shaped like little houses or men, a common sight at every bakery during the Christmas period. In England, gingerbread was thought to have medicinal properties back in the days due to the ginger root being the main ingredient, first cultivated in ancient China. Even today, ginger is widely used to treat nausea and other stomach ailments.
A perfectly crunchy and smooth gingerbread man is the ideal pallet for crafting a real holiday decoration with royal icing, candies, sugar pearls and all sorts of sprinkles. The best Christmas combination? A big glass of warm milk, a plate full of tasty gingerbread men, and Home Alone playing on the TV, now that’s Christmas right there!
4. Spiced Victoria Sponge Cake
A Victoria sponge is the classic cake of the British baking history, being the traditional cake for an afternoon tea treat and a warming dessert during the holiday season, as the cake gets spiced with delicious tastes and hints reminiscent of Christmas.
Flavoured up with dried fruits, brandy and a variety of spices, a spiced Victoria sponge cake is an irresistible cake to have on your festive table. However, you might still opt for the traditional cake, so make sure you have a look at the festive selection offered to you by Fatherson Bakery and PAUL Bakery
5. Yule log
Also widely known as Buche de Noel, Yule Log is a rolled sponge cake filled with cream or fruit jam and covered with buttercream icing. Its appearance is meant to resemble the yule log typically burned on Christmas Day, and it’s the best choice if you want to level up a traditional Christmas pudding.
Being an elaborate creation, this type of cake can be garnished with meringue mushrooms, marzipan, or any other sort of edible decoration. The Food Pantry Yule Log is a must-try if you want a nice hint of rum flavoured filling, combined with fine Belgian milk chocolate. For a wider variety, PAUL and Bread a Manger have delicious products that will sure fit your family’s taste and preferences with their selection of Yule Logs for Christmas.
6. scottish shortbread
Despite its specific name, shortbread is a traditional treat eaten across the UK during the Christmas seasons, as it’s a favourite and delicious buttery bake. The shortbreads can take a wide variety of shapes as sizes (they can be round, in wedges, fingers or as small biscuits), and they indeed go perfectly well with a lovely tea!
One of our favourite treats is the Millionaire Shortbread (a classic go-to for holidays), and you can find them ready to order at Fatherson Bakery.
Despite being an Italian Christmas Cake, it is much loved across the whole world, including the UK. Panettone is a beautifully dome-shaped cake originally from Italy, with a light and airy texture, but with a rich and buttery taste. Making it at home can be quite tricky, but it’s worth the effort! It also represents an ideal baked Christmas gift to give to your family and friends, and the most popular flavours are chocolate, lemon, vanilla, and chestnut. If you would much rather buy, head to The Food Pantry
Oh, now we can’t wait for Christmas! These were our top 7 Christmas treats that you can delight yourself with this holiday season, however, the list doesn’t stop here. If you want to enjoy delicious and festive bakes delivered straight to your door, then look no further.
Grab a cuppa and start browsing on Bakers Market as you will surely find the perfect Christmas treat (or more) for you and your loved ones.
However, if you are one of the keen enthusiasts that want to bake like a pro from the comfort of their own home, check out Elvira’s Secret Pantry Artisan Free From Baking Mixes, and start your own Christmas baking adventure! Bonus? Their mixes are suitable for intolerances as well, as they use only the finest ingredients without requiring any gluten or dairy. Now that’s a treat for any occasion!