Christmas Baking

For many years I’ve tried to have a weeks annual leave at the beginning of December to get everything ready for Christmas, organise presents, order food, write Christmas cards…and decorate cakes. So I’ve been off all last week and managed to get most things done – except Christmas cards, I’ve now managed to buy them but not written one yet!!! Last weekend our two new granddaughters came round to decorate Christmas cakes and gingerbread houses. They’re six and nine and it was lovely to see how excited they were.

We started with gingerbread houses. I’ve been making these for years, I used to get the houses from Ikea (flat-packed obviously!!) but I found the ones from Morrisons may not be quite so cute (no chimneys or open windows) but the gingerbread tastes a lot nicer. It’s also a lot handier for me to buy! I’d bought four, one for us, two for the girls and a spare in case of breakages.

I set everything up in the conservatory with a tray each to work off, lots of cake decorations like stars, glitter bits, hundreds and thousands, silver draghees to break your teeth on!! We’d got icing bags ready and some ready made tubes…and of course a Santa each. We had a great time decorating them and then putting them together. I forgot to take photos at the time but here’s a photo James took yesterday, still wrapped in the snowflake cellophane and not nibbled to my surprise…

They did so well with the icing in piping bags. I think I helped the youngest with the roof icing on the far gingerbread house, but the nearest one is all the nine year old’s work.

A few weeks ago they came round so we could make Christmas cakes, these are what we call rich fruit cakes, they need a good six weeks to mature and last a good while too. You only need a small slice as it’s very rich and filling. Here in Yorkshire we like to serve it with Wensleydale cheese, delicious! I’ve got my truckle of cheese ready in the fridge. So once the gingerbread houses were done we started on decorating their cake.

I showed them how to roll out marzipan, filling in holes in the cakes and using apricot jam to make it stick before smoothing it round the cake. We then rolled out the sugar paste and covered the cake, polishing it with the smoothers. They did a great job. I’d previously made the sleigh and reindeer with royal icing but they helped make houses round the bottom and added the stars. I’ve made this Christmas cake design a few times, it’s from a book on Christmas Cakes I bought when my too were little, it’s such a gorgeous design…

The next day I decorated our gingerbread house, the little holly wreaths and berries were in a cake sprinkles set from Waitrose, they add just that little bit of colour.

I covered our Christmas cake with white icing and then added different sized stars and put some gold stars in the gaps and made a circle of candles and stars…

It’s very simple and quick to do, but I think it’s pretty effective. I just need to make some mince pies and then I think that’s all the Christmas baking ready!

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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17 Responses to Christmas Baking

  1. Jaya says:

    The houses are beautiful! Is there anything you don’t do??πŸ˜‰


  2. tialys says:

    All your baking looks lovely. I confess to buying the Christmas pudding and the mince pies and I haven’t made a Christmas cake for years. I used to make one every year for my Dad – from Delia’s recipe – but I’m not actually that keen myself so don’t bother any more.
    I love your gingerbread houses – I think it was you in a previous post that inspired me to buy a kit for us. I got it in Lidl actually, I hope it will taste O.K., Hopefully, I’ll be putting it together with the help of Miss Tialys the Younger this weekend – you;re never too old for such things are you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      I have to confess I’ve never made a Christmas pudding!!! I always use Delia’s Christmas cake recipe, in fact I’ve made it that often that the page has fallen out of my book, but then it is nearly 40 years old!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Michaela Greenwood says:

    I love the wreath on your gingerbread house. Great idea πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. anne54 says:

    How lovely that you have your new granddaughters. Sharing this time with them must be so special…..and they would have loved making the gingerbread houses!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. katechiconi says:

    Your cakes and gingerbread houses are just gorgeous! I really love the dark blue night sky on the Santa and sleigh version. This year, I’m going to have to find an alternative to all the delicious sweet stuff that comes with Christmas, as I’m not allowed to have it any more. I’ll really miss my fruit cake and mince pies πŸ˜• Maybe I’ll have to work out how to make pannetone!

    Liked by 1 person

    • craftycreeky says:

      Thanks Kate, I’ve never tried making pannetone but I’m sure it’s not too difficult – you could always make a few practise ones πŸ™‚


      • katechiconi says:

        Practice pannetone sounds very dangerous to the blood sugar! Maybe I’ll leave it to the experts and just buy myself an individual one so I have something to enjoy with my eyes averted while the others are tucking into the sugary delights!


  6. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I always like to read about your Christmas traditions. It sounds like your new Grands have added a bit of cheer and love to your holiday season. All of your efforts look marvelous.
    Merry Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. These look amazing (and delicious), as I suspected – your home is likely very festive at Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jane M says:

    How lovely you can share your creativity with your new grand daughters


  9. kathyreeves says:

    You are making lovely memories with your new family members!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Amanda says:

    Having a lovely time they’ll remember for ever!


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