This has to be my favourite baking time of the year.
Fresh mince pies, golden and with a hint of citrus, hot from the oven. Perhaps eaten with a dollop of cream.
Or the crunch of a spiced gingerbread biscuit, perfect with a cup of tea as an afternoon treat.
Perhaps you’re already planning to bake plenty of festive treats in the run up to Christmas.
Or you’d like to start and want to get organised.
Each year I make a wishlist of bakes and begin working out what ingredients are needed.
There’s nothing more annoying than getting halfway through a recipe only to find a key ingredient missing, with no substitute to hand.
So to help you plan ahead I thought I’d share with you my list of cupboard staples – the most common ingredients used across many Christmas bakes.
Then you can enjoy baking a delicious treat at home – a perfect activity for colder, darker days in winter.
1. Make a list and check it twice
In fact, make a couple of lists.
First up, make a list of what you’d like to bake – a favourite afternoon of mine is spent looking through recipe books, magazine and online for some inspiration.
Then list out what ingredients you need for each recipe.
You’ll probably find that there are a number of ingredients you can use across several recipes.
To help, below is a list of common cupboard staple ingredients I use across a range of Christmas bakes.
Start with this and add in anything else you need, including perishable items such as eggs, butter and milk.
Light brown sugar
Dried chopped mixed peel
Ground mixed allspice
Dark and milk chocolate
Sprinkles to decorate cakes and biscuits with
Brandy, rum or whisky (optional – to soak your Christmas cake or stollen fruit)
2. Take stock
Once you’ve made your list, go through your cupboards and see what you’ve already got.
You might find that you’ve already got many of the ingredients you need.
Have a check that everything is still in date – it’s a great time for a cupboard clear out – and update your list with what you still need to buy.
If you’re not planning to bake straight away, you could still start to buy ingredients with longer shelf lives. Keep an eye out for discounts on baking ingredients, for example around Stir-up Sunday towards the end of November.
3. What about baking equipment?
Then check the baking equipment you’ve got.
You shouldn’t need anything too out of the ordinary.
Baking trays and tins are often enough for most Christmas bakes.
Below is a list of key equipment that I use time and again in the kitchen for my Christmas bakes.
Mince pie tray
Paper muffin and cupcake cases
Pastry and biscuit cutters
4. Get baking!
Once you’ve stocked up on all the ingredients and equipment, it’s time to get baking!
Why not try this recipe for stollen bites on my blog? Packed with rum-soaked fruit and a delicious sweet taste, baking it will fill your home with wonderful festive scents!
Enjoying these festive baking tips? Why not book an online baking class with The Epsom Bakehouse?
Join a relaxed, fun online class and learn step-by-step to bake your own fresh bread at home.
No previous bread making experience necessary. You’ll receive a detailed recipe and class joining instructions in advance.
Classes have been 5* rated by students on Google reviews.
You could learn to bake cinnamon buns, ciabatta, baguettes and more.
Click the links below to find out more about the next available dates: