The festive season is here, and what better way to celebrate than with some delicious homemade Christmas treats you can make at home?
And while some of our recipes on this page do contain alcohol, not all of them do and you could experiment with alternative flavours if you don’t want to be dishing up alcoholic treats to friends and family.
Baking is a wonderful way to bring people together, and nothing says Christmas quite like the sweet aroma of freshly baked treats. Whether you’re looking to impress your family with a stunning dessert or searching for the perfect homemade gift for your friends, we’ve got you covered.
Here, the Christmas.co.uk team share our favourite Christmas treat recipes. We love them because they are super easy to make and delicious.
Get your aprons ready, and let’s get started!
Baileys salted caramel and Speculoos (Biscoff) balls
Your friends and family will adore these indulgent Baileys salted caramel Speculoos balls?
This mouth-watering recipe combines creamy white chocolate, Baileys Salted Caramel Liquor and warming Speculoos biscuits – a French delicacy very similar to Biscoff (which will work just as well).
The recipe is the brainchild of Nora at Combinegoodflavors.com, an Austrian home cook with a talent for mixing alcoholic drinks and baking.
We think this is an excellent way to enjoy Baileys, a festive classic, in a tasty and sweet snack.
- White chocolate
- Heavy cream
- Baileys salted caramel – It also works with the original Baileys Irish Cream
- Speculoos/Biscoff (finely ground)
- Grated white chocolate for rolling.
The baking method is straightforward, and Nora recommends using mini paper cups to make them easier to display and handle.
These delightful morsels are quick and easy to prepare in advance and can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container until your guests are ready to enjoy the treats.
We found that chilling the treats before serving helped to create a lovely, soft consistency that everyone enjoyed.
Nora recommends enjoying these flavourful bites with a glass of red wine – who are we to argue with that?
Why do people bake sweet treats at Christmas?
People bake sweet treats at Christmas for several reasons.
Many families have sweet recipes that they have made and eaten at Christmas for decades, continuing that tradition is an important part of the festive season.
Baking with loved ones during the Christmas season creates happy memories and it’s a great way to bring the generations together.
Indulgent food is now a big part of Christmas celebrations, whether it’s buns for the school fair, an excuse to ditch the diet or a brilliant way to bring a smile to the kids’ faces.
Baking sweet treats will add to the festive spirit in your home, it’s a fantastic way to show love and appreciation for family and friends.
And of course, who doesn’t love indulging in festive desserts during the festivities?
5 Christmas chocolate treats
We loved this YouTube video from Good Housekeeping, it includes five Christmas chocolate treats your whole family will adore.
Learn how to make a cute reindeer from a Tunnock’s tea cake and a Curly Wurly, and a cracker from a chocolate mini roll and Reese’s mini cups.
Little ones will enjoy making adorable penguins from Oreos, white chocolate, and Haribo sweets and crafting snowmen from a Tunnock’s snowball and tiny chocolate chips.
A fan of Ferrero Rocher? Us too! Dip them in white chocolate and sprinkles to make an impressive mini-Christmas pud!
All of these are great ideas that are quick and easy to make. Highly recommended!
Nutella and Baileys brownies
Here’s another gorgeous way to use Baileys. The Nutella and Baileys brownies recipe is a cinch to prepare and has been created by Kacie at the Rare Welsh Bit.
She highlights that the recipe would make the perfect dessert for Christmas dinner guests who don’t like traditional Christmas pudding, sherry trifle or fruit cake.
The marbled top of this show-stopping dish is stunning and its light and airy texture makes it ideal for people who have overindulged with the Christmas turkey, but still have room for something sweet. It can also be cut into pieces that suit each guest’s dinner appetite.
Kacie recommends that these brownies be served with a scoop of luxury vanilla ice cream and, of course, a glass of Baileys to wash them down with.
If your family insists on a traditional figgy pudding at Christmas lunch, these brownies will be a lovely dish for your evening buffet or Boxing Day pudding.
This quick and easy recipe is also useful for year-round dinner parties or after-school treats. Kacie says they can be kept in an airtight container for up to six days.
For the brownie mix
- 250g Nutella
- 125g light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 50ml Baileys Chocolat Luxe Cream Liqueur
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 50g organic cocoa powder
- 150g unsalted butter, melted
- 75g plain flour
For the creamy swirl
- 100g cream cheese full-fat
- 25g caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 50ml Baileys Chocolat Luxe Cream Liqueur
- 25g plain flour
Kacie’s website has the full instructions for making these rich brownies. They take around 35 minutes to bake and simply need cooling before being cut into squares for dinner guests.
Christmas chocolate truffles with chestnuts
Now here’s a tasty yet healthy spin on chocolate truffles! It was created by Monika at everydayhealthyrecipes.com and they are easy and quick to prepare.
These unusual truffles with chestnuts are a flavoursome alternative to traditional chocolate truffles, and they make a great edible gift too.
Monika also has a slightly more complicated recipe for peanut butter chocolate truffles, but the creamy and rich chestnut version uses just four ingredients! The toppings are optional extras.
These truffles are nutritious and have a mild and sweet flavour, the chestnut blends beautifully with chocolate. These chocolatey treats are so good people will be unaware they are eating a healthy ingredient.
Monika offers photographs and the step-by-step instructions, and the process is very simple to do.
Once the ingredients have been combined, you’ll need to place the bowl in a fridge for up to three hours until the mixture is thick enough to make truffle balls.
These truffles can be coated in chocolate and decorated – you’ll need parchment paper and the balls should be dipped in melted chocolate and decorated immediately with either Christmas sprinkles, crushed pistachios or a drizzle of melted white chocolate help to create a lovely contrast.
Monika also offers some optional ingredients for the filling and says you can add toffee bits or even popping candy for an extra edge.
- 160+200g dark chocolate 55-65% cocoa solids, broken into similar size pieces.
- 180g chestnuts ready-to-eat, peeled and cooked, chopped
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) heavy cream/double cream
- 3 tablespoons vodka
Toppings: crushed pistachios, desiccated coconut, raspberry dust, Christmas sprinkles, etc.
If you are looking for a tasty Christmas treat to offer family and guests, we heartily recommend these chocolate truffles with chestnuts and a kick of alcohol.
What sort of things do people bake as Christmas treats in the UK?
The UK has a rich tradition of baking Christmas treats during the festivities.
These include the ever-popular mince pies, fruity Christmas puddings, chocolate yule logs, fragrant gingerbread, and boozy fruitcake.
Other festive desserts such as creamy sherry trifle, sweet and chewy pavlova, and panettone are also enjoyed by many.
Many families have their own unique recipes that have been passed down through the generations and are an intrinsic part of the Christmas celebrations.
Overall, for many of us, Christmas is a time for indulging in lovingly prepared and delicious, sweet treats while enjoying quality time with loved ones.
Almond rolls – a sweet Christmas pastry
Here, food blogger Corina shares her recipe for a sweet Christmas pastry that is wrapped around lashings of homemade almond paste.
If you love crisp and crumbly pastries or want tasty treats that are quick to create, then these almond rolls are highly recommended.
Corina is a food writer at Searchingforspice.com and she creates easy recipes that make good use of spices.
She says these almond rolls are a Christmas tradition in her own family. They feature sweet homemade almond paste that is wrapped in puff pastry, baked till golden and finished off with a light glaze.
Corina says they make the perfect afternoon or mid-morning snack when paired with a hot drink.
It’s also worth noting that these pastries are a light alternative to mince pies. Guests will be delighted with being offered a choice.
We found that the almond paste was very easy to make with caster sugar, ground almonds and icing sugar, along with a small amount of almond extract to help bring out the flavour of the almonds.
Alternatively, you could use ready-made marzipan but as Corina highlights, when creating your own almond paste, you can add as much almond flavour as necessary to meet your tastes.
- 85g caster sugar
- 140g icing sugar
- 225g ground almond
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 320g ready rolled puff pastry
For the glaze
- 80 g icing sugar
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon water
Follow the method on Corina’s website and you’ll discover just how easy these almond rolls are to make. Bake them for approximately 20 minutes until golden on top and, once cool, drizzled over the sweet glaze.
We really liked the simplicity of the recipe, and they were very well received in the Christmas.co.uk office.
Zoella: Quick and easy DIY Christmas treats
In this video, Zoella, the popular YouTuber crafts tasty and quick biscuits, candy cane hot chocolate and candy cane lollipops.
These lovely treat ideas will impress even though they can be made in a hurry. The perfect solution for unexpected guests.
Happily, unlike some recipes, the decorations are just as yummy as the biscuits themselves. The methods are super simple, and the melted snowmen will make everyone smile.
A last-minute emergency Christmas cake recipe
Have you left it too late to bake your own Christmas cake this year? And you don’t fancy a shop-bought version? Then here’s an emergency Christmas cake for you.
This clever idea is from Eb at the Easy Peasy Foodie and is a great solution for anybody who wants to bake an easy and quick Christmas cake at the last minute.
Let’s face it, at this chaotic time of year, a Christmas cake that is ready in 90 minutes, doesn’t need loads of ingredients and is decorated on the day it’s made is a gift from heaven.
Not only is this cake perfect for feeding unexpected relatives (again!), but it will also impress at a school bake sale or similar. The Easy Peasy last-minute emergency Christmas cake takes 30 minutes to prepare all the ingredients, and one hour to bake.
The cake then needs around two hours to cool before it can be decorated, to help with this Eb offers some easy decoration tips that can be achieved in just 15 minutes.
Incredibly, this means that the raw ingredients can be made into a beautifully decorated Christmas cake in less than four hours.
And, as our discerning testers discovered, there’s no compromise on the cake’s flavour or texture. We’re expecting many people will switch to this as their Christmas cake recipe of choice.
Even novice bakers can be confident of a fantastic result. Eb offers step-by-step instructions with photographs that are easy to follow, and she uses shop-bought marzipan as part of the decoration process.
One of the best tips we learned from Eb is to boil the fruit used in the recipe, this will release the flavours and replicate soaking it overnight in brandy or sherry. You can still add these warming spirits for a boozy flavour or use apple juice if you prefer an alcohol-free cake.
For the cake…
- 500 g mixed dried fruit (including mixed peel)
- 100ml sherry (you can use gin/whisky/brandy or apple juice)
- Juice of 1 orange
- 100 ml of boiling water
- 150 g muscovado or dark brown soft sugar
- 150 g butter softened (plus extra for greasing)
- 150 g self-raising flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of mixed spice
- 200g glacé cherries halved
- 500g marzipan
- 250 g white fondant icing
- Icing sugar.
No bake chocolate orange cheesecake
Sarah at the Taming Twins blog has a show-stopping recipe that will wow your Christmas guests. Her No bake chocolate orange cheesecake is packed with Terry’s Chocolate Orange, and has a luscious biscuit base. This is the perfect choice for a Christmas dessert.
The recipe has a crunchy base of crushed digestive biscuit, a lightly whipped cream cheese and chocolate orange filling. It also uses double cream and icing sugar for an extra luxurious taste and texture.
Once the cheesecake is firm, decorate it with drizzles of cream, chocolate coated oranges and chocolate orange segments.
The size of the tin will determine whether your chocolate orange cheesecake is tall or thinner, but the cheesecake will need to be left in the fridge for at least four hours to set properly, Sarah recommends leaving it overnight.
This is another quick recipe you can whip up at the last minute. If the overnight setting option isn’t practical, you can even place the cheesecake into a freezer for two hours, and then allow around 30 minutes at room temperature before being served.
For the base
- 100g butter, melted
- 200g Digestive biscuits
For the cheesecake mixture
- 2 Terry’s Chocolate Oranges
- 500ml whipped double cream
- 560g full fat cream cheese
- 100g Icing sugar
- Half a lemon Juice
- 2 tsp Orange Extract (but only if you have it)
- For decoration
- 100g white chocolate
- 100ml whipped double cream
- 12 Terry’s Chocolate Orange pieces
- Orange gel food colouring
Not only is this recipe a very tasty and quick creation, even for those who are confident in the kitchen, but it’s also a great opportunity to show off some culinary skills.
We also like Sarah’s Baileys hot chocolate which uses a slow cooker.
This is a delicious winter warmer that is a lovely creation to come home to if your family and friends decide to go out on Christmas Day or Boxing Day and need an indulgent treat to return home to.
Easy vegan Christmas treats
If you have vegans in the family or are expecting vegan guests, these delicious and straightforward plant-based Christmas treats will impress and delight.
Each one is the inspired creation of food blogger Madeleine Olivia. Her tasty vegan mince pies and salted caramel truffles are both yummy!
If speed is required, Madeline’s vegan Christmas treats are perfect as they take a very short time to make.
Christmas pudding brownies
Finally, our last easy to make festive treats are these Christmas pudding brownies that feature a sherry cream cheese frosting from Bristol Bites.
We love this creation because it tackles food waste by using up leftover Christmas pudding in a novel way and tastes scrumptious too!
While you could use the leftovers for Bristol Bites’ equally excellent Christmas pudding ice cream, we thought that these brownies are more suitable for a chilly winter day.
Using cooked Christmas pudding that has been crumbled, these yummy chocolate brownies, topped with a sherry-flavoured cream cheese frosting are rich and decadent.
To make the brownies
- 250g Christmas pudding, cooked
- 225g unsalted butter
- 140g dark chocolate
- 450g caster sugar
- 55g cocoa powder
- 75ml sherry
- 5 eggs – medium
To make the frosting
- 250g cream cheese
- 50g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp softened unsalted butter
- 1 dash vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp sherry
The method is easy to follow with the brownies being baked for up to 40 mins. While cooling, prepare the frosting and top the brownies before cutting them into squares and placing in the fridge for enjoying later.