Holiday baking

There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh-baked goodies at the holidays, their delicious aroma filling your home with an undeniable warmth. In honour of this special season, we’ve put together a recipe collection of Christmas classics and delicious treat with a twist that are sure to delight your family and friends as you gather to celebrate.

Gingerbread Cookie

Recipe courtesy of Sugar Suite, Oakville. Photography by Graham Paine


2 cups gluten-free flour

1 tsp xanthan gum (unless already contained in flour blend)

¾ tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

¼ teaspoon cloves

Pinch of salt

½ cup dark brown sugar

½ cup butter (room temperature)

¼ cup molasses

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)

Royal Icing:

1 tbsp meringue powder

1 1/3 cups icing sugar

2 tbsp warm water


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Mix together the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt and spices.

Mix together the molasses, egg and vanilla. Alternate adding the wet and dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing just until combined. Begin and end this process with the dry ingredients.

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. Roll out the dough using lots of flour and cut into desired shapes.

Place 1 to 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then bake for about 8 minutes.


Mix together the meringue powder and icing sugar. Slowly add water and mix on low for 5 minutes. Add more water or icing sugar to create desired consistency.

Cranberry Clafouti

Recipe and photo courtesy of Foodland Ontario

2 tsp melted butter
1 cup fresh or frozen Ontario cranberries,

coarsely chopped
3 Ontario eggs
1/3 cup each all-purpose flour and

granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup 2% Ontario milk
1/4 cup Ontario maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
Icing sugar

Brush six 3/4-cup ramekins with butter. Equally divide cranberries among ramekins. Place ramekins on rimmed baking sheet.

In large bowl or 4-cup glass measure, whisk together eggs, flour, sugar and salt until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk, maple syrup and vanilla until blended. Pour over cranberries.

Bake in 375°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until puffed, set and lightly browned around edges. Let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes (they will sink). Dust with icing sugar.

Winter Snowman Carrot Cake

Recipe and photo courtesy of Foodland Ontario

1-1/2 cups chopped Ontario carrots
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp each baking soda and ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 Ontario eggs
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tbsp butter, at room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup 35% Ontario whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup shredded coconut

Candies for decorating

In small saucepan of boiling water, cook carrots for about 12 minutes or until very tender. Drain well; mash until smooth. Cool completely.

Spray two 8-inch (2 L) round cake pans with nonstick vegetable spray and line bottoms with parchment paper; set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt;
set aside.

In large bowl, using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time until combined. With wooden spoon, stir in one third of flour mixture and half of mashed carrots. Repeat once, ending with flour mixture; until combined. Stir in pecans if using. Divide between prepared pans. Bake in 350°F oven for about 20 minutes or until tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack and remove paper; let cool completely.

In large bowl, using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Gradually beat in icing sugar until combined. Beat in cream and vanilla until fluffy and light. Set aside.

Cut one cake into 6-inch circle, reserving edges. Trim reserved edges to create arms for snowman.

Place cake rounds and arms on large serving plate to form snowman. Spread icing over snowman cake and decorate with coconut
and candies.


Recipe and photo courtesy of The Sweetest Thing, Oakville

40 g butter

200 g unsweetened chocolate

200 g white sugar

200 g brown sugar

3 eggs

105 g flour

1.2 tsp salt

100 g walnuts


6 tbsp butter, softened

2 2/3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 to 1/3 cup whole milk or cream

Preheat oven to 350 F. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in both sugars. Whisk in the eggs, and then fold in flour, salt and walnuts. Pour into a parchment-lined 9”x 9” pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares.

Icing: Beat all ingredients together until smooth, spread over brownies and enjoy.

Sticky Toffee and Apple Pudding

Recipe and photo courtesy of Foodland Ontario

1 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup water
1-1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 Ontario eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup peeled and grated Ontario apple
(such as Cortland or Empire)

Toffee Sauce:
2/3 cup 35% Ontario whipping cream
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla

Spray muffin cups with cooking spray; set aside. In small saucepan, over medium-high heat combine dates and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until dates are soft, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool 5 minutes. Place in food processor and process until smooth.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In large bowl, using electric mixer, on high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping bowl between additions. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 2 additions until well combined. Stir in date mixture; fold in apple. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups.

Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes. Cool pan on wire rack for 5 minutes.
Remove puddings to wire rack to cool.

Toffee sauce:

Meanwhile, in small saucepan, over medium heat, combine cream, sugar and butter. Bring to boil and boil gently, stirring occasionally until sauce is slightly darkened and thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool 5 minutes. Spoon sauce over puddings. Serve warm.