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A jar of port wine jelly makes a wonderful homespun gift and it's easy to make! The jelly's flavors are nuanced with warm notes of caramel, plum and walnut. It goes well with savory main dishes, but it's also good simply spread on toast.

It's my tradition to make a big batch  of port wine jelly around the Christmas holiday to give as gifts, but I also make it just for me. I enjoy it so much because it goes with everything. You can serve it as a side next to roast turkey, or spoon it over a log of goat cheese for an appetizer. You can use it to top brie en croute, or just enjoy it on some good multi grain toast. It's so versatile!
This festive punch is perfect to serve at holiday get-togethers. Its ruby red color comes from sweet-tart pomegranate juice. Champagne makes it sparkle, or use carbonated apple cider for a non-alcoholic punch.

I've always considered punch to be dessert you can sip, which is why I get really excited to see it served parties. There's something special about all those small punch cups being ladled full of sweet, potent liquid.

This punch is simple with most of the sweet flavors occurring naturally from the fruit juices we've used. It's potent, but not in a hummingbird nectar kind of way (which is how I describe most soda-based, sherbet-topped recipes). It seems more like a bolstering of antioxidants and vitamin C from winter's best fruits. Don't get me wrong - it's not health food, but it's a nice departure from the norm.
These cookies have a generous dose of orange marmalade mixed right into the batter. Cinnamon and clove give them spicy holiday flavor, and a topping of zesty citrus buttercream makes them irresistible!

Drop cookie recipes are especially wonderful for busy holiday bakers, because there's no dough to be rolled out, no stamping out shapes with cutters, and no tedious decorating. There's a certain beauty in their simplicity and they are usually delicious, which is the most important thing a cookie should be!
Buttery sugar cookies get an easy and festive look with melted hard candy “stained glass” windows. They are sure to be the star of your cookie exchange!

It just wouldn't be Christmas without a big batch of sugar cookies (or two, or three!). These were a lot of fun to make, and so pretty we wanted to hang them on our Christmas tree. It's amazing how easy the stained glass effect is to achieve - anyone can do it, and I'll show you how!
Star-shaped gingerbread cookies stacked tall on a platter creates an edible Christmas tree centerpiece for your holiday table. Royal icing acts as the glue that holds the cookies together, while metallic dragees give the tree sparkle.

This is a fun Christmas baking project, especially if you have help from an extra elf or two in the kitchen. The cookie recipe makes a large quantity of dough, so there's plenty of rolling, cutting and decorating to be done. Having more than one pair of hands will make the work go faster, and it's a great way to make memories with little ones. At the end you'll have a towering Christmas tree - that you can eat!
Tangy sour cream coffee cake is layered with sugared cranberries and almonds for a true taste of the Christmas season. This recipe makes two 8 inch cakes, one to give and one to keep!


Cranberries have been a common theme on this blog ever since they came into season. First there was Air Fryer Cranberry Baked Brie (which I've made 3 times since), then Champagne Cranberry Sauce, and most recently Cranberry-Oat Crumble Bars. I use them so much in winter months that I've developed a flavor memory. Each time I enjoy them I am reminded of happy times with family and friends around the holidays.

This coffee cake is sure to create some happy memories! Layers of brown sugar-coated cranberries and almonds are baked into a single layer cake. I've developed this recipe for two cakes, so that you can have one to enjoy -and in the spirit of the season- one to give.

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