‘Tis the baking season

‘Tis the baking season

Need a show-stopping dessert recipe to impress guests or just satisfy your sweet tooth over the Christmas period? We’ve got you covered! Check out our indulgent traditional festive desserts guaranteed to make your day merrier. All recipes are courtesy of Barb Ryan, Commercial Cooking and Baking program instructor at Bay St. George campus.

Recipe 1: Seven-Cup Pudding

This is a traditional favourite as a main dessert at Christmas for many generations, especially if there is a big family gathering. The sight and smell of Seven-Cup Pudding is the symbolic representation similar to the Christmas tree standing in the corner. 


1 cup apples (peeled & chopped) 

1 cup flour

1 cup raisins

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup fresh milk

1 cup suet (lard)

1 tbsp baking soda

1 tsp all spice

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp Salt


To make the seven cup pudding place all ingredients into a mixing bowl except. Once well combined, add milk and mix well.

Cream butter and sugar well. Mixture should be of dropping consistency. Place the mixture in a greased tin. Cover with parchment paper, top with foil wrap and tie with a string.

Steam for 3½-4 hours remove from boiling water, remove cover and turn upside down on a plate and once cooled the pudding is ready to serve.

Recipe 2: Apricot Fruit Cake

This moist, spice-less fruitcake is one of the many traditional favourites. It is not nearly as heavily flavoured as dark fruitcake. Since no spices or molasses are used, this cake relies purely on the flavour of the dried fruits.


2 cups of water

1 cups raisins

2 ¼ cups flour

1 ½ baking powder

1 cup red cherries

1 cup green cherries

1 cup mixed fruit

1 ½ cups dried apricot

1 cup margarine

8 ounces cream cheese

1 ½ cup white sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla

½ tsp almond flavoring


In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of water, 1 cup raisins, 1 ½ cups dried apricots chopped and ¼ cup sugar cover and simmer for  15 minutes. Set aside to cool completely to room temperature and drain.

Cream the margarine, cream cheese, white sugar, vanilla and almond flavouring.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and beating well after each addition.

Sift together the flour and baking powder.

Fold half of the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture.

Fold in the cooled boiled apricot mixture.

Fold in the remaining dry ingredients.

Fold in the cherries and dried fruit.

Bake in a greased and floured tube pan at 275 F for 2-2 ½ hours or until done.

Cool in the pan(s) for a 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in a cake tin or other airtight container. Freezes well too.

Recipe 3: Christmas Balls

If you like a quick bite and don’t want to turn on the oven, this is the perfect treat to make your day and you can combine a variety of flavours. 


45-50 mini coloured marshmallows (cut in half)

2 cups graham wafer crumbs

1 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Dried coconut flakes for coating


Combine marshmallows, graham crumbs, dried cherries and condensed milk in a mixing bowl. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 45 minutes.

Once the mixture is chilled, using a cookie scoop or spoon roll out approximately 1 tbsp. The mixture may get a little sticky as you work, but just form it into a ball as best you can.

Roll balls in coconut and place on the baking sheets. Refrigerate for at least 30-60 minutes to set.

Snowballs will stay fresh covered at room temperature for three days or in the refrigerator for one week.

Recipe 4: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

If you are a chocoholic and enjoy a rich fudgy chocolate cookie, this is a real treat! it has the best of both worlds – gooey chocolate and rolled in powdered sugar.


4 cups granulated sugar

1 ½ cup oil

1 ½ cup cocoa powder

8 eggs

4 tsp vanilla

4 ½ cups flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt


Combine the flour and other dry ingredients in a small bowl and slowly add in the wet ingredients one by one.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4-6 hours or overnight.

Using a cookie scoop or spoon roll out 1 ½ to 2-inch balls.

Don’t be shy when it comes to rolling them in the icing sugar.  Make sure each cookie is well coated before placing on baking sheet.

Transfer to baking sheet and bake at 325 F for 10-12 minutes.

Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet before enjoying.

Recipe 5: Five-star Bars

Whether you want to indulge in sweet cookies with your tea or you want the perfect cookie for the holidays, this delightful old-fashioned Five-Star Bar recipe is a must-try.


1/4 cup melted butter

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 cups unsweetened coconut

A 10 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

For the top

1 cup chocolate chips use your preference of milk chocolate, semi-sweet or dark or you can use a couple of Aero milk chocolate bars, melted.


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix together the butter, graham crumbs, coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla.

Press into a parchment paper lined 9 x 9 pan.

Bake for 20 minutes or until firm.

As soon as they come out of the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the hot cookie bars.

Let stand for five to 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt, then spread evenly over the top.

Allow the bars to cool to room temperature before cutting into cookie bars or squares.

Store in an airtight container. These cookie bars freeze well too.


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