Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Much like Buddy the Elf, it’s my favorite. The traditions, the trips, the excitement of decorating and making memories with my kids and husband bring me such joy.
Sitting down after the kids are asleep enjoying a glass of red in front of the big tree is my favorite. Hot chocolate and movie nights, wrapping gifts, hosting our families. There is nothing I don’t love about this time of year. I am downright joyful this season.
One month out of 12 isn’t bad, right? I’m not great with math, but the odds seem fine to me. Choosing gifts doesn’t even bother me. Number one, I love to shop. Number two, I love to give. And number three, I really love to spend time in the kitchen during the holidays. I love to bake. I’m good at it, and its often requested by my loved ones. I bring a homemade dessert charcuterie board to every Christmas party all season – and it’s inevitably gone in minutes. I love showing my love through baking because its how my grandmother and I spent so much of my life.
My grandmother died last year when she was just shy of the ‘second anniversary of her 100th birthday’ as we called it – the inside joke of all inside jokes. She was active, busy, healthy, youthful, beautiful, hilarious, and we had the best time. She was my favorite person on the planet, and it’s so hard for me to feel anything other than close to her when I’m in the kitchen making her recipes. I’m teaching my own kids to enjoy it, too. Those memories, as simple as they are, mean more to me than anything.
Baking For Christmas Gifts? Is that Really a Thing?
Yes, it is. Gift giving for adults is difficult. What do you buy for the people who already have everything? What do you get for people who can buy whatever they want when they want it?
More importantly, how do you show your love, respect, and appreciation for the people you love by way of a gift? You bake for them. Baking for your loved ones tells an intricate story of love and appreciation.
First and foremost, baking takes a great deal of time. It’s neither quick nor easy. It requires making a list, shopping, mixing ingredients, baking, cooling, packaging.
There is tremendous thought – especially since you must account for everyone’s dietary restrictions (gluten-free, different allergies, etc.). By choosing to bake what people love, it tells them you pay attention to them when they speak to you, and it tells them that you know them well enough to accommodate their dietary needs. Baking is a love language by itself.
I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Christmas items to bake and give as gifts. You can utilize them as you want. Give one. Give them all. Make a goodie tray. Make a dessert charcuterie board. Deliver homemade breakfast in advance to loved ones to enjoy on Christmas morning.
You can do so much with this, and not everything even requires you to spend time in the kitchen. I’ve included some baking gift ideas that allow others the opportunity to get into the kitchen to bake. I’ve even included gift ideas for the baker in your life (not everyone loves to bake, but you might know someone who does).
14 Baked Gifts for the People You Love the Most
What I love about each of these recipes is that they are the best of the best. They are the most requested. Each one is simple enough, but you have the freedom to personalize each one to your desire. You can even have the kids help out…maybe give their baked goods to grandparents (or no one because they’re licking, touching, tasting, or coughing in something and ew).
A classic recipe for a classic baked treat. This is the recipe to let the kids help with. Let them cut out Christmas shapes, decorate, and enjoy this process. Who doesn’t love a sweet gift everyone worked on?
Candy Cane Cookies
These are super cute, but also super easy. They make a great addition to a holiday dessert tray.
Can I be honest with you for a moment? I don’t care much for fudge. It’s too rich, but others adore it. It also reminds me of a Christmas treat, so it only makes sense to include this in a Christmas dessert tray.
They’re so cute, and what says Christmas like gingerbread? The best part about these is they’re cookies, not those frustrating gingerbread houses. No one will be harmed in the making of these – and no gingerbread thrown across the room when it won’t stick together. You’re welcome.
No Christmas baking day is complete with snowballs. They are literally a Christmas treat, and this recipe is simple enough you can even delegate if you must.
Everyone needs a little Christmas crack in their lives, but it’s addictive. Not ‘Aunt Susie is in rehab again’ addictive, but close. You may want to make this recipe for yourself.
Bread is the quintessential holiday baked good, is it not? Cinnamon is the other quintessential holiday item. Mix them together. This one is lovely because you can use it for a morning snack, to go with dinner, or any other time.
I love eggnog – with alcohol in it. I am not a huge fan of eggnog bread myself, but my parents love it. They request it every year, so it goes on the menu just for them.
Chocolate Peppermint Loaf
Full transparency: I haven’t made this yet. But it is on my list of things to try this season. I love peppermint with chocolate, so it does seem like an immediate win.
Red Velvet Mini Loaves
My husband and my father are my red velvet guys. They love it. Rich and decadent, it’s flavorful enough to make anyone want it. You can also add your own topping to this one, so you can personalize it as you see fit.
Triple Chocolate Chunk Brownies
They’re not exactly a Christmas recipe, but if you ask me what I want for dessert – it’s this. Ninety percent of the time, it’s triple chocolate chunk brownies. Why not?
Neiman Marcus Cookies
So, here’s the story of these cookies. They are not traditionally a Christmas treat, but they are from one of my favorite department stores, the story is darling, and my mom makes these for me every year. She also brings me an entire Tupperware container filled with dough balls she makes for me. I love these so much when they are fresh from the oven, still warm and gooey. She knows this, so she brings me the dough.
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Of all the recipes I make for Christmas, this is the one that is – hands down – the most requested. In fact, here’s a fun story. I took them to a party on Saturday evening (I did mention I’m always in charge of a dessert charcuterie) along with several other decadent items. I’ve had two people text this week asking me to share my recipe.
Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Here’s the deal with this one – don’t bake them. Make the dough, let it rise, and prepare them for baking, but DO NOT bake them. Instead, make sure that the rolls are in disposable baking dishes with lids. Make a cute card with baking instructions to attach to the exterior of the baking dish, and deliver these to your loved ones. They can be put in the fridge until it’s time to bake on Christmas morning. You just gave the gift of breakfast on the busiest morning of the year. Fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls warm from the oven.
3 Gifts for the Bakers In Your Life
Everyone has a person in their life they know loves to bake. If you don’t, you might be the baker. However, those who love to bake have a few things in common.
Number one, they love trying new recipes. Number two, they love gadgets and gizmos a plenty. Sorry, my twins are currently watching The Little Mermaid and I’m hearing Ariel singing about her own gadgets and gizmos and that fork she’s brushing her hair with. My point is that the bakers in your life love thoughtful gifts they can use in their own kitchen.
A Custom Cookbook
A great resource for a gift like this one is Etsy. There are so many options, and you can make them as personal or as impersonal as you want (meaning you can throw their name on the cover and give it to them like that).
There are some cookbooks that are so personal that you can send in photos of handwritten recipes (thank grandma, great-grandmother, your own mom, yours, other loved ones) to have them etched into the cookbook in their own handwriting. This has the potential to be an exceptionally personal gift for someone very special.
Again, try Etsy. Or, ask a friend with one of those machines that makes monograms or whatever. I’m not crafty, so don’t ask me. I digress, one of my favorite gifts ever given to me was an apron with my monogram on it. Truth be told, I don’t wear an apron because I’m not messy, but matching monogrammed aprons were gifted to my girls as well. They love to put them on with me and bake during the holidays, and I love that they love it.
Custom Baking Dishes
Etsy for the win again. This is another lovely idea for the baker in your life. Cookie sheets, cake pans, you name it. Have your favorite baker’s name etched to any baking dish, and make them custom in an instant. It’s not expensive at all, but it is the type of gift that is so custom and personal that everyone will love it.
3 Baking Gift Ideas for Those You Forgot About
Few things in life are as irritating as the moment your kids look at you the night before their last day of school before Christmas break and say, “There are only three gifts here. Did you forget about my music teacher?”
Of course, you forgot about their music teacher. You purchased gifts for their classroom teacher, their co-teacher, their PE teacher, the art teacher, that one teacher they really love a lot that they don’t even have, their favorite front office lady, and everyone in their class. Is that not enough? These gifts are cute for teachers, coaches, and everyone your kids love but don’t belong in the immediate family.
Packaged Cookie Mix and Baking Utensils
This is such a cute idea. Grab a box of cake mix or a bag of cookie mix and put it in a little gift bag. Add a holiday baking mitt, some holiday frosting or sprinkles, some holiday utensils (tongs, spatula, spoons, etc.) and that’s all. That is literally it. It’s cute, it’s thoughtful, and it’s a great option for those on a budget.
If you’re not worried about getting someone fired (teachers!), go ahead and attach a bottle of good alcohol to this gift to make it a grown-up version. If you are feeling extra crafty, include all of the items to make baked s’mores. Here is a darling recipe for baked s’mores to include with this homemade, thoughtful, delightful gift.
Mason Jar Cookie Mix
What I love about this is that you can make it yourself with your favorite cookie recipe or you can buy it already assembled. I see them all the time at Home Goods and Marshalls. Other stores I’ve seen these on display include Target, Walmart, and Publix. Check your local supermarket or grocery store for these. Keep in mind, however, that you need to attach a small note with baking instructions. This includes the moist ingredients needed to make this recipe work.
Additional Sources You May Need This Holiday Season
- DIY Christmas Wreaths to Make with the Kids
- Christmas Cookies for the Kids to Bake
- Holiday Crafts for the Kids
- 20 Awesome Star Wars-Themed Dinner Ideas