Your Ultimate Holiday Baking Guide

Whether you're hosting a cookie exchange party or just looking to bake a couple of treats for the holidays, we've got you covered!

Peppermint Wonders | Photography by James Baigrie

There’s never a shortage of delicious treats during the holidays. Whether you’re baking with the kids or wrapping up bundles of homemade edible goodies for friends, it really is a wonderful part of the season. Add a few new flavours to your recipe repertoire this year with these tasty treats from our archives. You might just find a new go-to holiday favourite!

Bars

Butterscotch Bars
This brown sugar brownie (also known as a “Blondie”) is nutty and chewy. We used walnuts, but any chopped nut will work.

Strawberry Lemonade Bars with Pistachio Crust
With a flakey pistachio crust, these lemon and strawberry bars are perfect to serve when the berries are ripe and sweet. For sweet seasonal substitutions, swap in raspberries and blackberries. If you don’t have access to fresh berries, use thawed, frozen berries.

Sunshine Lemon Bars
Create the taste of sunshine using our Duncan Hines Lemon Cake Mix. These Sunshine Lemon Bars will add a welcome twist to any occasion.

Spiced Pumpkin Bars
Make moist, tasty, handheld desserts from the season’s signature ingredient.

Rich N Cream Brownie Bars
Create the rich part with our Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix. Then top with a cream cheese icing for the creamy part. Ta-da, you’ve got Rich N Creamy Brownie Bars!

Orange Chess Bars
The citrus splash in the crust of the Duncan Hines Orange Cake Mix is complemented by a rich cream cheese topping. These Orange Chess Bars are fabulous for any occasion.

Marshmallow Crispie Bars
Duncan Hines Milk Chocolate Chunk Brownie Mix, sweet and smooth marshmallow cream, and hits of crisp rice cereal. These Marshmallow Crispie Bars are a real mouthful!

Idle Hand Bars
Salty, sweet and peanuty with a burst of chocolate. What could be better?

Fudgey Brownie Bars
A rich, chewy brownie layer smothered with delicious, sweet chocolate icing. A decadent treat for the ultimate chocolate lover.

Carrot Cake Chewy Oatmeal Bars
A new spin on an old tradition, these moist, delicious Carrot Cake Chewy Oatmeal Bars start with Duncan Hines Carrot Cake Mix and transforms into an ingredient-rich treat packed with oatmeal, coconut, carrots and raisins. Different. Decadent. Dare you!

Blueberry Spelt Oat Bars
This healthy, home-baked snack travels well and would be a welcome treat in a lunch box!

No-Bake Chocolate Cereal Graham Bars
No time to bake? No problem! These yummy chocolate cereal bars are a snap to prepare and make a perfect lunchbox treat

Coconut Toffee Bars
These super-sweet delights won’t last long. Adding sweetened condensed milk gives a caramel-like quality without all the work. – For gift giving: Place the Magic Baking Mix and sugar in a bag and place it in the bottom of a canister. Layer the toffee bits, coconut and chocolate chips on top; then attach baking instructions.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars
The recipe calls for blueberry jam, but you could use grape jelly or strawberry jam. You can also leave the peanut butter out if it is being served to someone with a peanut allergy.

Awesome Oatmeal Bars
Oatmeal bars are the perfect snack for kids on the run, but why bake your own when the stores are full of them? Well, our scrumptious version is lower in calories and sodium than most supermarket bars.

Nanaimo Bars

Cookies

Classic Shortbread
One shortbread cookie recipe can be easily transformed into 4 deliciously different holiday cookies.

Candy Cane Shortbread
Using our Classic Shortbread recipe and crushed candy canes, these cookies are Christmas ready in no time.

Chocolate Pecan Shortbread Cookies
This sweet and crunchy recipe is sure to become a favourite.

Christmas Cut-Out Cookies
With an unlimited number of holiday shapes to choose from, these cut-out cookies are a fun family project!

Lemon and Lavender Shortbread
Lovely and lemony. This cookie is topped with lavender for a unique taste and crunch. We also love its sugary sparkle.

Lemon Tart Shortbread
This Lemon Tart shortbread is a blend of sweet and sour and will be appreciated by fans of all things lemon and lime. The addition of toasted almonds adds to this cookie’s flavour.

Chocolate Mint and Vanilla Swirl Cookies
Butter cookies get a spectacular two-toned makeover for this holiday treat. Package them in clear cellophane so everyone can admire their good looks.

Biscotti with Peanuts
Homemade biscotti are always an impressive gift for the coffee or cookie lover on your list. You can also keep an extra stash handy for any of those last minute holiday guests. Gift wrap tip: pick up Chinese food containers in festive colours from your local craft store for easy, yet attractive packaging.

Anzac Biscuits
These little biscuits have a good, old-fashioned taste. If you aren’t a fan of macadamia nuts, feel free to replace them with almonds instead.

Jam Shapes
These pretty jam-filled cookies take time to make, but they are definitely worth the effort!The combination of gooey jam and crunchy cookie is heavenly.

Citrus and Pistachio Biscotti
With just the right crunch that begs to be dipped into a steaming cup of java, these pretty biscotti are a snap to make. Remember to use a long serrated knife to cut them. – For gift giving: Combine the Magic Baking Mix and pistachios in a pretty package along with baking instructions.

Cinnamon Stars
Thanksgiving and Christmas in Canada are wonderful occasions for home bakers to hone their skills. Traditional German Christmas cookies are a fun way to get started, even for people with no baking experience. The recipes are usually fairly simple and straightforward, requiring only pantry staples, a few special seasonal ingredients and cookie cutters. The quintessential Christmas cookie – these crisp, spicy cookies make a perfect snack after a day outdoors. Serve them with big pitchers of mulled wine and hot chocolate.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dried unsweetened cherries are a great recipe booster: Plump them up with hot water and add them to a sauce for grilled duck breast or rack of lamb. They also make for a great snack on their own.

Gingerbread Men
Just a little spice and lots of sweetness. Your kids can help stir the dough up. Canola makes a perfect texture for this traditional cookie.

Double Chocolate Biscotti
A chocoholic’s delight. Great flavour, and nutty too. Not as hard as other biscotti.

Carrot Coconut Macaroons
Cookies without eggs and butter? Oh my! But believe us, these are crisp and light treats. If you want to make them even more delicious, melt some carob chips, dip the tops in and allow to cool. Vegan can be yummy.

Bacon, Chive and Maple Syrup Shortbread
Trust us, bacon in shortbread is good. Really, really, good.

Raspberry Almond Macaroons
This isn’t the coconut macaroon many people are familiar with. Instead, it’s a lovely, light-as-a-feather French sandwich cookie, which starts with puffy wafers of ground almonds, confectioners’ sugar and egg white. This version is sealed with a rich, pink, raspberry-flavoured buttercream.

Vanilla Snap Biscuits

Amaretti Biscuits

Squares

Mrs. Claus’s Peppermint Wonders
Mint, chocolate, chewy and simple delightful” those are just a few words to describe these sumptuous treats. If only we could bottle the smell of them baking!

Candy Cane Fudge Brownies
Mint and chocolate come together perfectly in these rich, chewy brownies.

Peanut Butter Brownie Squares
Create a decadent peanut butter frosting, then drizzle our Duncan Hines Chocolate Decadence Brownies with a warm milk chocolate sauce. These Peanut Butter Brownie Squares are a winning combination.

Butter Tart Squares
What’s more Canadian than butter tarts? This square version makes serving a slice.

S’Mores Rice Crispy Squares
If you like S’Mores and rice crispy squares, then why not combine the two with this tasty recipe? A little bit of chocolate coating with a few crumbled graham crackers mixed into your rice crispy makes for a great treat.

Knockout Brownies
Brownies are definitely big on comfort, but most light recipes are unappetizing. So we’ve packed this brownie full of goodness without compromising flavour. Beets are loaded with folate and vitamin C, and the antioxidant flavonols in dark chocolate help reduce blood pressure.

Pink Almond Squares

Chocolate-Blueberry Squares

Read-to-Me Brownies
Cozy up with your little one, a good book and these scrumptious brownies. A perfect mid-week dessert, they whip up in a snap—and dirty only one bowl.

Cakes

Spiced Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes
Oh my! This is decadence on a plate. But guess what? This splurge dessert is dead simple and can be prepped a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator, which makes it perfect for wowing guests.

Carrot Cake with Drizzly Icing & Toasted Coconut
We’ve added wheat germ into this traditional carrot cake—no one will know!

Autumn Orchard Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
It’s a breeze to whip up this scrumptious cake that’s loaded with cinnamon and bits of moist apple.

Pear Upside-Down Cake
A from-scratch cake easily takes 25 minutes just to prep—ours takes only 7 minutes.

Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake
Sometimes, cooking for a gang uses up every last inch of oven space. Take the pressure off and let your slow cooker handle dessert.

Double Chocolate Mountain Cake
The Double Chocolate Mountain Cake is comprised of a chocolate bundt rose cake drizzled all over with melted chocolate ganache and decorated with white-chocolate dipped strawberries and topped with chocolate dipped Italian almond cookies with sliced almonds.

Chocolate Sticky Toffee Pudding
Gooey, moist, rich and unforgettably better, even, than the one served at Earls restaurants.

Low-Fat Chocolate Cake
Never thought of making dessert out of tofu? Well, this might change your ways. Just try to resist Pete’s Simple Low-Fat Chocolate Cake.

Chocolate-Crushed Creamy Caramel Cheesecake

Soft Serve Ice Cream Chocolate Cake Cones

Wild Huckleberry Streusel Sunday Coffee Cake

Cupcakes

Sweet Pie Cupcakes
These adorable cupcakes are easy as… well, you know.

Egg-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
Silken tofu subs in for eggs in these moist and chocolatey cupcakes. Coconut oil adds a subtle coconut flavour, but canola oil can be used in its place.

Lighthearted Devil’s Food Cupcakes
Indulging in these Devil’s food cupcakes is far from sinful. The rich chocolate you know and love is perfectly paired with irresistible marshmallow frosting.

Mini Ginger Icebox Cupcakes
Gingerbread isn’t just for the holidays! This recipe combines gingersnaps with whipped cream for five layers of deliciousness.

Sour Cream Cupcake with Dulce de Leche
Looking to indulge a bit? Try these sour cream cupcakes topped with sweet dulce de leche for a truly satisfying treat.

Chocolate

Chocolate Ganache
Drizzle this delectable chocolate sauce on Profiteroles and make this non-traditional dessert irresistible.

Yummy Chocolate Truffles
These yummy morsels are a delicious gift idea that kids can make themselves (with a little help from you). Cover them with a dusting of cocoa or get fancy with nuts and sprinkles.

Chocolate Bark
This tasty bark makes a great inexpensive last-minute gift. Wrap pieces in gift boxes or airtight tins lined with waxed paper or place in decorative bags. This recipe can also be made using your favourite dried fruit, sweetened coconut, crushed peppermint candies or even mini marshmallows.

Homemade Fudge Sauce
This glossy fudge sauce is so easy to make you will be looking for new uses for it every day. You can double this recipe easily for big-batch gift giving.

Crunchy Mint-Chocolate Fudge
Want to wow your teacher or babysitter? Whip up a batch of this fab no-cook fudge for the holidays.

Chocolate Yogurt Mousse Cups
This simple chocolate mousse tempers the richness with a dose of nutrition. Egg whites and yogurt add protein, while the dark chocolate makes this healthy dessert seem extra-decadent.

The Best Chocolate Pudding
If all you’ve ever had is store bought pudding, look out. This recipe, with its velvety texture and intense chocolate flavour, is insanely addictive.

Peanut Butter Truffles
This year, why not add a personal touch to your holiday gifts by giving friends and family a tin of Peanut Butter Truffles? Creamy, delicious and decadent, this treat makes the perfect gift. Gift wrap tip: fill a decorative cookie tin with truffles and wrap them in cellophane and ribbon.

Cookie Dough Truffles
This delicious dessert combines two favourites — chocolate and cookie dough!

Double Chocolate Pudding
A decadent, chocolate-packed pudding.

Chocolate Truffles

More Delicious Treats

Mary’s Tablet
A delightful Scottish take on fudge.

Macadamia Nut Brittle
This golden confection will disappear faster than you can make it!

Vanilla Nutella Pudding Parfaits
Please everyone at your holiday party with double the dessert.

Newfoundland’s Spectacular Snowballs
This candy-like treat is perfect for a dessert platter or cookie exchange. These traditional, no-bake East Coast specialties whip up in no time. Be careful, they’re addictive!

Very Berry Fruit Jellies
After watching Martha Stewart make jellies on her show, our contributing food editor was determined to find a speedy, foolproof way to make these old-fashioned holiday treats. Berry applesauce stands in for the purée base and saves you time (we used Mott’s Country Berry applesauce).

Mini Salted Caramel Sufganiyot
The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah has some wonderful food traditions, but few are as tempting as the filled doughnuts known as sufganiyot. Here’s how to make mini salted caramel sufganiyot that your whole family can enjoy.

Chocolate and Dried Cranberry Scones
Not too sweet and perfectly crumbly, these scones are a lovely addition to any holiday brunch spread. For gift giving: Combine the first four ingredients in a jar and attach baking instructions.

Plankies
Ted Reader was tailgating in Buffalo at a Buffalo Bills game when the inspiration for this recipe hit him. Truly evil decadence! This is proof that anything can be planked!

Marshmallow Reindeer
It only takes a quick dip in melted chocolate for these cute no-bake reindeer to come to life. This is a great kid-friendly treat the whole family can create.

Chocolatine Surprise
These treats are easy to make: croissants become chocolatines with a different twist. The filling is simply delicious! Jams can vary and you can also try making them with white chocolate. Wonderful warm or served at room temperature.

Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods
Chocolate covered pretzels are hard for many to resist. Add a rainbow of candy coated sprinkles and this simple, kid-friendly recipe will become a household favourite. An equal amount of white chocolate can be substituted in this recipe, if desired.

Princess Candy Crunch
A crunchy candy delight! This recipe is also called Vanilla Almond Bark.

Cookies ‘n’ Cream Fudge
Fudge is a favorite for gift-giving and this white chocolate vanilla fudge with bits of chocolate cookies won’t disappoint.

Drinks

Hot Buttered Rum
Take the chill off a cold winter’s day with a mug-full of hot buttered rum. We make ours extra special with the addition of apple cider. Rum can be omitted for a non-alcoholic version.

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