Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Feed your appetite for cooking with Penguin’s expert authors

penguin logo

5 Festive Recipes to Get Ahead for Christmas

by Elizabeth Young

published on 16 October 2015

It’s never too early to start planning for the ultimate foodie Christmas, especially when certain festive treats need to mature to be at their best. Here are 5 things we’re making now in preparation for the tastiest day of the year.

Christmas Cake from Nigella Christmas by Nigella Lawson

Everyone knows that a good, rich Christmas cake needs to be made quite some time in advance. With pecan nuts, ground almonds and a generous glug of bourbon, Nigella Lawson’s Traditional Christmas Cake from the Nigella Christmas cookbook is one of our favourite recipes. 

Christmas Cake | Festive Baking

From the book

Nigella Lawson

Christmas Pudding from The Great British Bake Off: Winter Kitchen by Lizzie Kamenetzky

This Christmas pudding recipe from The Great British Bake Off: Winter Kitchen cookbook is rich, dark and packed full of boozy fruits. Make yours at least a month in advance, then let it mature in a cool, dark place until Christmas Day. Don’t forget to make a wish as you stir the pudding mixture!

Buy your copy of The Great British Bake Off: Winter Kitchen here.

Christmas Pudding | Festive Baking

Mincemeat from Let’s Preserve It by Beryl Wood

For extra-special mince pies this Christmas, homemade mincemeat is an essential that requires a good few weeks of maturing. It’s a preserve that has so many variations it is difficult to know where to start. In this recipe from Beryl Wood’s Let’s Preserve It, she offers 6 different variations to choose from!

Buy your copy of Let’s Preserve It here.

Mincemeat | Festive Food

Christmas Chutney from The Great British Bake Off: Winter Kitchen by Lizzie Kamenetzky

Everyone needs a good recipe for a Christmas chutney to eat with cheese and this Apple and Sultana Chutney certainly doesn’t disappoint. Robust and tangy, with a mellow hint of mustard seeds and juicy plump sultanas, it is best eaten after maturing for a few weeks in a cool, dark place.

Buy your copy of The Great British Bake Off: Winter Kitchen here.

Christmas Chutney | Festive Baking

Membrillo (Quince Jelly) from Tapas Revolution by Omar Allibhoy

A delicious festive preserve that goes particularly well with cheeses such as Spanish Manchego, this foolproof recipe from Omar Allibhoy’s Tapas Revolution also makes a lovely gift. Quinces are ripe for the picking around the end of October.

Buy your copy of Tapas Revolution here.

Quince Jelly | Festive Baking


You might also like

View all


8 Cornish-inspired home cooking favourites from Rick Stein at Home

Rick Stein’s latest cookbook is packed with recipes celebrating Cornish ingredients and producers. Discover 8 of our favourites here.


10 recipes you’ll love in The Sweet Roasting Tin

75 laid-back, flavour-focused bakes await you in The Sweet Roasting Tin. Here are just 10 of our favourites, from an orange drizzle traybake to Black Forest cupcakes.


Cook from the Book: The Sweet Roasting Tin

A team of home cooks tried their hand at some of the recipes from The Sweet Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer, including muffins and gingerbread.


Subscribe to The Happy Foodie email newsletter

Get our latest recipes, features, book news and ebook deals straight to your inbox every week