Family Holiday Baking for The Non-Baker

| December 3, 2012 | 0 Comments

We here at OBE – with Sue in her cozy home near the shores of Qualicum Beach, B.C. or Robin’s crew looking out at the Halifax skyline – love baking. Especially holiday baking. Now, that doesn’t actually mean that either of us are baking genius. We simply love, in our minds, the IDEA of baking lots of goodies during the holidays.

Every time December rolls around we get these visions of magical kitchen adventures in which we make the most incredibly delicious and gorgeous holiday treats. We bake. Oh yeah. But, making it gorgeous is another story.

Thing is – and it took us a while to realize it – the end product was not what it was all about. It was the actual act, the experience of getting the kids into the kitchen and turning it inside out, that made things awesome.

We’ve got our first of this year’s deliciousness to share with you today, as well as a look back at a few of the crazy Christmas baking adventures we’ve had over the years. First, we begin with the Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Cupcake.

It smells like Christmas just thinking about them.

We first found this recipe while foolishly looking for uncomplicated cinnamon strudel cupcake recipes (no such thing). They looked totally doable by the preschool crowd and it was fun to find a new foodie blog over at Sweet Pea’s Kitchen.

Of course, the preschool crowd was in charge and moms were not supervising entirely properly. So, a thing or two got botched including the fact that you are supposed to dip the tops of these in butter and THEN dip them in cinnamon and sugar. We combined it all into a “sauce” of sorts, improvised and ended up with a super tasty crunchy frosting that made everyone’s head’s spin with delight.

Here’s the recipe:


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup oil (or melted butter)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk

For the Coating:
1/2 cup melted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.

3. In small bowl whisk together oil, sugar, egg and milk.

4. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Bake until tops are a pale golden and springy to the touch, 22 to 24 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time.

5. While the cupcakes are baking, melt butter, throw the cinnamon and sugar in and keep stirring. Once baked, shake cupcakes out immediately and while hot, dip them in the sauce. The, take a spoon and spoon out a bit more topping on the cupcake. Let them cool for about half an hour before eating.


One of our other favorite easier-than-expected projects is the annual Buche de Noel (which we are making again very soon). Check out our tales from the holiday kitchen HERE. This was whipped up the first time in the presence of newborn children who wanted to nurse every hour and 5-year-olds who think anything that takes more than 5 minutes is a waste of humanity.

Despite the cries of hungry infants and the lure of chocolate pudding which made this a treat to complete, it was awesome and there was much bragging by all involved.

Then, of course, there is the last-minute baking thing where your kids tell you they need four dozen tomorrow or your neighbours are popping by around 5 p.m. We’ve got your back with some easy, tasty (we test drove them for you) last-minute cookie recipes HERE.

Now that we’ve got you slobbering a bit and thinking about how dreamy a day in the kitchen with your kiddos would be, bust out the mixer and tell the kids to turn the tube off. It’s time to make a mess. It’s time to whip up muffins that taste great. It’s time to…well, happy holiday baking.

Don’t forget to bring the Bailey’s for your coffee:)

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Category: Dessert, EAT LOCAL, Food & Your Family, Recipes

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The Our Big Earth staff drinks a whole lot of coffee and spends its days (a few nights too) coming up with fun and interesting ways to help you celebrate family, parenthood, community and more.

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