Every family has traditional holiday recipes—the cookies you’ve made since you were little, the special bread you bake for snowy days, the pie that only appears once a year. Sometimes it’s fun to branch out and try new recipes as a family, making new memories along the way.
If you’re looking for simple and delicious baking ideas that your kids will love to try this year, we’ve rounded up seven of the best. Get out your mixer and start baking!
These cute treats are a fun way to incorporate fruit into your holiday baking, and they’re easy enough for kids to make themselves! Using pineapples and strawberries, construct a Santa body, face, and hat, then secure with a toothpick—choose one with a red top for an extra festive touch. A cream cheese-whipped cream mixture makes Santa’s beard, while mini chocolate chips serve as eyes. Place these cute figures on a cookie for serving, and watch your kids enjoy!
For a special breakfast treat this holiday season, try these banana pancake snowmen. The older kids can even learn to make these independently! The key here is making round pancakes in varying sizes, so try using cookie cutters or molds to pour the batter for consistent shapes. When everything’s ready, assemble into a cute snowman on the plate. Use pretzel sticks for arms, chocolate chips or berries for buttons, eyes, and mouth, and add a hat of your choosing! Some creative favorites are earmuffs made from berries, a top hat of chocolate syrup/sprinkles, or half a peanut butter cup bowler. Dust with powdered sugar for a magical, snowy feel.
For an easy holiday baking recipe that will fill your home with the smell of warm chocolate, try these reindeer cupcakes. You can use any chocolate cupcake and frosting recipes (including premade from a box!) for these treats, so choose something easy that the kids can bake independently—the fun is really in the decorating! You’ll use vanilla wafers for the reindeer muzzle, topped with brown or red M&M’s for the nose, then pretzels for the antlers. For eyes, get white M&M’s and dot with melted chocolate, or look for candy eyes in your local baking aisle. These reindeer cupcakes are a great treat for parties and holiday events!
These cornflake wreaths are a festive twist on the classic rice cereal marshmallow treats, and they’re lots of fun for kids to make. Melt down butter and marshmallow, then add some green food coloring. Mix in the cornflakes, then portion out handfuls onto parchment paper for the kids. Let them grease up their hands with butter, then start to work forming the cornflake balls into wreaths before they cool. Use red candies for berries sprinkled throughout.
Learning to bake the perfect brownie is an important life skill, so help your kids master this technique with these festive Christmas tree brownies. The recipe here is easy for kids since it doesn’t require any melted chocolate or precise tempering—it’s all pour and mix! Make sure to let the brownies cool completely before cutting into triangles. It may be best to bake the brownies one day and decorate the next. Use cream cheese frosting dyed green for the tree base, then decorate with strands of white and red. Use sprinkles and powdered sugar to add festive touches!
These holiday pretzels are a fun afternoon baking activity for families to enjoy. They’re easy to make but require lots of teamwork to get everything put together! Make sure to buy the windowpane pretzels along with Hershey’s Hugs and Kisses. You can get the red/green M&M mix or use other colors to match your holiday theme. Have the kids help lay out the unbroken pretzels, then top with Hugs and Kisses. As soon as they’re out of the oven, have the kids immediately push an M&M into the warm chocolate before refrigerating everything to set. These treats are great as teacher gifts, too, so make an extra batch!
Every family has traditional cookie recipes they use over the holidays, but this one really brings out the whimsy of the season. Use any sugar cookie recipe you like, then flood the tops with white buttercream frosting or royal icing—it’s good if some drips off the sides! Use a large marshmallow for the melted snowman’s head, then let kids decorate the rest with various candies and gel icing colors. Let them solidify on parchment paper before eating.
Let the kids help make these new recipes this year. You never know which ones will turn into family traditions!