My Christmas Cookbook Collection

🎄☃️✨ Welcome to Day 8 of Blogmas At Home! It’s 17 days until Christmas and Mr Napkin Head has returned to our screens, much to everyone’s horror (sorry, Jude Law).. ✨☃️🎄

While I find a lot of my recipes these days online, I still have a soft spot for cookbooks- I often read them cover-to-cover like a novel! My absolute favourite cookbooks are cookbooks that are entirely focused on Christmas. I just love being completely immersed in all the festive recipes and holiday cheer- if I’m ever struggling to get into the Christmas spirit (a rarity, but it has been known to happen- usually when I hit my festive stride too early (i.e. September…), rereading my favourite Christmas cookbooks always picks me right back up.

For today’s post, I thought I’d give you a rundown of my Christmas Cookbook collection! These are great for buying for yourself to prepare for the upcoming merriment, but they would also make perfect gifts for any foodies in your life.

I’ve listed the books by the authors’ surnames- not how much I like them! All prices listed are accurate at the date of publishing this post, but please be aware that they will (inevitably) vary over time.

Table of Contents

The Cookbooks

Tanya’s Christmas‘ by Tanya Burr

Okay… this one isn’t strictly a cookbook- it’s more of an eclectic recipe/lifestyle reference book. There are lots of crafts, gift ideas, makeup/outfit ideas, decoration idea- that kind of thing, alongside a pretty good variety of recipes. Honestly, this is probably my least used book on this list, only because, if I were looking for a recipe, I’d probably go to a more food-oriented source?. However, I love hearing about the Christmas traditions in different families and there’s a lot of that in this book, so I’m still glad I have it.

Realistically, will book probably only really appeal to people who are big fans of Burr’s YouTube/social media presence (which I, strangely, never really was- I must have been distracted by the more cake-centric videos), but, seeing as it was published in 2017, the hardcore fans probably already own it by now. I, of course, cannot say no to anything that has ‘Christmas’ on the cover, so here we are.

Favourite Recipe: I haven’t tried anything from this book (yet!), but I’ve got my eye on the Clementine Cranberry Bellini on p.124. Bucks Fizz has been a Christmas morning staple in our house for as long as I can remember and I think this twist on the classic sounds super fun and festive.

Buy Tanya’s Christmas on Amazon for £6.33.

‘Advent’ by Anja Dunk

The newest addition to my Christmas Cookbook collection, ‘Advent’ is packed full of traditional festive biscuits and bakes from Germany. I’ve been really enjoying trying out some of the recipes this year- German Christmas Markets that pop up throughout the UK over the festive period have always been a part of my Christmas experience, so going even deeper into the German yuletide culture and trying out some more authentic bakes has been so much fun.

Favourite Recipe: I made the Mandelhörnchen (almond and marzipan crescents) on p.131 almost as soon as this book arrived and I loved them. There might even be a blog post about them coming soon…

Buy Advent on Amazon for £20.29.

‘Scandinavian Christmas’ by Trine Hahnemann

I’ve had this cookbook for nearly a decade now and it still brings me so much joy and inspiration. As the title suggests, it’s filled with Scandinavian Christmas recipes and, while there are a good number of recipes for pickled herring (sadly, not my thing- perhaps I need to broaden my fishy horizons?), there are even more recipes for super festive and exciting cookies, cakes, canapés and preserves.

It’s a little tricky to source this cookbook these days, so your best bet is probably to buy it used. I’ve listed the Amazon page below, but you can find it at lots of different used book stores online, if you prefer.

Favourite Recipe: I’ve made both the Raspberry Vinegar (p.40) and the Christmas Chutney (p.36), which were delicious. I haven’t made the recipe for Apple Sauce with Crispy Pork Belly (which is literally served in a little glass as a canapé?!), but I’m obsessed with the idea of it, so I think I’ll have to try it out at some point!

Buy Scandinavian Christmas (used) on Amazon for £12.73.

‘Christmas Feasts and Treats’ by Donna Hay

Another relatively new addition to my collection, Christmas Feasts and Treats is an extensive collection of sweet bakes, desserts and savoury recipes for Christmastime. Hay is Australian, so there a few recipes in there that might be a little jarring to someone who is used to a dark and cold Christmas season (I’m looking at you, Coconut Chicken Summer Rolls (p.22) and Spicy Tabasco Lobster Sliders (p.27)), but it’s definitely interesting to see how those in the Southern Hemisphere celebrate! Having said this, the majority of the recipes look deliciously festive, no matter what kind of climate you are enjoying your holiday season in.

One thing, though: I’m low-key disturbed by Hay’s penchant for wrapping the end of a roast ham in decorative fabric before serving it? That is utterly bizarre to me… please tell me, is this a thing that real people do? What do you do with the hammy fabric afterwards?!

Favourite Recipe: Not necessarily the recipe, but the idea: the Cranberry and Fig Bundt Cakes with Gingerbread Antlers on p.129 are SO CUTE that I tried to recreate them (in sticky toffee pudding form, obvi). Unfortunately, it was not my most successful endeavour, but I’m determined to get some antlers on a bundt at some point in my life!

Buy Christmas Feasts and Treats on Amazon for £21.79.

‘Nigella Christmas’ by Nigella Lawson

Guys… we did it. We reached my all-time FAVOURITE cookbook. Nigella Christmas is my comfort read, my favourite cookbook of all time, my most prized possession (okay, that last one might be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the picture). What I love about this book is it is so comprehensive: you’ve got hundreds of recipes, spanning cocktails (and mocktails), canapés, meals, roasts, bakes, foodie gifts- the whole shebang. I love how it’s set out, I love the recipes, I love the photos, I even love the rambling stream-of-consciousnesses before every recipe (it is a Nigella book, after all). It’s great for referencing, but it’s equally great for just reading (though I do, admittedly, have a soft spot for Nigella and her alliterative babbling- if you find it a little too much, you might not enjoy reading this one quite as much as me).

Favourite Recipe: The recipe for Sticky Gingerbread on p.201 is straight up life-changing, but I’m also obsessed with the method behind her Rolled Stuffed Loin of Pork (p.158)– admittedly, I don’t use her stuffing recipe (I’m suspicious of the flavours), but the marinating-then-wrapping-in-✨bacon✨ technique makes for the moistest, most DELICIOUS pork in the world.

Buy Nigella Christmas on Amazon for £22.05.

‘Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook’ by Jamie Oliver

This one was a Christmas gift from my mum last year, so I’m yet to try anything out yet, but I’m so excited to give it a whirl this year! Like Nigella Christmas, Jamie Oliver’s Christmas offering is extensive: there’s sweet and savoury and everything in between. My favourite thing about this book is all the pictures of Gennaro dressed as a turkey how it manages to be classic yet fresh and exciting all at the same time- there’s a real spectrum of traditional recipes and newer, more unusual ones, making this the perfect book for a Christmas-loving home cook!

Favourite Recipe: While I’m yet to try anything from the book, I’m definitely eyeing up the Roast Duck with Cranberry Hoisin, Crispy Skin, Fresh Herbs and Pancakes (p.68). I’m a sucker for a duck pancake, but this festive variation sounds like the perfect fresh meal for a December night.

Buy Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook on Amazon for £21.04.

‘Gingerbread Wonderland’ by Mima Sinclair

This is the smallest book in my collection, but it definitely packs a punch- I mean, how could you go wrong with a whole book dedicated to gingerbread?! About 2/3 of the book is dedicated to working with gingerbread cookies- there are tips and instructions for making all sorts of gingerbread houses, structures and decorations. The rest of the book includes a variety of recipes, all on the theme of gingerbread- there are cakes, biscuit doughs, breads and more!

I think this book would be a really great gift for a Secret Santa gift exchange, or as a stocking stuffer, to gift a little bit of gingerbread magic to your foodie friends!

Favourite Recipe: I love the Light Gingerbread Dough recipe on p.8– there are so many different recipes for gingerbread out there, but this one really gets that iconic gingerbread taste and texture. Though I suppose they are not technically recipes, I also think the Mini Mug Gingerbread Houses (p.59) and the Gingerbread Garland (p.67) are so adorable and festive!

Buy Gingerbread Wonderland on Amazon for £5.84.

‘Delia’s Happy Christmas’ by Delia Smith

This was one of the first Christmas cookbooks I ever read through, mainly because my mum already owned it before I even started my own cookbook collection. Of all the cookbooks, this one is probably the most ‘old-fashioned’- even though it was only published in 2009, it’s definitely got a bit of a 70s vibe about it. That being said, there are a lot of good staple recipes in here- you just have to find them in amongst the Pheasant Terrines (p.109) and Turkey Flans (p.276).

Favourite Recipe: The Home-made Christmas Mincemeat on p.70 is my go-to recipe for mince pie filling (though I do substitute vegetarian suet, just out of habit).

‘Primrose Bakery Christmas’ by Martha Swift

This book from the owner of Primrose Bakery in London feels particularly magical, even if some of the recipes aren’t quite as festive as some of the other offerings on this list. There’s a whole chapter on cupcakes, which includes a variety of different flavours that go way past the typical chocolate and vanilla, followed by chapters on large cakes, cookies, loaves & slices, pies & tarts, free from and, finally, edible gifts. I love this cookbook- it has such exciting and unusual recipes, but I do often find myself forgetting that it is a Christmas cookbook. While there are some super seasonal recipes, like the Popcorn Baubles on p.235, the Pain d’Epices Bundt Cake on p.97 and the Mince Pie Cookies on p.123, there is an equal amount of recipes that feel a little out of place (e.g. the Rainbow Cake on p.79 and the Pink Lemonade Cupcakes on p.29).

Favourite Recipe: I loved the Ginger Sparkle Cookies on p.139– they were spicy and chewy and so pretty! I’m also very interested in trying the recipe for Speculoos Biscuits (p.142) and, from there, the recipe for Speculoos Cookie Butter (p.145), because making homemade Biscoff just sounds fun.

Buy Primrose Bakery Christmas on Amazon for £19.80.

Final Thoughts

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my Christmas Cookbook Collection. I’m so excited to try out even more recipes from my collection this year (and make old favourites again, of course).

Overall, I would say…

Nigella Christmas and Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook are the most comprehensive cookbooks in my collection- with these books, you’ll have Christmas dinners, drinks, baking and gifts down.

Advent and Scandinavian Christmas are such interesting and inspiring cookbooks (but obviously, that’s partially because I have never been to Germany/anywhere in Scandinavia, so it all seems very new and exciting to me). These would be great gifts for UK foodies who like to branch out and experience new cultures through their baking!

Gingerbread Wonderland would make a great stocking stuffer for a gingerbread lover, but you probably wouldn’t want to give it someone who despises gingerbread in all its forms.

Primrose Bakery Christmas is a great gift to buy for at Christmas, because it includes lots of recipes that can be made year-round (though really, what’s stopping any of us from eating mince pies in May?), so whomever you give it to can start using it right away!

Tanya’s Christmas and Christmas Treats and Feasts are both really good books, but I tend to reach for them more for inspiration than for their recipes.

Finally, Delia’s Happy Christmas contains a lot of staple recipes, but wouldn’t be top of my list for a more modern Christmas Cookbook Collection.

I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about my Christmas Cookbook Collection! What are your favourite Christmassy Cookbooks? Let me know in the comments below!



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