Five Favourite: Christmas Baking Recipes


Guess what? There’s less than a month left till Christmas!

That fact will do one of two things – leave you bursting with excitement that the festive season is almost here or fill you with dread as your mind leaps to the dozens of things you need to tick off the list before then.

Whichever type of person you are, this post is here to help. I’m a firm believer that home baked treats make perfect Christmas gifts – after all, who doesn’t love unbundling a parcel to discover delicious treats? But the trick with Christmas baking is to be organised and get onto it before the madness of December really sets in – yip, that means now!

Luckily there are lots of delicious treats that not only make great gifts, but are quick to prepare and can be stored without any problems – here are five of my favourite Christmas baking ideas to get you started…

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Top 5 guilt-free cheese recipes


Cheese is one of those ingredients that I absolutely love to cook with – there’s never a shortage of things you can make and it instantly adds a punch of flavour to whatever you’re making. The trouble is, it’s usually not a guilt-free option.

That’s where Mainland Noble comes in. Unlike most cheese, Noble is a cheese you can actually feel good about eating. With 30% less fat than Tasty (even less than Edam) and all that delicious Tasty flavour, you can rest-assured that Mainland Noble is a better-for-you option. Seven years of hard work went into creating this special cheese and now it’s here for Kiwis to enjoy at home. And trust me, you’ll enjoy it – it tastes amazing!

While it’s so good you’ll want to simply eat it by the slice, make sure you save some for your cooking. Here are my five favourite recipes that have been made better-for-you thanks to Mainland Noble to get you inspired…

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10 Tips to Save You Stress in the Kitchen


Being a great baker isn’t just about knowing what goes into making delicious treats, it’s just as important to know what to do when things don’t quite go to plan – those moments when you realise you’re out of a key ingredient or the cake just won’t come out of the pan.

Murphy’s Law says these problems always pop up when you’re pushed for time. You know, when you’re all dressed and your guests are due to arrive any second. When things get a little sticky in the kitchen it’s easy to become stressed and wish you were invisible – but that’s one thing a woman should never be!

Luckily with Rexona Invisible Dry the only thing that’s invisible is your deodorant – just a quick spray in the morning and you can forget about white marks and yellow stains marring your day (and your clothes). And I can say from experience this product works – even when it’s 22 degrees, the oven’s blasting out heat and things are going a little pear shaped – so you can focus your attention on more important things… like getting to work saving your baking from disaster.

It’s not as hard as you might think! Here are ten tips have up your sleeve to save you stress in the kitchen…

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A Touch of Gold Luxe


There’s something wonderful about a soft, sweet sugar cookie – one that falls apart when you bite into it and is packed with beautiful vanilla flavour. Whether your baking them for Christmas gifts, afternoon snacks or party treats they make a perfect little treat.

The trouble with sugar cookies is decorating them. Most of the sugar cookie ideas you see require you to outline and flood the cookie with royal icing and while the finished product looks gorgeous, sometimes you just don’t have the time for fiddly techniques.

That’s where this idea comes in – why not decorate sugar cookies with a beautiful swirl of buttercream icing? Traditional American-style buttercream develops a thin crust while setting, giving them as much durability as flooded biscuits without the fiddly piping.

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100s & 1000s of sprinkles


One year ago two of our best friends welcomed a new member of the family into the world – a gorgeous baby boy named Ezra-Arlo. In the 12 months since Kevin and I have had the pleasure of watching Ezra-Arlo grow into a wonderful little boy – and quite possibly the snuggliest, smiliest baby I’ve ever met!

Considering how recent Ezra-Arlo’s baby shower feels it’s a little hard to believe that he’s hitting his first milestone birthday! The good news? It’s birthday party time! His parents, Rhys & Joy, have a knack for planning wonderful children’s parties, so I was super excited to lend a hand with the baking for this one – which just so happened to be Up themed!

Cute huh? Considering how bright and colourful the theme was, a very special cake was needed to stand out amongst all the gorgeous Up themed decorations – that’s where this giant four-layer sprinkle cake comes in.

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Cake, Comedy & Cures


It’s that time of year again; Red Nose Day!

Red Nose Day was one of my favourite things when I was at primary school – not only did you get to wear a bright red nose all day (well, as long as you could stand the hard plastic ball squeezing your nose) but there were always fun things going on; assemblies, songs, games… the works!

Ever since I’ve always gotten into Red Nose Day – my car proudly wears a nose, we watch the comedy galas on TV and of course send in a donation or two. So this year I decided to share the Red Nose spirit the best way I know how – with a cake!

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Decorating rose cakes


Rose swirls are one of my absolute favourite cake decorating techniques – while the finished cakes look unbelievably gorgeous and intricate, they’re so simple to decorate once you know how. Despite having made them over and over again in a range of colours, I never get sick of making them – they’re just stunning.

So I was thrilled to host a rose cake decorating class on Saturday afternoon – what could be more wonderful than spending a couple of hours with a group of lovely people creating beautiful cakes? I busily baked all the cakes the night before, then spent the morning setting up the house and preparing mountains of buttercream – I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much in one place!

After much anticipation (and preparation!) 2.00pm eventually rolled around, everyone arrived and we got started! While the class focused on decorating we ran through the basics of leveling, filling and stacking a cake first, making sure everyone could easily recreate the cake at home.

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HTWD’s First Decorating Class


High Tea with Dragons is a huge part of my life and one of my favourite parts is getting to know some of my lovely readers. Which is why I was so excited to announce that I would be hosting decorating classes – what better way to get to know you than over copious amounts of buttercream, sweet treats and decorating?

On Saturday I had the absolute pleasure of hosting my very first decorating class – Beginner’s Cupcake Decorating! Having spent the morning baking, preparing goodie bags, making cupcake toppers and setting everything up, I couldn’t wait for the six lovely ladies to arrive so we could get the class going.

As a beginner’s class we ran through the basics of cupcakes all the way from coring and filling to making and piping buttercream. I showed the ladies how to decorate a cupcake in three different ways using just one decorating tip – the perfect challenge for any beginner decorator!

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