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Christmas Cooking with Kids: Annabel Karmel gets fabulously festive with some sweet treats!

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Get into the kitchen this Christmas with these festive treats from Annabel Karmel! If the weather isn’t so great outside, this is the perfect time to step away from the TV and the chaos of Christmas shopping and get cooking with your kids. Whether you want to decorate your tree with something a bit different, or make your Christmas presents all the more personal this year by giving goodies baked with love from you, here are a few inspirational ideas to get you in the mood!

For more festive Christmas recipes try Annabel’s Princess Party Cookbook published by Ebury Press and available at Kinokuniya.


Reindeer cookies

Fun, festive and quick to make, these are perfect to assemble with your children!


Preparation 20 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Makes 10 cookies

350g plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
175g butter
150g light brown sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup

Writing icing pens
Glacé cherries
Curly Wurly chocolate bars 


  • Pre-heat the oven to 160°c fan.
  • Measure the flour, spices, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a bowl.
  • Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix together.
  • Lightly knead together to make a dough then form into ten balls of dough.
  • Pinch one end of the ball to form a point, then flatten out with your hand.  Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until lightly golden but still slightly soft.
  • Make two holes for the ears using a small skewer, then leave to cool for a few minutes.
  • Decorate with lengths of Curly Wurly for the ears, glacé cherries for the nose and M&Ms for the eyes.


Rudolph cupcakes

These cute cupcakes are suitable for little ones from 2 years up to make – just add a helping hand from mama!


Preparation 20 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Makes 12 cupcakes

Suitable for freezing without the decoration 

1 tbsp milk
2 eggs
150g butter at room temperature
150g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
Half tsp baking powder
Zest of half a small orange
45g dried cranberries, chopped 

100g softened butter
150g icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
Pinch of salt 

4 x Curly Wurly chocolate bars
12 glacé cherries
White writing icing


  • Preheat the oven to 180°c fan, or 160°c at gas mark 4. Line a deep muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
  • Measure the eggs, caster sugar, butter, flour, baking powder, milk and zest into a mixing bowl. Beat together using an electric hand whisk. Stir in the cranberries and spoon into the cases.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until well risen and lightly golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

To make the icing

  • Sieve the icing sugar into the soft butter, beat together until smooth.
  • Add the cocoa powder and the pinch of salt and mix until smooth. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up a little.
  • Spread the icing over the cold cupcakes using a small spatula.
  • Cut lengths of Curly Wurly chocolate bars for the antlers and push the antlers into the cupcakes. Place a cherry in the centre of each cake to make a nose. Put 2 sultanas on each cake to make the eyes and add a blob of white writing icing in the centre.
  • Chill until firm.


Cranberry and white chocolate cookies

Instead of giving baked cookies as a gift for Christmas, why not give the recipe for one of your favourite cookies and then layer all the ingredients in a glass jar and tie a ribbon around it? All of the ingredients for these cookies are in the jar, apart from the butter, and they are very quick and easy to make!


Preparation 8 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Makes 20 cookies

Suitable for freezing 

150g self-raising flour
Generous pinch of salt
50g light brown sugar
100g butter softened
40g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
50g white chocolate chips or white chocolate cut into small chunks


  • Preheat the oven to 180°c fan, or 160°c at gas mark 4.
  • Put all the ingredients into a bowl. Mix together, then bring the dough together using your hands and knead for a few seconds.
  • Make 20 little balls out of the mixture. Put 10 balls on one baking sheet lined with non-stick paper. Push down to flatten them slightly.
  • Put the remaining 10 on another baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack.




PICAnnabel Karmel MBE is a modern-day “mamapreneur” – juggling life as a busy working mother of three with a hugely successful career. Since launching her Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner more than 20 years ago, Annabel has written 27 books, which have sold over four million copies worldwide, covering every stage of a child’s development. With more than 20 years’ experience under her apron, Annabel has become the UK’s number one parenting author, best-selling international author and expert on devising delicious, nutritious meals for babies and children.

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