9 Christmas Baking Hacks You Knead To Try

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Christmas baking can really take the biscuit. Get inspired by these baking hacks and you’ll be whipping up delicious Christmas treats faster than ever.  

Feel like you’re going to be baking non-stop from November through to New Year? Well, dazzling your guests with some homemade festive goodies doesn’t have to be a slog. From a hack for making a super-speedy pie crust, to keeping Christmas cakes and cookies fresh for as long as possible, we’ve got you covered. 

1. The Icing Hack for the Perfect Frosting



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A piping bag can be tricky to use – even if you are a seasoned baking professional. Instead, using a plastic syringe affords you more control. Buy a few and fill them with different coloured icing to make decorating a doddle.

Icing also works best when it's warm but not melted. For example, buttercream frosting in particular can become very hard. A water bath is ideal for getting the temperature of your ingredients just right, which makes them easier to work with.

2. A Storage Hack Mary Berry Would Be Proud of



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Keep your Christmas biscuits and mince pies moist for longer by storing them in a Tupperware box alongside a slice of apple or large piece of orange peel. The biscuits will absorb the moisture from the fruit, stopping them from going hard and dry. And yes – it really works!

3. Homemade Sprinkles



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Don’t want your children (or yourself) eating the artificial chemicals often found in shop-bought baking ingredients? Well, now you can make your own natural sprinkles in your own home.

Simply sift two cups of confectioner’s sugar into a bowl. Add one teaspoon of whisked egg whites and a pinch of salt and whisk again until smooth and thick. Then, using food colouring, tint the icing until you achieve your desired shade.

Pipe the icing onto a parchment paper covered baking tray in neat lines and leave uncovered, at room temperature, for 24 hours. Chop into little pieces – and voila!

4. Have a Gluten-Free Christmas



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Looking for slightly less sinful Christmas baking treats? Here’s a hack to make your own gluten-free flour at home.

Simply place three cups of gluten-free oats into a powerful blender and whizz for approximately five minutes until smooth like flour, scraping the sides down every minute or so to keep the consistency even. Store in an airtight container and your 'flour' should keep for around three months.

5. Tasty – But Healthier



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Christmas doesn't have to mean out-and-out gluttony. For healthier festive brownies, swap butter for ripe avocado; to make a healthier Chocolate Yule Log filling, whip up one cup of fat-free fromage frais with one sachet of hot chocolate powder and 1/2 cup of freeze-dried fruit powder. These tricks will let you indulge in perfect guilt-free Boxing Day treats after all the heavy eating from the previous day.

6. Crumble-Free Cookies



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Don’t move cookies or biscuits onto a cooling rack right away. Instead, let them rest for 30 seconds after they've come out of the oven: This will allow any heat to escape and will also help prevent crumbling. Once cooled, fill up a festive tin and give as a welcome homemade gift to friends and family.

7. Lack of Ingredients? No Problem?



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Don’t have the right ingredients to make a pie crust? Then look no further than that roll of cookie dough in your freezer. Just press it into a pie pan and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. If the pie crust puffs up during baking, just cover in tin foil and pour some baking beans on top to weigh it down while it continues cooking. This way, there will be no soggy bottoms for any budding Mary Berrys and Paul Hollywoods to complain about!

8. Make Your Own Ice Cream With One Simple Ingredient



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No ice cream or custard to go with your dessert? Simply peel, slice and freeze some bananas. Next, whip them with a powerful blender until you get a smooth consistency and mix in half a teaspoon of vanilla extract and cinnamon for every three bananas used. Hey presto – the ideal accompaniment to any dessert!

9. The Ultimate Tip for Keeping Your Christmas Cake Moist



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Worried your Christmas cake will dry out before you've had a chance to decorate it? Pop a slice of bread on top – which helps to prevent it from drying out – then place it inside a cake container until you're ready to jazz it up. Then you can ice your deliciously moist cake and decorate it with some festive decorations.

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