For most of us, Christmas is about family tradition. Granny’s pudding, mum’s cakes, and your aunt’s amazing ham. Recipes passed down through families take on legendary reputation. They are what you look forward to eating when the family gets together because they are full of nostalgia and childhood. These days there are so many amazing Christmas recipes available, but some people just want the traditional, simple dishes from their childhood. So, I have five recipes passed down through my family, or my friends’, to share with you. What’s better is that a lot of the ingredients I use for these dishes are basics you can buy for an affordable price at Woolworths, which will be sure to keep your Christmas budget in check! You can reminisce over the old favourites and start your own family traditions. I hope you love them as much as I do.
This post is in collaboration with Woolworths
Classic Christmas Recipes
Lyndy’s Chocolate Log recipe
Chocolate logs are such a traditional Christmas favourite. This recipe has been passed down through my friend Lisa’s family for generations. It’s one of those recipes that families try to write down, but it’s hard because the original baker bakes it through memory rather than a written recipe. The type of recipe that you know by how it looks rather than a specific method of making it. It’s amazingly delicious and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I have.
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1 tea cup of sugar (this is the original recipe, but it works out around ¾ cup)
2 Tbsp cocoa
2 Tbsp cornflour
You can also use the Woolworths Vanilla Slab Sponge Cakes as an alternative if you are strapped for time.
1 cup thickened cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 ½ cups icing sugar
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cocoa
1-2 tbsp boiling water
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan forced)
Prepare a 20 x 30cm swiss roll tin with baking paper
Beat the egg whites until they peak. Set aside
Beat the egg yolks and sugar until they are thick and creamy, then add the cornflour and cocoa and mix through.
Fold in the egg whites and then mix until fully combined.
Spread the mixture on the prepared tin, making sure to spread it evenly, and right to the corners.
Cook for around 20 minutes, or until your skewer comes out clean
Turn the hot sponge cake out onto a clean tea towel and remove the baking paper carefully. Then roll the cake up in the towel and leave to cool for around 1-2 hours.
Beat the cream, vanilla and icing sugar until thick and peaky. Unroll the cake and place it on a chopping board. Spread with cream and roll back up. Wrap in cling wrap and put it in the fridge until cold and ready to ice.
Beat the icing sugar, butter, and cocoa together and add boiling water very slowly until you achieve a smooth mixture. Using a spatula, spread the icing over the cake long ways, giving it a rough look like a log. Run a fork along the icing to give the cake log-like ridges. Sprinkle with sifted icing sugar to serve.
My Rum Ball Recipe
If you are a rum ball fan, then these are for you. To make them kid-friendly, leave out the Irish cream. Personally, we have been making these my whole life and we never add the alcohol. These are my family’s very favourite Christmas (and any time) treat!
2 packets of plain chocolate biscuits
1 tin condensed milk
1 Tbsp Irish Cream (optional)
½ cup coconut
Line two baking trays with baking paper. Crush the biscuits in a food processor and stir in the condensed milk and the Irish Cream.
Roll heaped teaspoons of mixture into balls. Roll balls in the coconut. Place on prepared tray; refrigerate until set.
Our Trifle Recipe
Can you get more Christmas than a good old trifle? Here’s an easy way to make trifle recipe that’s been handed down through our family. It’s had a few changes over the years, and it’s definitely been simplified, but the great thing about trifle is that you can customise it to suit your tastes. Here’s the basic outline for you.
500g frozen mixed berries
1 litre custard (I use the premade custard from Woolworths)
1 packet of berry flavoured jelly
1 1/2 sponge cakes
500 ml thickened cream
100 ml sherry or port / or juice if you want alcohol free
Place the sponge cake at the bottom of your trifle bowl. I find that if you put a whole one in the bottom of the bowl there is still a gap, so I fill it with part of the second sponge cake that comes in the double pack. Some people prefer to use swiss roll – it’s up to you.
Pour your alcohol or juice over the cake.
Make your jelly and put it in the fridge. But keep an eye on it as you want it semi set, but not fully set. If it’s not set enough then the cake will absorb it, but if it’s too set it won’t make a neat layer for you.
Once it’s ready, pour your berries on top of the cake and then add the jelly. Refrigerate until set. Once set, pour the custard on top of the jelly.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and then spread it over the custard. Top with berries to serve.
You can use any fruit and jelly flavour you want. Just be aware that jelly won’t set if you add fresh pineapple, kiwi fruit or papaya.
Nana’s Eggnog recipe
Eggnog is such a traditional Christmas drink, but mainly designed for cold weather. However, if you love tradition, and a warm drink, you’ll love Nana’s eggnog recipe.
The perfect treat with eggnog is a Christmas fruit mince pie. The Woolworths Shortcrust Fruit Mince Pies are absolutely delicious with Nana’s eggnog recipe!
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 cup thickened cream
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup brandy
Ground Nutmeg, to serve
Whisk eggs, sugar, and milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 6 to 8 minutes or until mixture thickens and bubbles at the edge of the pan.
Remove from heat. Stir in the rum, brandy, and half the cream. Using an electric mixer, beat the rest of the cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Pour the egg mixture into 4 heatproof glasses. Top with the whipped cream and sprinkle with the nutmeg before serving.
If you want non-alcoholic eggnog, just leave out the rum and the brandy.
Mum’s Christmas Fruitcake Recipe
My mum has been making this Christmas cake my whole life. It isn’t Christmas unless she has made me this cake! It was the only fruitcake I ever liked and baking it with her as a child meant the start of the Christmas season in our house.
If you are doing Christmas on a budget this year and don’t have much time, Woolworths also have some fantastic Iced Fruit Cakes available as an alternative. They also have Gluten Free Fruit Pudding options available, including perfect little bite-sized ones which are super convenient at Christmas time!
1 kg fruit mix
1 cup rum
3 cups brown sugar (firmly packed)
2 tsp grated orange rind
2 tsp grated lemon rind
1 tsp vanilla
5 cups plain flour
2 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
Pour rum over fruit, stir well, cover and soak overnight.
Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celcius (fan forced)
Line a springform tin with a layer of brown paper and a layer of baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar, grated fruit rinds and vanilla. Drop in eggs one at a time and beat well. Fold in prepared fruits, alternating with the combined dry ingredients.
Pour into the tin and smooth the top. Cook in the oven for 3-4 hours but keep a good eye on it. This recipe is out of a super old book and I think our ovens are better these days! You’ll know it’s ready when you slide a butter knife into the top of the cake and it comes out clean.
Once it cools, store in a tin. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of rum. Every fortnight, add another 1-2 tablespoons of rum to the top to feed the cake.
You can halve this recipe too if you don’t want too much cake. If you do, then it probably only needs about 1.5 hours in the oven.
If you have any must-make Christmas recipes you would love to share with me, please do!