Well the first Christmas adverts are on TV, and people are placing their orders for Thanksgiving turkeys. The festive season is here, and I am already loving it. There is nothing that gets me in the mood for this time of year more than the smells of pastries, sweet fruit, and long cooked meat wafting from the oven. So I thought I’d list my top ten festive bakes to give you all some inspiration too!

1. Christmas Cake

Obviously this was going to be number one. My fruit will have been nicely marinating in rum for six months when December rolls around! There are plenty of diverse Christmas cake recipes out there depending on your time scale, budget, and passion!



2. Cornbread

Cornbread is very Thanksgiving, but even if you don’t celebrate like the Americans, it goes really well with the casseroles and stews that you might be cooking to keep you warm this time of year. Check out the Taste Safari Jalepeno and Crispy Bacon Cornbread recipe!



3. Mince Pie

No Christmas is Christmas without mince pies. Back in the day, these sweet delights did actually contain mince meat, but the more popular sweet fruit version has long since overtaken. These treats are great fun to make at home.



4. Festive Breakfast Casserole

If you’re feeling a little worse for wear after the festivities of the night before, then a breakfast casserole is going to sort you out. Take a cooked breakfast with all your favorite ingredients – bacon, sausage, eggs – and put them into a casserole. Hangover brunch = sorted!



5. Chocolate Brownies

When the kids are off school, making chocolate brownies is a great way to bake off the boredom and get them in the kitchen. There are thousands of chocolate brownie recipes, from the elaborate to the simple, the great-grandmothers secrets and the supermarket ready mixes!



6. Sausage Rolls

When it comes to comparing shop-bought pastries to home made ones, the sausage roll will always taste better coming from your own oven (or your friend’s!) These festive nibbles are great for family gatherings and grazing nosh for mornings after.



7. Banoffee Pie 

It’s a given that we will all put on a few pounds as festive season food gets the better of us. The sooner in the season we accept it, the sooner we can enjoy banoffee pie!



8. Chicken Bake

On cold winter days the chicken bake is the ultimate comfort dish. Replace chicken with beef, lamb, fish or vegetables for a versatile meal for the whole family.



9. Scones – sweet and savory

Cheese scones with soup or butter scones with jam – a thousand recipes for a thousand different types of scone are just floating in cyberspace waiting to come to life in your kitchen! These never fail to please when the family is round for tea.



10. Pecan/ Pumpkin Pie

Pecan and/or pumpkin pie make regular appearances at Thanksgiving, and suit Christmas very well too. Pumpkin pie is especially great after Halloween when all that leftover pumpkin would otherwise go to waste! Check out the Taste Safari recipe for Sinfully Sweet Pecan Pie and delicious Pumpkin Pie.