Monday, May 27, 2024

‘Tis the baking season

Need a show-stopping dessert recipe to impress guests or just satisfy your sweet tooth over the Christmas period? We’ve got you covered! Check out our indulgent traditional festive desserts guaranteed to make your day merrier. All recipes are courtesy of Barb Ryan, Commercial Cooking and Baking program instructor at Bay St. George campus.

Seven-Cup Pudding

Barb Ryan
This is a traditional favourite as a main dessert at Christmas for many generations, especially if there is a big family gathering. The sight and smell of Seven-Cup Pudding is the symbolic representation similar to the Christmas tree standing in the corner. 
Course Dessert


  • 1 cup Apples peeled & chopped
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Raisins
  • 1 cup Fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 cup Brown sugar
  • 1 cup Fresh milk
  • 1 cup Suet lard
  • 1 tbsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp All spice
  • 1 tsp Ground cloves
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Salt


  • To make the seven cup pudding place all ingredients into a mixing bowl except. Once well combined, add milk and mix well.
  • Cream butter and sugar well. Mixture should be of dropping consistency. Place the mixture in a greased tin. Cover with parchment paper, top with foil wrap and tie with a string.
  • Steam for 3½-4 hours remove from boiling water, remove cover and turn upside down on a plate and once cooled the pudding is ready to serve.

Apricot Fruit Cake

Barb Ryan
This moist, spice-less fruitcake is one of the many traditional favourites. It is not nearly as heavily flavoured as dark fruitcake. Since no spices or molasses are used, this cake relies purely on the flavour of the dried fruits.
Course Dessert


  • 1 Saucepan
  • 1 Sifter


  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Raisins
  • 2 1/4 cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 cup Red cherries
  • 1 cup Green cherries
  • 1 cup Mixed fruit
  • 1 1/2 cups Dried apricot
  • 1 cup Margarine
  • 8 oz Cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups White sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp Almond flavoring


  • In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of water, 1 cup raisins, 1 ½ cups dried apricots chopped and ¼ cup sugar cover and simmer for  15 minutes. Set aside to cool completely to room temperature and drain.
  • Cream the margarine, cream cheese, white sugar, vanilla and almond flavouring.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and beating well after each addition.
  • Sift together the flour and baking powder.
  • Fold half of the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture.
  • Fold in the cooled boiled apricot mixture.
  • Fold in the remaining dry ingredients.
  • Fold in the cherries and dried fruit.
  • Bake in a greased and floured tube pan at 275 F for 2-2 ½ hours or until done.
  • Cool in the pan(s) for a 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store in a cake tin or other airtight container. Freezes well too.

Christmas Balls

Barb Ryan
If you like a quick bite and don’t want to turn on the oven, this is the perfect treat to make your day and you can combine a variety of flavours. 
Course Dessert


  • 45-50 Mini coloured marshmallows (cut in half)
  • 2 cups Graham wafer crumbs
  • 1 cup Maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
  • 1 can Sweetened condensed milk
  • Dried coconut flakes for coating


  • Combine marshmallows, graham crumbs, dried cherries and condensed milk in a mixing bowl. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for at least 45 minutes.
  • Once the mixture is chilled, using a cookie scoop or spoon roll out approximately 1 tbsp. The mixture may get a little sticky as you work, but just form it into a ball as best you can.
  • Roll balls in coconut and place on the baking sheets. Refrigerate for at least 30-60 minutes to set.
  • Snowballs will stay fresh covered at room temperature for three days or in the refrigerator for one week.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Barb Ryan
If you are a chocoholic and enjoy a rich fudgy chocolate cookie, this is a real treat! it has the best of both worlds – gooey chocolate and rolled in powdered sugar.
Course Dessert


  • 4 cups Granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Salt


  • Combine the flour and other dry ingredients in a small bowl and slowly add in the wet ingredients one by one.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4-6 hours or overnight.
  • Using a cookie scoop or spoon roll out 1 ½ to 2-inch balls.
  • Don’t be shy when it comes to rolling them in the icing sugar.  Make sure each cookie is well coated before placing on baking sheet.
  • Transfer to baking sheet and bake at 325 F for 10-12 minutes.
  • Allow cookies to cool completely on baking sheet before enjoying.

Five-star Bars

Barb Ryan
Whether you want to indulge in sweet cookies with your tea or you want the perfect cookie for the holidays, this delightful old-fashioned Five-Star Bar recipe is a must-try.
Course Dessert


  • 1 9×9 Pan


  • 1/4 cup Melted butter
  • 2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 cups Unsweetened coconut
  • 10 oz can Sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Chocolate Topping

  • 1 cup Chocolate chips milk chocolate, semi-sweet or dark


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Mix together the butter, graham crumbs, coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla.
  • Press into a parchment paper lined 9 x 9 pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until firm.
  • As soon as they come out of the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the hot cookie bars.
  • Let stand for five to 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt, then spread evenly over the top.
  • Allow the bars to cool to room temperature before cutting into cookie bars or squares.
  • Store in an airtight container. These cookie bars freeze well too.
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Glenda Tompkins
Glenda Tompkins
Glenda is a 20-year marketing and communications veteran currently specializing in photography/videography and social media management. She has garnered multiple awards for her innovative, strategic campaigns at CNA. Her experience includes writing, editing, graphic design, event planning, and more. When she’s not reviewing social media engagement analytics, she enjoys spending quality time with her young family.


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