Top Ten Festive Recipes to Get You Excited for the Holidays

As the semester concludes and the winter break approaches, I start feeling uncontrollable excitement for the holiday season to come. Not only are the exams and assignment deadlines behind me, but I also have some extra time to do the things I truly love: watch Netflix, hang out with friends, and cook! During the end of semester crunch, there is barely enough time to finish all the schoolwork, so I can forget trying my hand at a new recipe. I did (somehow) find time, though, to curate this holiday cooking bucket list. This list will provide some tasty treats to look forward to when you’re drowning under the weight of your textbooks. You got this.  


1. Gingerbread Magic Cake



Magic cake is basically made of a single batter that separates into three layers when it is baked: a fluffy cake layer on the top, a custard-like layer in the middle, and a dense bottom layer. This magic cake is a spin on a classic gingerbread loaf, and it’s super simple to make. It’s incredibly moist and loaded with cinnamon, molasses, ginger and cloves, which give in an amazing gingerbread flavour. Recipe by Foodness Gracious. Get it here


2. Apple Cider and Rum Punch



This punch is perfect to share with friends and to give your party a festive holiday ambiance. Although relatively easy to assemble, the punch’s ingredients, such as aged rum, angostura bitters and vermouth give it a more mature feel than regular ol’ punch. Serve it in classic old-fashioned glasses if you want to be extra fancy. Recipe by Bon Appétit. Get it here   



3. Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts



Brussels sprouts scream ‘holidays’ for me. My mom always served them with Christmas ham or turkey when I was young, but I would refuse to eat them unless they were bathing in bacon and sweet balsamic vinegar reduction. I eat my vegetables without complaining now, but this brussel sprouts recipe will always hold a special place in my heart. Hopefully it will carve itself a place in yours too. Recipe by Barefoot Contessa. Get it here


4. Peppermint Buttercrunch



I’m not a huge fan of peppermint candy canes. I find there are always too many lying around after the holidays are over. So, why not try and make something delicious with them? This recipe mixes those peppermint candies with chocolate, which always makes everything better. Recipe by Food and Wine. Get it here.



5. Candied Orange Peel



Candied orange peel is super useful for baking different festive sweet treats, such as orange scones. Here is a DIY version that will make your house smell citrusy and full of Christmas cheer. Recipe by Bright Eyed Baker. Get it here



6. Festive Fruit with Rosemary and Vanilla Rooibos Syrup



This fruit salad recipe is exactly what you need if you’re looking for something a little lighter to balance out the never-ending holiday feasts. The recipe uses winter delicacies such as pomegranates, pears, grapefruits, persimmons and pomelos, and the syrup provides a special woodsy touch that keeps the dish from being just a boring fruit salad. Recipe by The First Mess. Get it here.  


7. Cinnamon Wreaths



Looking for something to make as a perfect addition to a holiday brunch? The cinnamon wreaths will satisfy every sweet tooth at the table, and they’re way cuter than regular cinnamon buns. They look difficult to make, but this recipe is actually pretty easy. Recipe by Tara’s Multicultural Table. Get it here.  


8. Mulled Wine



We know Her Campus readers love wine. During the colder months, curling up with a glass of wonderfully warm, spiced wine is literally the best thing ever. Recipe by Jamie Oliver. Get it here.


9. Roast Duck with Plums



I want to make this roast duck recipe because it looks like the perfect not-boring addition to my holiday dinner table. I’m into sweet and savoury mixes, and plums and duck look like the ultimate pairing. It’s ridiculously simple to make, yet so flavourful. Impress your parents when you go back home this holiday season by whipping them up this dish! Recipe by Saveur. Get it here



10. Sticky Toffee Pudding



I’ve never had sticky toffee pudding (I’ve never been to the U.K.), but I want recreate something similar at home this holiday season. This recipe claims to be pretty close to the original, so it’s a great start. This would be a great recipe to bring to a potluck or to a holiday dinner where you’re asked to bring dessert! Your friends/family will love you forever for making this.