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Make & mature Christmas cake

Make-ahead Christmas recipes

44 Recipes

Avoid the stress and make it ahead.

Make & mature Christmas cake

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(20 ratings)
Prepare this fruit cake in advance and feed it regularly with rum, brandy or whisky to build the flavour and keep it moist
2 hours and 35 minutes
Easy

Spiced home-cured salmon

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(0 ratings)
Ever the versatile fish, this fresh, no-cook salmon starter can be made a few days ahead
30 minutes
Easy

Mini turkey & cranberry pies

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(10 ratings)
These dinky pies are so versatile – try them with chopped ham and mustard, too
45 minutes
Easy

Christmas spiced friands

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(2 ratings)
These light cakes may just be the perfect pudding after an enormous Christmas dinner
40 minutes
Easy

Christmas pudding strudel

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(2 ratings)
Give your Christmas pud leftovers a second life with this easy strudel recipe
35 minutes
Easy

Chocolate fruitcake

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(18 ratings)
If anyone in your family isn't keen on traditional fruitcake, this might be the compromise you've been looking for
2 hours and 35 minutes
Easy

Baileys banana trifles

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(16 ratings)
A quick and impressive make-ahead dessert with Baileys for grown-ups, or use extra toffee sauce for kids
10 minutes
Easy

Creamy smoked salmon, leek & potato soup

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(23 ratings)
Creamy and low-fat aren't words you often hear together, but that's exactly what you get with this freeze-ahead starter
40 minutes
Easy

Polenta & pancetta stuffing

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(2 ratings)
Add this unusual, creamy stuffing to your Christmas banquet this year
1 hour and 20 minutes
Easy

Wild rice, chestnut & squash stuffing

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(0 ratings)
Add a colourful and healthy dish to your Christmas lunch table with this vegetarian stuffing
1 hour and 5 minutes
Easy
Vegetarian

Swede & parsnip bake

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(9 ratings)
A mixed mash of favourite winter root veg with a crispy herb topping, which can be chilled or frozen ahead
1 hour and 15 minutes
Easy
Vegetarian
Healthy

Squash & sage pithivier

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(4 ratings)
This simple pie for one makes a great veggie option for Christmas Day - make as many as you need and freeze ahead
50 minutes
Easy
Vegetarian

Brandy & vanilla butter

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(4 ratings)
Not just for Christmas pud, this brandy butter goes perfectly with mince pies or spread over toasted panettone
10 minutes
Easy

Clementine & prosecco jellies

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(14 ratings)
James Martin's glamorous and refreshingly light dessert will be right at home at a festive dinner party
4 hours and 25 minutes
Easy
Healthy

Cinnamon shortbread

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(2 ratings)
Shards of this simple, Christmas-spiced shortbread add a professional finish to creamy desserts
45 minutes
Easy

Iced nougat & raspberry terrine

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(15 ratings)
This posh pud is much easier to prepare than it looks and can be made ahead of time
1 hour and 10 minutes
Easy

Gravy for the Christmas turkey

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(1 ratings)
This simple recipe uses white wine for a pale, light gravy, but it can also be made with red wine or Port for a richer flavour
25 minutes
Easy

Figgy Christmas pudding

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(8 ratings)
A classic that every Christmas table should have. Make ahead and simply steam the puds to reheat on the big day
4 hours
Easy

Traditional bread sauce

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(4 ratings)
Every Christmas lunch needs a big bowl of bread sauce on the table
50 minutes
Easy
Vegetarian

Cranberry & red wine sauce

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(5 ratings)
Keep this Christmas-spiced cranberry sauce in the fridge for up to a week before the big day
25 minutes
Easy
Vegetarian

Carrot & star anise purée

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(6 ratings)
If you fancy adding something a little different to the table on Christmas Day, this seasonal purée could be just the thing
45 minutes
Easy
Vegetarian

Fruity Christmas biscotti

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(112 ratings)
The perfect make-ahead gift, these will keep for up to a month after baking and look really impressive
1 hour and 15 minutes
Easy

Spiced cranberry & pear relish

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(9 ratings)
A Christmassy relish which will keep in the cupboard for up to six months, making it perfect for make-ahead gifts
40 minutes
Easy

Mulling syrup

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(21 ratings)
This spiced syrup works equally well for mulled wine or cider. Make a batch ahead of time for entertaining or make up a gift kit for Christmas
35 minutes
Easy

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