Discover the best festive recipes to keep kids busy this Christmas. Our easy projects include colourful biscuits, cupcakes and chocolate bark that are fun to decorate and even more fun to eat!
Getting the kids in the kitchen doesn't have to be all play; help them package up their creations as homemade Christmas gifts for family and friends, then you've got presents with the personal touch checked off your to-do list. Even if they don't have the perfect finish, granny will still be impressed.
Sweet Christmas treats
1. Polar bear peppermint creams
We've fallen head over heels for these polar bear peppermint creams, and the good news is that they're super simple to make. Kids will love rolling the minty paste into balls and flattening it to make bear heads, then decorating the faces. They're sure to make the lucky recipient smile!
2. White chocolate unicorn bark
3. Snowflake pretzels
4. Jolly marshmallow snowmen
Already made cotton wool snowmen? Up your game with this seriously cute recipe, which makes a lovely creative project for young children and is a big treat (whether they eat them or not). These jolly men also make lovely cake toppers or Christmas decorations. Happy crafting!
5. Christmas rocky road
Deliciously gooey and smothered in chocolate, you can’t really go wrong with this simple festive treat – let the kids sprinkle it with their own decorations and edible treats. Our Christmas rocky road is the ideal easy recipe for busy little hands to get stuck into.
6. Hot chocolate stirrers
Our stunning hot chocolate stirrers are simply made in empty fromage frais pots. Let little hands get busy decorating with hundreds and thousands, mini fudge pieces, chocolate buttons or chopped-up peppermint candy canes. Or experiment with flavours like cardamom, candied peel and freeze-dried raspberries using another sophisticated stirrer recipe.
7. Candy cane lollipops
Wrap these pretty homemade sweets in cellophane and tie with a bow for a stocking filler that's sure to impress. With only three ingredients and minimal effort involved, they make a great last-minute gift that children will love to decorate.
8. Perky penguins
What could trump a perky chocolate penguin complete with frosted bobble hat? These charming little guys make a lovely Christmas project for kids, who can get as creative as they want with the accessories. This no-cook activity is bound to keep older and younger children amused for hours.
9. Snow globe hot chocolate
Fill empty jam jars with all the ingredients for a luxury hot chocolate, paired with marshmallow snowmen. With extra treats like a cookie to dip, marshmallows to swirl, and a chocolate for afterwards, this is one edible gift that older children will love to give and receive.
10. Sweet snowballs
Let kids roll and coat these scrummy sweet snowballs. The smallest of hands can help to squish the mixture into balls. Just keep them from scoffing too many, then you'll have some left to gift family and friends. Add a bit of shimmering edible glitter into the mix and the kids will be in heaven. If they're still in a creative mood, let them loose with a few felt-tips on some homemade gift tags and your presents will be complete.
11. Reindeer & snowman chocolate bark
Children will have a blast decorating this easy chocolate bark and it makes the perfect gift. You only need a handful of ingredients, a bit of imagination and you're good to go!
Christmas biscuits and cookies
12. Jammy star cookies
Suitably festive and great as a homemade present, these jammy star cookies involve rolling and stamping out stars from biscuit dough – always a hit with the little ones.
13. Rudolph shortbread
These melt-in-the-mouth shortbread triangles are easily transformed into something magical. Decorate with sweets and wrap the creations in cellophane bags with pipe cleaner 'reindeer' antlers. If you've got under-10s, most steps can be done independently, except handling the oven and cutting out the shortbread. Over-10s can do everything by themselves if they want to, so you can relax with a cup of tea.
14. Spiced & iced Christmas trees
Everything tastes better when eaten off a stick, and these warm and spicy biscuits are no exception. Kids will enjoy stamping out Christmas tree shapes and sandwiching them together. Enjoy a biscuit warm from the oven with a cup of tea (it's Christmas after all), then sit back and watch them decorate their trees.
15. Chocolate orange cookies
A simple-crowd pleaser if you’re looking to stock up the biscuit tin over the festive season, or perhaps box a few up as a homemade gift – from the kids of course. Try our chocolate orange cookies.
16. Melting snowman biscuits
Want something fun to do indoors but don't want to create loads of mess? We have the perfect Christmas project for you. These biscuits might be sticky, but no actual baking is required so there's minimum washing up. And the kids can get stuck straight into the best bit – the decorating. Everyone's a winner.
17. Edible name biscuits
Want to keep the children entertained without causing havoc in the kitchen? These edible name biscuits use ready-made cookies so they can get straight to the finishing. Help little ones ice the names of your guests on the biscuits and they can take pride in displaying their work on the Christmas table.
18. Gingerbread stained glass biscuits
A brilliant way of getting into the Christmas spirit! These magical biscuits have a stained glass effect that the kids will love to make. They're almost too pretty to eat, but will certainly look fab on the Christmas tree. You can also bundle them up in some pretty packaging for a lovely homemade present.
19. Snowman biscuits
Who can resist these beautiful snowman biscuits? Not us. If your children would prefer a decorating project to a baking one, you can make and freeze the biscuits in advance and bring them out for a cold winter's day activity.
20. Gingerbread bunting
If you want a neat finish, this hanging thread of festive biscuits requires a little work from parents – the fondant icing might be tricky for little hands to manage. But kids will love mixing, rolling, and cutting out the biscuits, and if you buy ready-to-use tubes of coloured icing, they can design their own patterns too.
21. Gingerbread people
It wouldn't be Christmas without the aroma of homemade gingerbread baking in the oven. Make decorating these adorable gingerbread people even easier (and less messy) with tubes of shop-bought icing and sweets.
22. Rudolph cupcakes
It's hard to resist Rudolph and when on top of a chocolate cupcake, even more so. Children between three and seven should be able to line the muffin tin, stir the mixture and spread the icing. Kids seven and up should be able to make the cakes with assistance but will still need help with the oven and hot tin. Of course, all children will love applying the final touches. Pop the decorative bits into bowls to give them freedom to work – and remember to leave some out for Santa as an extra-special treat.
23. Elf and santa cupcakes
Children will love these easy-to-decorate cupcakes which look like Santa is stuck in the chimney! As well and decorating (and devouring), they can have fun colouring in our chimney cupcake template, too.
24. Reindeer cake pops
It's Rudolph again! These chocolate cake pops make the perfect afternoon project for older children who want to put their creative resources to good use. You will find it's amazing what you can do with some pretzels, icing and sweets. They also make great homemade gifts for junior bakers to give to their friends.
25. Snowman cake
This charming snowman cake is almost too cute to eat, but the vanilla buttercream filling is too good to miss. Using ready-made fondant icing means that children can help roll the nose and eyes with very little help and they'll love mixing the cake batter and buttercream, too.
26. Christmas cupcakes
This easy-peasy cupcake recipe offers plenty of scope for creativity – from making the frosting to the white chocolate button snowmen and piped Christmas trees. Lots of fun is guaranteed even if the results aren’t altogether perfect.
27. Christmas pudding Rice Krispie cakes
Everyone loves a chocolate Rice Krispie cake, but this recipe is three steps better. Children will love mixing up the rice puffs, chocolate, raisins and peanuts and that's without mentioning the decorating. These cute puddings will be adored by everyone, so be sure to make plenty.
Savoury kids recipes
28. Super sausage rolls
If you're in need of a savoury treat, then look no further. These moreish sausage rolls will not disappoint and are perfect for entertaining over the Christmas holidays. The recipe is simple enough for children to enjoy and there are just three easy steps.
29. Cheese stars
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Are you whipping up festive treats this Christmas? We'd love to see your homemade creations! Tag us @bbcgoodfood and use #bbcgoodfood and we'll share some of our favourites.