Christmas is coming – and school Christmas fairs, Christmas tea parties and Christmas kids activities all present no end of opportunities to get the pinnies on and the mixing bowls and icing tubes out and involve the children in a festive baking blitz.


We've pulled together some top ideas for fun Christmas bakes with children, featuring everything from penguins to reindeer to hanging gingerbread stars, cheesy potato bites and melted snowman cookies.

All the recipes were created by children's food expert Annabel Karmel, so they come with her legendary reputation for clear, simple methods and maximum kid-appeal. And they're all surprisingly easy to make – so much so that older children can attempt many of them on their own and there's loads that younger children can lend an icing-smudged hand with.

Here's our pick of the best recipes for Christmas baking with kids

1. Chilly penguin cupcakes

Annabel Karmel's Chilly Penguin Cupcakes in a snowy scene

With the genius use of Oreos and frosting-covered teacakes, you can turn choc cupcakes into jolly Christmas penguins. Top off with fondant scarves and cute orange M&M's noses.

2. Gingerbread stars

gingerbread stars

These spiced snowflake biscuit stars can be baked with a hole to let hang them on your Christmas tree. Packaged up in tissue paper, they make great edible presents, too. The child-friendly recipe is easy for older children to mix and bake themselves, and younger ones will enjoy stamping out the stars, threading ribbons though the holes and, if you're brave enough, 'helping' with the icing.

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3. Melting snowman cookies


A stunningly simple idea for Christmassing-up a classic butter biscuit. Small children will love plonking on the marshmallow and spooning on the melted snowman icing body

4. Rudolph cupcakes

Annable Karmel's Rudolph Cupcakes on a wire rack, with some cupcakes still to be iced

Curly Wurlys make the most impressively instant reindeer antlers! These tasty orange and cranberry cupcakes are topped with a simple chocolate buttercream icing, then it's all about the antlers, the sultana eyes and, of course, the glacé cherry red nose.

5. Gingerbread Friends

gingerbread friends cookies arranged on a board

Freshly baked gingerbread is, in our book, one the key smells of Christmas – and we all know how much children love gingerbread people. This simplified is specially designed to be easy for kids to bake and decorate themselves (with a little grown-up help).

6. Rudolph's banana and blueberry loaf cake

Annabel Karmel's banana and blueberry loaf with slices arranged and decorated to look like a cute dog

Ok, so this isn't strictly a Christmas bake – it's actually meant to be a cute dog that you create from the loaf slices. But we reckon, with the strategic removal of the blueberry under the eyes and a shifting up of the raspberry, you have a reindeer face with a big red nose Rudolph would be proud of.

7. Veggie Christmas shapes

Annabel Karmel veggie Christmas shapes

These cheesy mini sweet-potato bakes are packed with the Christmassy flavours of sage and cranberries. They make excellent finger food for weaning babies (suitable from 6 months) and, actually, pretty classy-looking nibbles for festive gatherings.

8. Chocolate Christmas trees


Grab a green writing icing pen, candy canes and some edible gold balls and transform triangles of choccy sponge into festive trees decorated with shiny baubles.

9. Reindeer cookies


Riffing on the Curly Wurly antler idea in the Rudolph cupcakes, above, this idea allows you to create Rudolph, Dancer, Prancer and the rest of Santa's reindeer team in spicy, cinammony biscuit form. Do you reckon Vixen has the shortest antlers? Or maybe that's Blitzen? You choose...

And just as a fun extra (no baking needed): Hot choc snowman


After all that baking, we reckon you and your mini helpers deserve a congratulatory mug of hot chocolate – with, of course, a Frosty-shaped twist. You heat the milk while the kids assemble the snowmen toppers with marshmallows and Pretzel sticks.


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Helen Brown
Helen BrownHead of Content Delivery

Helen is author of the classic advice book Parenting for Dummies and a mum of 3. Before joining MadeForMums, she was Head of Community at Mumsnet and also the Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby.