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Last Minute Christmas Delights

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Last Minute Christmas Delights Compilation

A huge thank you to one and all for your participation and help with sharing your favorite Christmas Delights with us via The Recipe Hunter (Cook & Enjoy) and Sharing, Inspiring, Promoting Bloggers


The above represent groups on Facebook which I run and the founder of.  Thanks again, this was great fun

The below recipes are posted in the order received via the above groups

Vegan Wheat flour Banana Loaf


Overripe bananas- 2
Whole wheat flour- 1.5 cup/200 grams
Baking powder– ½ tsp
Baking soda– ½ tsp
White/Olive oil– ½ cup (I used rice bran oil)
Honey– 3 tbsp
Cinnamon powder- ½ tsp
Chopped date- 6
Chopped walnuts or any seed- 3 tbsp
Salt- 1/4th tsp

Vegan Wheat flour Banana Loaf

Pre-baking Method:

Mash the bananas to make a puree.
Add honey, chopped dates, oil and mix it in an electric mixer or with a hand whisker.
In another bowl whisk together, wheat flour, cinnamon powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Now mix the dry ingredients with wet ingredients and fold gently with a spatula.
This will make a thick dough.
Now add the seeds/chopped walnuts. Save a few for topping.
Take a loaf tin. Lightly brush it with oil. Arrange the butter/parchment paper in it. Pour the dough in the tin and spread it evenly with the help of a spatula. Sprinkle the saved walnuts on the top.

Baking Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C for 10 mins.
Place the tin on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20 mins. Check by inserting a knife in the middle of the loaf. If it comes out clean, the loaf is ready. Otherwise, bake it for another 5 mins.
Take it out of the mold after 5 mins.
It is ready for slicing and to be enjoyed with tea.
Peanut butter spread will make it more delicious.

Prepared, tried, and tested Reena Mukherjee 

Classic Christmas Cake

This is Delia’s original Christmas cake from her first book – a combination of her grandmother’s, mother’s and a few tweaks from Delia.

Soaking of Fruit

For the pre-soaking:

450 g currants
175 g sultanas
175 g raisins
50 g chopped glace cherries
50 g mixed chopped candied peel
100 ml brandy

Classic Christmas Cake Baked

For the cake:

225 g plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ level teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
½ level teaspoon ground mixed spice
225 g dark brown soft sugar
4 large eggs
1 dessertspoon black treacle
225 g spreadable butter
50 g chopped almonds (skin on)
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

For feeding and topped:
Armagnac or brandy to ‘feed’ the cake.
100 g whole blanched almonds (only if you don’t intend to ice the cake)


20 cm round loose-based cake tin and grease the base and sidelined plus some baking parchment.
Tie a double band of brown paper around the outside of the tin for extra protection.

Top view Classic Christmas Cake Baked 2

  1. You should get the pre-soaking ingredients ready the night before you make the fruitcake. Give it 12 hours or more to soak.
  2. Put all the fruits in a bowl and mix them with the brandy, cover with a cloth and leave them to soak for a minimum of 12 hours. When you’re ready to cook the cake, preheat the oven to 140C, gas mark 1. Now all you do is sift the flour, salt and spices into a very large roomy mixing bowl then add the sugar, eggs, treacle (warm it a little first to make it easier) and butter and beat with an electric hand whisk until everything is smooth and fluffy.
  3. Now gradually fold in the pre-soaked fruit mixture, chopped nuts and finally the grated lemon and orange zests. Next, using a large kitchen spoon, transfer the cake mixture into the prepared tin, spread it out evenly with the back of the spoon and, if you don’t intend to decorate the cake with marzipan and icing, lightly drop the blanched almonds in circles over the surface.
  4. Finally, take a double square of baking parchment with a $1-sized hole in the center (for extra protection during the cooking) and place this NOT on top of the mixture itself but on the rim of the brown paper. Bake the cake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 4 hours until it feels springy in the center when lightly touched. Sometimes it can take 30-45 minutes longer than this, but in any case don’t look at it for 4 hours.
  5. Cool the cake for 30 minutes in the tin, then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  6. When it’s cold, ‘feed’ it by making small holes in the top and bottom with a cocktail stick or a skewer and spooning in a couple of tablespoons of Armagnac or brandy, then wrap it in parchment-lined foil and store in an airtight tin. You can now ‘feed’ it at odd intervals until you need to ice or eat it.

Prepared, tried, and tested Beverley Gracie 

Christmas Turkey

Jewish Zionist Cookbook

This recipe was supplied by the women’s Jewish Zionist league when they were collecting money for the war in the 70’s. I bought 4 books and gave one to my mom, mother-in-law, sister and myself. My book, unfortunately, was burnt when I had my house fire. Fortunately, for me, my sister’s copy is nearby and so I am still able to have the many great recipes supplied by so many great Jewish women cooks. Jeanette Cohen promised that you will never try any other method of cooking your turkey again. For me, this has been true and I have been cooking mine using her method for 39 years on Thanksgiving and Christmas and have past this recipe to many friends who all use it too. Thank you, Jeanette Cohen, wherever you may be.

Christmas Turkey


1 x 12 to 14 lb turkey
2 large carrots
4 sticks celery
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup sherry
1 dessertspoon paprika
2 dessertspoon salt (I use 1 tablespoon only)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
6 cups water

Christmas Turkey Meal

  1. Place turkey in a large roasting pan. Stuff with the celery and the carrots cut lengthwise, Or, use your own stuffing recipe and leave the carrots and celery around the turkey.
  2. Mix all others together and pour over turkey. Bake uncovered in a 375 oven for 3 hours.
  3. Turn the turkey every half hour. (My turkey is normally too heavy to turn so I only baste mine every half hour.)
    The skin will crisp and the meat will be moist, exactly as a turkey should be.

Prepared, tried, and tested Beverley Gracie

Iced Christmas Pudding

Iced Christmas Pudding. I have not had time to decorate the finished product yet, but you dust it with icing sugar, cherries, and whipped cream.


1/4 pt milk
1 teaspoon coffee
4 oz marshmallows
2 oz raisins
1 teaspoon cocoa
1 oz sultanas
2 Tablespoons sherry
1 oz currants
2 oz chopped nuts
2 oz maraschino cherries
1/2 pt thick cream
1 oz sieved icing sugar

Iced Xmas Pudding To be decorated

  1. Put milk, marshmallows, coffee, and cocoa into a saucepan. Heat gently until marshmallows are nearly melted. Allow cooling.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the dried fruit with sherry. Allow to stand for 30 minutes then add to marshmallow mixture with diced cherries and nuts. Freeze for a short time until slightly thickened.
  3. Fold the whipped cream into this mixture and pack into a chilled basin. Freeze until firm.
  4. Turn out decorate with cherries and serve with more whipped cream (flavored with brandy and sweetened with icing sugar.

To vary: use 2 tablespoons brandy or kirsch in place of sherry. If you like a stronger coffee-flavored ice cream add more coffee.

Prepared, tried, and tested Beverley Gracie

Chocolate Hazelnut Christmas Tree  

I made this a couple of years back. Below are photos of preparing the chocolate crosses in which to build the tree and the final photo of the finished piece. I am making another one this year.

Chocolate Hazelnut Christmas Tree Design

Serves 12. Makes 1 item
30 minutes cooking

Chocolate Hazelnut Christmas Tree Design


24 centimeter round covered cake board
500 g dark eating chocolate, melted
2 cups (240 g) finely chopped roasted hazelnuts
60 g dark eating chocolate, extra
1 Brazil nut
2 teaspoons icing sugar

Chocolate Hazelnut Christmas Tree Assembling

  1. Grease 4 oven trays; line each with baking paper. Mark nine crosses, measuring 7 cm, 9 cm, 11 cm, 13 cm, 14 cm, 15 cm, 16 cm, 17 cm, and 18 cm on trays, leaving about 3 cm space between each cross. Mark an 18 cm cross on the cake board.
  2. Combine chocolate and hazelnuts in a medium bowl. Drop teaspoonfuls of the chocolate mixture along all the marked crosses to make branches; refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  3. Drop about a teaspoon of the extra melted chocolate into the center of the 18 cm cross on the cake board; position the 18 cm branch on top, moving it around until the best position is found.
  4. Assemble the remaining eight branches in pairs, starting from the largest remaining branch and finishing with the smallest, using about a teaspoon of the extra melted chocolate in the center of each crossed pair; refrigerate until set.
  5. Secure each pair to the next with a little bit of melted chocolate (if the branches look a little uneven, support them underneath with a matchbox or cardboard). Secure Brazil nut to the center of the smallest branch with a little bit of melted chocolate; drizzle remaining melted chocolate over the nut to cover it in chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate sets between branches. Store tree in the refrigerator until required; dust with sifted icing sugar.

Chocolate Hazelnut Christmas Tree Final


This tree takes a little time to make, but it is delightful to look at and delicious to eat. The Christmas tree can be made two days ahead. Bring out this tree with the coffee, suggesting to your guests that they snap off bits of the branches. Or, for an impressive gift, wrap the whole tree in cellophane and deliver it on the day.

Prepared, tried, and tested Beverley Gracie 

Festive Salmon Ring

This is a great centerpiece for a table. I used the green dye in the photo as I made this dish for a staff celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Normally I do not add any green die and the red salmon gives the molded fish a nice shade of pink.


3 tins red salmon
salt and pepper
juice 1 lemon
1 tbsp parsley
6 olives
1 onion
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup hot water
1 envelope gelatin
1/4 pint sweet cream
1 tablespoon tomato sauce

Salmon Ring

  1. Grate onion.
  2. Chop parsley and olives.
  3. Drain and flake salmon and season well.
  4. To juice, salmon add lemon juice, parsley, olives, onion, and vinegar.
  5. Dissolve gelatin in hot water and whip cream stiffly.
  6. Add tomato sauce, juice mixture, and gelatin to salmon.
  7. Fold in cream.
  8. Pour into mold, chill, and turn out when set.
  9. Place salmon mold on a bed of lettuce.
  10. Decorate with olives for eyes, lemon slices in the tail and for scales on the fish, a slice of red pepper for mouth and circles for decoration on the lettuce bed, and whatever else you wish.
  11. Serve with Crackers.

Prepared, tried, and tested Beverley Gracie

Florentine biscuits

Florentine biscuits. A Florentine biscuit is a sweet pastry of nuts and fruit.  Florentines are made of nuts and candied cherries mixed with sugar melted together with butter and honey, cooked in an oven. They are often coated on the bottom with chocolate
Makes 20

Florentine biscuits


¼ cup glace cherries, chopped
1 cup mixed peel (225 g)
¼ cup almonds, chopped
¼ cup sultanas, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon golden syrup
½ cup flour
¼ lb butter
¼ cup sugar
1 Slab bitter chocolate – 8 oz. (I used chocolate chips)

  1. Combine the mixed peel, sultanas, almonds, and cherries.
  2. Melt the butter, sugar, syrup, and lemon juice in a saucepan.
  3. Shake the fruit mixture in the flour and stir into the mixture in the saucepan.
  4. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an oiled baking sheet and leave plenty of room to spread. Flatten slightly with the back of a wet spoon.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in a 350 deg. Oven.
  6. Allow them to cool for a minute then lift with a spatula onto a cake rack.
  7. Melt the chocolate over hot water and ice the flat undersides with the chocolate.
  8. Wiggle a fork through the chocolate the make some lines.
  9. Allow setting.

These Florentines keep very well. That is if you don’t have a partner with a sweet tooth and can’t stop eating them.

Prepared, tried, and tested Beverley Gracie 

Jewish Yeast Boulkas

I bake these throughout the year and freeze so if unexpected guests, quickly out the freezer and into the microwave to defrost or they defrost quickly on their own. Nice to have a warm one with tea or coffee

Jewish Yeast Boulkas

3 Tbls flour, 3 Tbls sugar & 2 Tbls melted butter

Boulka Ingredients

8 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 tsp salt
250 g butter
1 cup fresh cream
1 cup warm water
2 x 10 g packets dry Anchor yeast
4 eggs
Melted butter and LOTS of cinnamon & sugar


First make the streusel by mixing together flour, sugar, and melted butter until combined.
For boulkas, sift flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl
Melt butter with milk in a saucepan on the stove. Remove from heat and add cream
Place 1 cup of warm water in a separate bowl & sprinkle over the yeast. DO NOT STIR.
Cover with cling film and allow to stand for 5 mins until the yeast has proved
Beat eggs and add to milk mixture
Make a well in the center.
Add milk and egg mixture & knead for 3-5 minutes to make a dough

Cover the bowl with clingfilm and a warm towel and allow to stand until the dough rises (the length of the time depends on the room temperature, watch carefully because the dough that rises and stands for too long tends to go sour)
Knead the dough again, then recover and allow to stand. Repeat this one more time then place on a floured surface and divide into 4 even pieces.
Pre-heat oven to 190 C and grease 2 muffin trays or I put in these large cup holders into the muffin trays
Roll 1 piece of dough into a long oval, brush with some melted butter and sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar.
Roll up and cut into 4 cm thick rounds. Press or pinch the bottoms of each round closed, brush the open cut side with more melted butter and sprinkle with streusel.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
Place the rounds in the VERY greased muffin tray and bake for approximately 15 minutes.

Prepared, tried, and tested Hannah Frank Witt 

Vegetable Surprise

Wanting a low carb meal to serve a hungry man/ woman, one that looks festive and has a kick to satisfy a dieting tum. Try my vegetable surprise.
With Chicken or turkey for carnivores and without for vegetarians or vegans.

Vegetable Surprise

Prepare all veg for steaming. Except for onions and peppers which you soften in a tablespoon of olive oil. ( add lots of mushrooms for the Vegetarian option).

Choose the best fowl breast, trim and skin then long slice and pan fry.
This one breast will feed two people.

In the juice of the fowl add an index fingernail amount of Harissa two lengths of tomato puree, one garlic clove, two teaspoons olive oil; sea salt to taste. A glug of stock if more liquid is required to cook low and slow until amalgamated, drop a walnut-sized knob of butter and mix until glossy. Taste mixture and if too hot add another teaspoon of Agave nectar to taste.

Simmer cooked Fowl, peppers onions, and peppers while veg steams. Then fold all together in the hot pan cover and leave on a very low heat to allow juices to absorb. Then serve.

This is filling tasty and only 480 calories per portion as served.
Vegetarian option not calculated.

Prepared, tried, and tested by Ellen Best

Schwarzwaeldertorte / Black Forest Cake

Schwarzwaeldertorte Black Forest Cake

Schwarzwäldertorte or Schwarzwaeldertorte is a German name for a Black Forest cake.
For this full recipe please visit Thelma Alberts

How to Make an Easy Peasy Homemade Mango Jam

Mango Jam

Now it is time for me to be here again especially that the Christmas Season is approaching. I am here again to share some delicious recipes I have created while I am vacationing in my hometown in the Philippines. Besides that, I want to join an #SIPBChallenge. SIPB means Sharing, Inspiring, Promoting Bloggers, a Facebook group created by Esme Slabs.

Visit Thellys Cucina International for the full recipe

Shortbread Christmas Tree – How-To

Please visit Wheelescapes for this wonderful recipe


Hershey Kiss Christmas Cookies

Visit Wanda Mulley at A Wandaful Thing for this delightful Christmas Cookie recipe

Hershey Kiss Christmas Cookies

Caramel Cones – Easy Microwave Recipe

Caramel Cones – Easy Microwave Recipe

Another delightful recipe by Wanda to be found on her blog

This is the famous Whipped Shortbread Ray makes every year: Whipped Shortbread

1 lb butter softened (REAL butter, no substitutions on this!!)
1⁄2 cup cornstarch
3 cups flour
1 cup icing sugar

Whipped Shortbread

In a large bowl, cream the butter.
Add dry ingredients.
Whip for 10-12 minutes; batter will be shiny and form peaks.

Optional- Chill dough overnight (you can keep for a few days in the fridge). Before baking, take out and leave at room temperature for 1 hour, whip it up again in the mixer for about 5 minutes. This option allows you to roll and shape the cookies. Still, melt in your mouth!

Drop from a 1 tsp measure OR roll dough on to a cookie sheet based on the option you chose. (I level the tsp to make uniform, tiny cookies. A very small cookie scoop or tiny melon scoop is handy for uniform cookies. Due to how soft and delicate this cookie is making it bigger is not recommended).

Bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes, OR until bottom edges begin to brown. If they are smaller then watch the first batch to monitor the time required per batch.

Watch them carefully they can burn quickly. When removed from the oven allow them to cool for about two minutes on the cookie sheet, carefully move them onto a cooling rack with a spatula.

Allow them to cool on the rack for 15 minutes. If they are NOT cool they will crumble more easily and won’t set properly.

***Avoid letting them cool longer than necessary on the cookie sheet or they might stick and break apart when you try to move them.

Prepared, tried, and tested by Pamela Jessen‘s hubby

Provencal Lamb Feast

Provencal Lamb Feast

You need to visit John Rieber’s blog for this awesome recipe

Rich Christmas or Wedding Cake

Rich Christmas or Wedding Cake

Please visit Marian Wood at JUST MUDDLING THROUGH LIFE for this wonderful Rich Christmas Cake recipe

Steamed Pumpkin Cake


Steamed Pumpkin Cake2

250 g all-purpose flour, sieved
250 g brown sugar
15 g baking powder
10 g vanilla sugar
1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
100 g vegetable oil
3 eggs
600 g cooked and mashed pumpkin

Steamed Pumpkin Cake


  1. Put the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Make a hole in the middle and add vegetable oil and the eggs inside.
  3. Blend the mixture in an electric mixing bowl and blend until it is fluffy.
  4. Then add the cooked and mashed pumpkin in the mixture. Blend well and put the batter in a medium size baking tin with a parchment paper in it.
  5. Boil the water in your steamer. Then slowly put the baking tin filled with pumpkin batter on the steamer with moderate heat.
  6. Wrap the cover of the steamer with a clean white cloth before covering the steamer. The cloth hinders the falling of the steam water into the cake.
  7. Steam for about 45 minutes or until done.

You can cover this steamed pumpkin cake with Christmas butter icing or a glaze as you wish. I prefer eating the cake as it is as it is already delicious the way it is. Enjoy!

Prepared, tried, and tested by Thelma Alberts

Soft Ginger Reindeer Cookies

Soft Ginger Reindeer Cookies

This is a delightful and awesome Christmas cookie for young and old?

Mint Christmas Cake Roll

A first for me, and then I made three of them with some variations each time within a week!  I also made it GF and the last time, I used Nestlé Caramel Treat mixed with some mint essence as the filling – Yumminess.  Then, I experimented and just dropped spoons full of batter instead of using the piping method.


I wish to take this opportunity to thank all my followers, here on the blog, and those via the different FB groups, and wish you may you all have a wonderful Christmas / Festive Season!

May the timeless message of Christmas fill your heart and home with joy now and throughout the coming year. May you have the gift of faith, the blessing of hope, and the peace of his love at Christmas and always. Holy Christmas Night. On this holy night may your heart be illuminated with love, joy, and peace.


  • Make tomorrow more amazing than today!
  • Just believe in yourself and dream big.
  • Do not give up on your hopes. Take care always.


I, Esme Slabbert, am the author and creator of this site, EsmeSalon. It is unlawful to re-use any content from this blog, without my written permission. Please contact me should you wish to discuss it further.


My goal is to provide the best homemade recipes that are healthy for all families to enjoy. I also endeavor to showcase and share other bloggers and promote them on my Blog. You will also find Resources and Courses and Services for Bloggers which I promote from time to time.

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