Christmas gifts

The Christmas Gifts You Still Have Time to Make (or Buy)

It’s the second week of December. We’re almost halfway through the Advent calendar chocolates. Father Christmas has already made his list and checked it twice. But chances are, you still have plenty of presents to conjure up.

No need to stress! Two weeks is plenty of time to make easy, affordable Christmas gifts for every foodie on your nice list.

Mason Jar Cakes

You’ve drunk coffee out of them, planted flowers in them, and filled them up with jam. But have you ever baked cakes in mason jars? These sturdy jars are made for canning, so they hold up well to oven heat.

Mix up your favourite fruitcake, quick-bread, or muffin recipe as normal. Then separate the mixture into mason jars and bake, making sure to leave enough space for rising. When cooled, decorate to your liking with Christmas ribbons and cloth-topped lids. We love doing this with our nutritious Blueberry & Almond Breakfast Muffins recipe.

If you can’t find mason/canning jars at your local shop, you can easily order them online at Amazon and other sites.

Infused Spirits

Do you have an aspiring mixologist in your life? Help them kick their cocktail game up a notch with homemade infused spirits.

There’s no need for bubbling beakers or complicated contraptions. All it takes to make your own herb or fruit infusions is good ingredients and a little patience. You could add your favourite berries to gin, steep kaffir leaves and lime grass in vodka or infuse your favourite rum with added spices. There are lots of different ways to infuse and flavour spirits – use your imagination! Then simply pour your infusions into pretty bottles and add some hand written cocktail recipes.

Mixologists with DIY streaks may prefer make-your-own infusion kits. Try this cranberry vodka gift set from Marks & Spencer. Or for a budget alternative, make your own kit with foraged ingredients!

Brownie Box

Once a humble home bake, brownies are now completely at home at the country’s hippest bakeries. But the cool factor isn’t the only reason brownies make great gifts. Thanks to their dense, chocolatey richness, they keep well, and they’re as easy to wrap as they are to make.

Bake your favourite brownies, such as our Coffee Flour Chocolate and Raspberry Brownies. For a healthier option, try our Onist Mint Chocolate Avocado Brownies. Once cooled, cut them into blocks that fit into pretty boxes.

Don’t have time to bake your own? Get delicious, gift-ready brownies at gourmet bakeries like Did Someone Say CAKE? and Seed and Sage.

Rainbow Bean Soup

This pretty present is as frugal as it is functional. All you need to make it are some large jars, a few bags of dried beans, and a handful of dried spices.

Layered in the clear jar, the multicoloured beans become a rainbow of lovely legumes. Print off a recipe and hand tie it around the neck of your jar. The dried beans and spices are then ready to be turned into a delicious, December-ready soup. Here’s a recipe for Winter Lentil Soup in a Jar and one for Vegetarian Five Bean Soup Mix.

Cookbook Starter Set

Cookbooks always make solid foodie Christmas gifts. But, there’s nothing worse than finding that you don’t have the ingredients to make any of the recipes.

To avoid this, flip through the cookbook to see which ingredients are used most often. Then, package up an essential selection of spices and other dry products, to go with the cookbook. International grocery stores are a good source for hard-to-find ingredients.

You can also find pre-made cookbook starter sets at online shops such as Sous Chef and Spice Kitchen.

Foodie Christmas Gifts Hamper

Every high street gourmet shop sells hampers full of fancy foods. Which is great, but no Marks & Spencer hamper-packer knows your friends as well as you do. So instead of going the pre-made route, make your own!

Visit a local market with a basket and pick out the foods and drinks that suit your friends’ tastes. Line your basket with some “gift shred,” or strips of paper, and fill it with your goodies. Then wrap it all up with coloured cellophane and ribbon.

If you don’t have time to build your own, you can still create customised foodie Christmas gifts. Try a celebrated hamper purveyor such as Virginia Hayward and Lewis & Cooper.

It doesn’t matter whether you buy your foodie Christmas gifts online or make them by hand. All the foodies on your list are sure to appreciate your thoughtful, personal touch!

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