Skip to main content

Preparing for Holiday Baking


Have you started thinking about your holiday baking yet?  You'll want to start getting organized well ahead of the holidays.  

Today I'm sharing tips to get you give you a head start when preparing for baking this holiday season, beginning with your pantry essentials.  

I'm also sharing four favorite recipes that can be made ahead and frozen.

Holiday Baking Essentials

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  I receive compensation when you purchase using these links.

Holiday Baking Tips


Let's begin with the items that are baking staples in my pantry.  By staples I mean these are my go-to items.  We're not talking gourmet items here.  These are the products I don't want to be without.  When my pantry is stocked with my staples I find I am ready to cook a meal or bake a dessert without having to run to the store for ingredients.

Today's focus is on the holiday baking essentials in my pantry.  You can get my free checklist of Holiday Baking Essentials by clicking on the link.  Take it along with you to the grocery store the next time you go.

Baking Essentials in the Pantry
Baking Essentials
Most of my baking staples hang out together on one shelf in my pantry.  It is a deep shelf, so I'm able to have a couple of rows on it.  I try to keep the items I use most frequently at the front of the shelf.

Let's see what's there, shall we?

The Flours
I keep multiple flours on hand because flour creates the foundation for most baked goods.  While it is convenient to have the right flour for the recipe you can feel comfortable keeping all-purpose flour on hand for most of your baking needs.  The flours I keep on hand are unbleached all-purpose flour, unbleached bread flour, whole wheat flour, and cake flour.

Freshly Baked Rolls
Freshly Baked Rolls
The Sweeteners
Most baked goods need a sweetener of some kind.  I keep traditional sweeteners on hand like granulated sugar, confectioners sugar, light brown sugar, turbinado sugar, molasses, honey, and both light and dark corn syrup.

Freshly Baked Blueberry Muffins
Freshly Baked Blueberry Muffins

The Basics
There are a number of items that are the workhorses of baking.  These are salt, kosher and table, baking soda, baking powder, vegetable shortening, and corn starch.

The Baking Work-Horses
The Baking Work-Horses
The Flavorings and Add-Ins
These items are add-ins, used as needed, but frequently enough in my kitchen that I include them as essentials.  These include cocoa powder, powdered milk, sweetened condensed milk, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips. 

I consider nuts an essential, but you won't find them on my pantry shelf.  I keep nuts in my freezer.

The Add-Ins are Essential
The Add-Ins are Essential


One thing you'll want to be sure of is your supply of baking pans for cakes and pies.  I checked my stock this week and decided that I needed another springform pan for cheesecakes.  My family L-O-V-E-s cheesecake, so we always have it on our dessert menu.

Cheesecake freezes very well, so I like to bake ahead and freeze my holiday cheesecakes.  That is why I need multiple springform pans.  I chose this Calphalon springform pan because it is sturdy, has an easy-to-work latch, and is highly rated.
Once your pantry is stocked and ready to go, start baking the cookies, cakes, pies, and quick breads that freeze well.  Here are a few of my favorites that freeze beautifully.

This is my most requested cheesecake.  Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Salted Caramel Cheesecake
Salted Caramel Cheesecake
This is my favorite holiday quick bread.  It is perfect for serving on hectic holiday mornings.
Cranberry Orange Bread

Cranberry Orange Quick Bread
Cranberry Orange Quick Bread
Get a head start on your pies with this easy food processor pie crust.  Make a couple of batches of pie dough for your freezer for easy pie baking.
Food Processor Pie Crust

Food Processor Pie Crust
Perfect Food Processor Pie Crust

These Best-Ever Sugar Cookies are easy to make and can be decorated as simple or as complicated as time allows.  You can freeze them plain or frosted.  I've done it both ways.
Best Ever Sugar Cookies 

Best Ever Sugar Cookies
Best Ever Sugar Cookies

There's no time like the present to get started on your holiday baking.  Preparing now for your holiday baking will reduce your holiday stress and make your family smile.

Thanks for sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  I appreciate your support.

Enjoy!

Comments

More Popular Posts

How to Make a Perfect Bacon and Eggs Breakfast

In my opinion, the best breakfast consists of two perfectly fried eggs, crispy bacon, and toast made with hearty bread. This bacon and eggs recipe delivers. Bacon and eggs or eggs and bacon? No matter, it is definitely the breakfast you want on those lazy mornings when you have time to relax around the kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee or two. The Best Bacon and Eggs Breakfast (This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.  When you make a purchase using these links you help support this blog.) How to Cook Bacon and Eggs My technique was learned from my mom, by watching her make our family's breakfast over and over again, year after year.  This is a basted egg recipe which means the eggs are cooked in bacon grease. Cooking eggs in bacon fat is easy and takes just a little practice to perfect. All you really need for a great bacon and eggs breakfast is a good nonstick skillet and a good toaster . If you want to make your own bread fo

The Best Asian Dipping Sauce You'll Ever Taste

If you're looking for a versatile, easy-to-make Asian dipping sauce perfect for sushi and dumplings, then you've come to the right place. This recipe for the best Asian dipping sauce is perfect for any time you want a  kick of delicious Asian flavor. An Asian Dipping Sauce for Sushi and Dumplings Try this if you are looking for a dipping sauce that is a little more flavorful than you typically get with your takeout order. You'll love it with dumplings, too!

How to Doctor Up Store-Bought Potato Salad

Here's a potato salad time-saver for you just in time for summer cookouts. You'll love how you can transform grocery store potato salad so easily no matter whether you are hosting a BBQ or bringing a side dish for a summer barbecue. There's no judgment here. We don't always have the time to make a potato salad from scratch. Sometimes it is just easier to stop by your local grocery store to pick up a container of store-made potato salad. It's good. It's predictable.  It will do.  All it needs is a little doctoring. How to Make Store-Bought Potato Salad Better When you need a quick potato salad, and have no time to make one from scratch, that ordinary store-bought potato salad you have in your refrigerator can go from blah to amazing in just a few minutes with just a few ingredients. Yes, you can improve store-bought potato salad. How to Doctor Up Potato Salad to have a little more flavor? You're going to a potluck picnic or you are having

Crunchy, Spicy Gingersnap Cookies

Crunchy, spicy, and yummy are all words used to describe a good gingersnap cookie.   While my hands-down, favorite cookie is a gooey chocolate chip cookie I occasionally crave a spicy ginger snaps cookie or  this molasses cookie .  This old-fashioned gingersnap cookie is a winner.  It's easy to make and will be a favorite in your recipe rotation. Traditional Ginger Snaps Cookie Recipe ( This post contains affiliate links.  I will be compensated when you make a purchase with these links.) Gingersnaps Cookies In the U.S., gingersnaps are usually drop cookies with lots of cracks on the surface.  That's exactly how I like them.  Those found in other countries may be thinner and sliced.  The Lebkuchen, a traditional German cookie, and the pepparkakor, from Sweden, are often cut into festive shapes.  My gingersnaps are round. Reasons You'll Love These Gingersnap Cookies These gingersnaps are tasty cookies at any time of the year.   Their spiciness is perfect as a holid

Grandma's Soft and Chewy Date-Filled Cookies

One of the things I can count on as the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons arrive each year is a feeling of nostalgia. The traditional foods we serve at our family's holiday tables can sure bring out all the feels. Now that it is officially cookie season, we should kick it off with an old-fashioned homemade date-filled cookie recipe. This is a soft, tender cookie with dates that is a special, nostalgic, family recipe.   An Old-Fashioned Date Cookies Recipe This old-fashioned, date-filled cookie was my dad's favorite cookie from his childhood. My dad was born in 1932 so this recipe has been around for quite a while. 

Five Keys to Growing A Healthy Ficus Tree

Have you ever wondered how a single Ficus benjamina tree could become a beloved part of your home for decades, thriving and growing alongside your family?  If you haven’t yet, you might consider the addition of this living, air-purifying companion in your home that not only beautifies your space but also stands the test of time.  You may know this tree as either a Ficus benjamina or a weeping fig.   I have loved growing a ficus tree in my home for 36 years. It’s remarkable that I've had this tree for so long.   How to Grow A Ficus Tree Inside for Decades When thinking about how I managed to keep this indoor ficus tree happy, healthy, and growing strong all these years it boiled down to five key Ficus benjamina plant care tips. Follow these tips and you can have a happy, healthy ficus tree in your home for many years, too.

Traditional New England Whoopie Pies

Are you looking for the best whoopie pie recipe?  Whoopie pies are a quintessential New England dessert and a memorable treat from my childhood.   My mom would make them for us every once in a while.  Oh, what a treat to come home from school to a platter of chocolate whoopie pies!  Yum! Today I'm sharing my recipe for the best-ever whoopie pies. The Best Whoopie Pies Recipe without Marshmallow Fluff Whoopie Pies Whoopie pies are soft round cookie-like cakes with a smooth cream filling sandwiched in the center. Debate rages about the whoopie pie's origin.  Some say these goodies originated in New England, others say they originated with the Amish.   There is also debate about what ingredients should be in the filling.  Many recipes include fillings made with Marshmallow Fluff or buttercream but neither is  traditional, in my opinion.  The whoopie pie of my childhood is a traditional Maine whoopie pie recipe, made with a cooked flour and milk mixture added to suga

Easy Chicken Parmesan-A Make Ahead Freezer Dinner

Chicken Parmesan is a favorite dinner in the Just One Donna house because it is a delicious dish that can satisfy your cravings for Italian food. It's also easy to make at home with simple ingredients you probably have in your pantry.  But what if you don't have time to cook on a busy weeknight? Don't worry, you can make Chicken Parmesan ahead of time and freeze it for later. I like to prepare Chicken Parmesan to have on hand in my freezer for those busy weeknights when we might be tempted to head to a restaurant instead of eating at home.  How to Make Freezer Chicken Parmesan for Busy Nights This post contains affiliate links.  I receive a small compensation when you shop using these links Easy Freezer Chicken Parmesan for Dinner Chicken Parmesan, also known as Chicken Pa

Can You Make Better Bacon in Water?

What is the best way to cook crisp, tender bacon? Today, let's investigate a new method for cooking bacon on the stove that I'm seeing suggested as a technique that will change your life.  It's frying your bacon in a pan with a small amount of water.  Is cooking bacon with a bit of water in the pan a better way to make bacon? How to Cook Bacon in Water This is a simple, relatively fast way to make perfectly cooked bacon every time. Whether you are looking to impress your guests with a decadent breakfast or just want to enjoy a delicious bacon treat, this technique is the perfect solution.

How to Trap and Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Fruit flies can be a huge annoyance at certain times of the year. What can you do to kill fruit flies? We've all been there wondering how to get rid of fruit flies.  Fruit flies in the kitchen.  Fruit flies in the bathroom.  Fruit flies buzzing around everywhere in your home.   It's a frustrating problem that happens to everyone at one time or another.  If you are a fresh fruit and produce lover you certainly know what I mean. How to Kill Fruit Flies with Two Ingredients Those pesky little buggers can often be brought into your home on the vegetables and fruit you buy. You don't have to tolerate the annoyance.  This homemade fruit fly trap is one I have been using for many years and it works every time.