Christmas Baking Classes

It’s Christmas baking season and there’s no better way to hone your figgy pudding prowess than at these festive baking classes for children and adults:

Create a pièce montée out of mini éclairs at Maître Choux, Chelsea

For a touch of Parisian noel, whisk children to Maître Choux this December where, under the guidance of experts they will learn to create a towering Christmas tree of mini eclairs, choux buns, sugar snowflakes and edible glitter. Everyone gets their own personalised pièce montée to take home.

Weekends from 7 December – 22 December, 9am-1pm (£48). Suitable for ages 5+, children must be accompanied by adults. eventbrite.co.uk

Festive Baking at Bread Ahead

Bread Ahead, Credit: Louise Long

Master bakers of Borough Market since 2013, Bread Ahead are now hallowed preachers of artisan baking across the city. Welcoming beginners and seasoned bakers alike, their seasonal workshops include Festive German Baking, Victorian Christmas (featuring a decadent prune and walnut bread), Mince Pie workshops and panetonne making. Do book ahead as some classes are now sold out and there are limited dates available.

Various festive classes run Wednesdays – Sundays throughout December in Soho, Borough Market, Chelsea, Wembley, from £90 breadahead.com/courses

A masterclass in decorating festive cakes at Leith’s

Leith’s remains the unabashed queen of culinary education with a stella alumni and over 40 years of world-class teaching. Don’t dally in securing your place on a limited-edition festive class from celebrated guest tutors – from the likes of Angela Malik, Jo Pratt, and GBBO finalist Steven-Carter Bailey.

Friday 6th December, 10am – 4pm, £220, White City leiths.com

Festive French Vegan Patisserie at Made In Hackney

Made in Hackney, credit Christian Sinibaldi

If your Christmas is more holly & ivy than stuffed turkey, look no further than Clarisse Flon’s vegan French patisserie masterclass. The full day class from the plant-based community cooking school Made In Hackney will encompass a show-stopping Pear and Chocolate Genoise Yule log, sablé Christmas biscuits and chocolate and caramel shard decorations, with essential pastry and piping skills. What’s more, every class at Made in Hackney helps to fund their programme of free cooking & nutrition courses to vulnerable and low-income community groups.

Saturday 14th December, 10am – 5.30pm, £160, Stoke Newington madeinhackney.org

Christmas Biscuits and Icing at the Dusty Knuckle Bakery School of Baking

Hackney’s beloved Dusty Knuckle bakery is now a cookery school, run by their very own bakers in their very own kitchen. Join them for this special festive biscuit decorating workshop where you’ll make spiced biscuits and then learn all about royal icing, piping and flood icing as you decorate. Featuring a DK dinner and mulled wine to boot.

Tuesday 10th, Wednesday 11th & Thursday 12th of December, 6pm-9pm, £81.44, Dalston eventbrite.co.uk

Christmas Baking from around the world at The Cookery School, Little Portland Street

Keen to strike out from traditional British fayre, then join the Baking Around the World class at London’s sustainable Cookery School, Little Portland Street – where British gingerbread is the company of a French bûche de Noël, Austrian kipferl and German stollen, brightening up your yuletide toolbox for years to come.

Sunday 8th December, 10am – 4pm (£230), Oxford Circus cookeryschool.co.uk

 Chocolate Yule logs at Rainham Hall

Rainham Hall – credit National Trust / James Dobson

Soak up the atmosphere of Rainham Hall’s beautiful Georgian setting and explore the crisp midwinter gardens. Then warm up inside with a Christmas Yule Log workshop. The affordable, two-hour class is run by resident National Trust bakers, welcoming families for a hands-on, informal baking-decorating masterclass into this most timeless Christmas centrepiece.

Saturday 21 December; 11:30am – 1.30pm, £20, Rainham nationaltrust.org.uk

Christmas Sweet Treats at Mahé Cookery School

For a fairytale midwinter escape out of London, hurry along to the new Mahé cookery school from Michelin chef Paul Ainsworth, in the heart of Padstow’s buzzing foodie community. Classes are capped at five students, promising hands-on tuition from John, peppered with an array of seasonal nourishment throughout the day, from the kitchen of his adjoining No. 6 restaurant. Sign-up for John’s three-day Christmas Sweet Treats course, and you will never need to return to the bakery aisle again.

12th – 14th December & 19th – 21st December; 10am – 4pm, £250, Padstow paul-ainsworth.co.uk

And if you can’t face donning a pinny?

Violet Bakery, credit Louise Long

‘Tis the season to visit a proper bakery. Our favourite sweet treats in London include Flor’s flakey mince puff pies, Oree’s fruity Kouglof bundt cake, Violet Cake’s traditional molasses Christmas cake and the magnificent Luminary Bakery’s pear, caramel and gingerbread cake with each purchase supporting their work with some of the city’s most vulnerable women.

— Louise Long
4th December 2019