Gift Guides

BakingBar Christmas Gift Guide 2022

What a year 2022 has been! I think we can all agree on that. We want to end it on a high and I have put together what we think is my best Christmas Gift Guide to date. Each year I have the honour and privilege to test many products. The absolute highlights of these go into our annual Christmas Gift Guide. I personally recommend each of the products we list in this guide and wouldn’t list them if I was not happy to use them myself. We hope you enjoy this years list, I think it is the best yet. I hope this guide makes it a little easier to find that perfect gift this year. 

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Scaramanga Canvas and Leather Backpack

Last Christmas I got a Scaramanga satchel and I’ve loved it since day one. I take it everywhere. The leather is soft and supple and it feels great to wear as well as being incredibly functional and always attracting compliments. This year Scaramanga asked me to try out their other bag, the Canvas and Leather Backpack which is a bit different. It is similar to their satchels in that it is made using premium and supple leather but is combined with equally durable waxed canvas! This really is a design classic which compliments all occasions and outfits whether you’re in formal business atire or smart casual. It just looks trendy! Designed by experts and made to last the build of all their bags is tremendous. With more and more of us returning to the office our bags and satchels are once again taking a battering day after day and this is where leather comes into its own. The more it is used, the more it ages and the better it begins to look! Their hunter leather ages beautifully and takes on its own patina. The attention to detail is just superb with the buckles looking like the traditional leather straps but are actually quick release buckles underneath so perfect for quickly grabbing something out of your bag. The interior features several well padded pockets to safely store your electronics too. Out of my collection of Scaramanga products this one is up there with my favourites and I intend to take it everywhere I need a backpack.

iKettle Monochrome – 3rd Generation

We have worked with Smarter for many many years now. Since their 1st generation iKettle in fact! Smarter has come a long way since then now having a kettle, coffee machine and the FridgeCam under their belt. The newest edition to the iKettle range is a very special monochrome 3rd generation. The iKettle has looked virtually the same over the years just adding functionality. I was delighted to discover they have just recently released some beautiful new editions. These being White, Light Grey and my favourite Dark Grey. So the principle of the iKettle is a wifi enabled kettle which allows you to trigger the boiling from your phone both manually and now with special shortcut commands you can even create triggers such as boil the kettle when you dismiss your alarm each morning. The app is extremely easy to use and contains some special functions such as wake-up, formula and home modes. Formula is extremely useful for new parents where it will boil the kettle to the exact temperature needed for formula milk for babies! While we’re on that topic you can boil the kettle to whatever temperature you want. So for your green and white teas that require specific temperatures Smarter has you covered. Their introduction video is just fab in showcasing how beautiful this kettle is and how functional so take a look below.

AlwaysPersonal Personalised Chopping Boards

Do you have a chef in your life? Someone who is never out of the kitchen and has a passion for cooking and good? Why not buy them a personalised chopping or serving board from AlwaysPersonal! There is no present more thoughtful than one which has been personalised for the recipient. Not something just picked off a shop shelf. The quality of all AlwaysPersonal products is fantastic and we featured that last year too (their amazing Christmas Eve boxes which I can’t wait to use again this year!). This year we have chosen to feature their amazing chopping and serving boards. Their standard personalised chopping board is perfect for most chefs. You can get any message on it. There are a few other options which have a small graphic on them too but I love the text only ones. Inscribe their name or maybe a memorably message for them. Their Personalised Bamboo Chopping Board and their Personalised Bamboo and Slate Cheese Board can both be used as serving boards and they look fantastic on the table. We have these with our house name on them which looks fantastic in the kitchen but is also lovely and quirky when people come for dinner.

Steenbergs A Taste of Vegan Baking Gift Bag

Steenbergs is a family run business in the production, processing, importing, blending, manufacturing and distribution of organic spices, herbs and seasonings. Including teas! What these guys don’t know about herbs, spices and mixing them to create the most tantalising creations is not worth knowing. Based in rural North Yorkshire all the mixing and concocting goes on right there. This A Taste of Vegan Baking Gift Bag has been designed as the perfect gift for the keen baker who wants to use premium vegan products in their creations. Lets start with the beautifully designed bag. This is filled with numerous flavour extracts including orange, almond, peppermint, lemon, vanilla and their famously good rose water. All are organic, vegan and plant based as well as made using premium ingredients. Not only that but they have thrown in their incredible Apple Pie Mix which is a perfect blend of spices to compliment any of your apple dishes from pies to crumbles. The bag comes complete with wooden spoon so you can jump right into baking. A nice little touch is their wild rhubarb candle which comes in a dainty glass jar. You won’t be able to choose which flavouring to use first, they’re all that good!

Gluten free Letter Box Hamper

These are some of the most beautiful letterbox hampers I have ever come across, the thought and detail which goes into each of them is phenomenal. Letter Box Hampers prides itself in creating mini hampers to fit through your letterbox using only the best British produce. The hamper range from Gluten Free, Milk Chocolate, Best of British, Delicatessen or you can simply create your own! There is a letter box hamper for literally anyone. The one I have chosen to feature is the Gluten Free Letterbox Hamper. Let’s start with the box. This might seem silly? Nope. Even the box these come in is incredibly well designed. Gift wrapped in a choice of coloured paper, tied with string, stamped with some cute stamps ready to arrive through your letterbox. No ugly packaging here that’s for sure! When you unwrap the gift paper you’l find the box. No plain cardboard box here either. A beautifully designed hamper box which I can only compare to a vintage suitcase design complete with little pull handles to open. Inside you’ll find a card with recipients name and personalised message, and you’ll find individual compartments including your treats. Contents at the time of printing in these boxes is as follows.
So Gud Oat and Almond square – Delicious oat squares made from almonds, chia seeds, honey and coconut. Wholey Moley cacao and orange 100% natural cookie, no refined sugars and 5g plant protein. Vegan and Gluten free. Enjoy Chocolate’s Delightfully Dark raw cacao vegan chocolate, with a higher concentration of cacao butter to powder which results in creaminess without bitterness. Organic, dairy free, gluten free, no refined sugar. Keto vegan coconut-based cacao macaroons, perfect for those on a low carb Keto lifestyle, containing powerful antibioxidants which increase energy levels, boosts your mood and reduces stress levels. Vegan and Gluten free. Cambrook’s caramelised roasted cashews caramelised in a wonderfully fine glaze. 80g pack. Gluten free. Blossom Honey from the Sheffield Honey Company in South Yorkshire, an award winning artisan producer of premium quality local English honey. Gluten free.
I might just order some of these for myself to enjoy!

Naked Nutrition Protein Banana Bread Mix

Naked? Yep Naked and it makes sense. They strip away all of the marketing and gimmicks that many companies use today. They sell products with only the purest ingredients. At Naked Nutrition, they strive to help you meet your nutrition and fitness goals by being transparent about what they sell. That way you know exactly what’s going into your body, and what’s more important than that? That’s their mission statement. Pretty self explanatory right? So if you’ve got a gym bunny in your life who likes banana bread then this is the perfect gift for them! There are so many of their products which are amazing and taste as great as they sound. But Banana Bread…….just try and keep me away from Banana Bread in whatever form! So you can imagine my excitement when I found their Protein Banana Bread Mix from their Naked Bake range. Whoever knew such a thing existed! Naked Bake is the swiss army knife of protein powders. You can bake with it, make shakes with it, make pancakes with it, and much, much more. With 15 grams of protein and only 5 grams of sugar per serving, Naked Bake is the perfect way to up your daily protein intake. As always, we’ve cut through the clutter and included only the premium ingredients you need.

Ginger Bakers

Ginger Bakers produce an inspiring array of cakes and bakes using the freshest ingredients, locally sourced where possible and always free range eggs all produced in the beautiful English countryside. We’ll begin with the obvious baking at Christmas time. Of course we’re talking about the Iced Light Brandy Fruit Cake Loaf – Gluten Free. A mature gluten free brandy fruit cake with glace cherries, almonds and a hint of rose, topped with marzipan and soft icing. We know some people don’t like Christmas cake and that is fine (sort of). But don’t fret, Ginger Bakers have you covered with tons of other options and they’re all more delicious than the next. We tried their Mixed Gluten Free Traybake Box which contains 6 of their different gluten free traybakes for you to sample if you don’t want to commit to one. So what’s included? Berry & Beetroot Brownie, Chocolate Nancy, Chocolate Brownie, Ginger, Fudge & Brazil Nut Slice, Lemon & Polenta Cake Bake and Orange Cobble Crunch. Our favourite? The Lemon & Polenta cake which wins our heart. There is of course other non gluten free boxes to choose from too so just check out their website.

Marks and Spencer

Every year Marks and Spencer WOW us with their seasonal range and Christmas is by far our favourite! If there is one thing that Marks and Spencer are famous for it is their collectible biscuit tins. We have lots of them and they are all so different from each other. This year for the first time they have released a music AND light tin. This comes in the form of the Starry Night Shortbread Tin which is a musical rotating light projector. The tin lid comes off (protecting the light dome), you switch on the light and it projects a starry night onto your ceiling. What amazes me is the distance is projects, its rather amazing! Grab these while you can as Id imagine they will sell out. They have also released a Christmas tree shaped tin containing their famous Swiss truffle Assortment. This tin also lights up and looks very cute on a fireplace. Another tin you say? Ok just a small one. The Percy Pig biscuit tin, a small tin which has a folding shop canopy. Filled with Percy Pig jam sandwich creams none the less!
We also opted to try their 24 Biscuits ’til Christmas advent calendar because who doesn’t want a Marks and Spencer biscuit every morning in the lead-up to Christmas!?
There is another special Christmas ‘box’ this year that also lights up and that is the Light Up Christmas Workshop. This opens up and displays a scene of chocolate figures with a light up animated and sound activated workshop background. They have really outdone themselves this year. Take your pick but be quick quick!!

Original Cake Co Advent Calendar

Do you ever dream of an advent calendar which is just cake……i dont know about you by I certain do. Well……the Original Cake Co have released their special advent calendar this year which is exclusively filled with miniature cakes. That’s an inredible 24 days of cake THEN you’ll have Christmas cake on Christmas day too. So much cake!! Inside each festive window is a bitesize piece of their finest truffle cake or decadent fruit cake. The presentation of the advent calendar itself is extremely premium. It is beautifully designed and heavy (because of all that cake of course!) Order soon as these will sell out (and it will be the 1st of December in no time!)

Sensio Bread Maker

We’ve all wanted to make bread let’s face it. But most of us don’t have the skills, or time to rustle up a loaf at a moments notice or wait for it to prove. So why not gift that special someone a bread maker this Christmas. Sensio have an extremely affordable very functional bread maker which meets all the needs of an amateur or professional baker alike. The bread maker makes the obvious…..bread. But it is also capable of so much more from different varieties of bread, pizza dough, jam, yoghurt and even sticky rice! It is a multi purpose machine. I use mine all the time when I just need to throw everything into the loaf tin and set the timer to go. It also has a delayed start timer which comes in extremely handy when you want bread fresh at a particular time.


BakingBar was launched in 2010 to provide simple and straightforward baking guides and recipes. BakingBar are currently recipe developers for Neills Flour and MyProtein.