My favorite cooking, baking, and entertaining food blog sites for the best holiday eats, sweets and treats!
We’re in the thick of holiday parties, cookie baking and entertaining season! So, what are you making/baking/hosting? Don’t know yet? Today I’m going to share my top 12 food sites for great ideas and a ton of inspiration for all of your holiday recipe needs.
It’s no secret that I really like cooking, baking, and entertaining. I wouldn’t be hanging out here with you all if this wasn’t my thing. Because it is my thing, I spend a lot of time reading about food, watching it on tv, and searching the web for recipes, entertaining ideas, cooking tips, etc. Over the years, I’ve probably seen a few hundred food blogs, all with different styles, formats, and areas of focus.
As a (very) new blogger, I have a ton of respect for everyone who puts themselves and their recipes out there for the world. Food is really personal. It’s a reflection of your family, your history, your culture, and often your religion. Recipes that you develop yourself put your creativity and talent on display for everyone everywhere to see.
I do, however, have my favorites. The food blog sites I go to on repeat, the first-stop spots that I check out regularly and are always where I look first when I’m on the hunt for a recipe for a specific dish. I want to share these with you, along with a few of my favorite recipes from each one.
This is my opinion, and my opinion only! There’s no scientific, data-driven method here, no statistical surveys, no voting committees.
Holiday season is prime time for us bakers! Christmas cookies, yule log cakes, Thanksgiving pies, the holiday season is the baker’s time to shine! So, where do you look when you’re in need of some fresh ideas? I’ve got 4 great food blog sites for you:
All-Around Champion – Sally’s Baking Addiction
Sally’s Baking Addiction is my first-stop, automatic go-to whenever I am looking for a recipe for a specific dish. It’s also my favorite blog for new ideas and recipe inspiration. From the monthly Baking Challenge to Pie Week to Cookie Palooza, Sally has your holidays covered. I have made countless SBA recipes over the years, and every. single. one. has turned out beautifully. Sally and her team do not disappoint. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding
- Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – best Christmas dessert I’ve ever made, hands-down.
- Cookies & Cream Pie (Oreo)
Elevated Classics – Joy the Baker
Joy the Baker is awesome. Just straight-up brilliant. The lady can flat-out, no-kidding bake. Her food is beautiful, elegant, and approachable. This is where I go when I want to turn something classic and beloved into something truly special. It was her Instagram post that gave me the last tweak I needed for my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies, putting the sea salt on the baking sheet before dropping the dough so that the salt is on the bottom of the cookie. Such a small change, a simple idea that changed everything in the finished product. This is Joy’s genius. Some of the classic, time-honored desserts that Joy the Baker has elevated:
- Taylor Swift’s Chai Sugar Cookies – because even actual rock (pop, country, you get the idea) stars follow her!
- Roasted Strawberry Shortcakes with Basil Cream
- Chocolate Cherry Yule Log Cake – Seriously impress your holiday dinner guests!
No-Bake Desserts – Brown Eyed Baker
Brown Eyed Baker is all around great for all kinds of sweets, desserts, breakfast treats, etc. For me, though, the site really stands out for its no-bake desserts. I love so many of them, and have made so many of them over the years. These desserts are great when you need something quick to put together, or you need a dessert on a holiday when the oven is already over-scheduled for the main meal, and even in the summertime when it’s too hot to turn that oven on! Here are a couple of great Brown Eyed Baker no-bake desserts that I’ve made and came out fabulous:
- Heavenly Oreo Dessert
- Mint Chocolate Chip Pie
- Key Lime Cheesecake – Great for any holiday gathering, super refreshing flavor after a big meal.
Best Food Blog Site for Beginner Bakers – Beyond Frosting
Beyond Frosting also gets my vote for prettiest Instagram feed! Wow!! So much to love here. The recipes are great, the pictures are gorgeous, and the writing style is very approachable and friendly. What I love most about Beyond Frosting is the videos and tutorials for foundation baking skills. They are so well done, and do a great job of explaining skills that can really intimidate a newer baker. Here are three that cover baking skills that people tell me they’re afraid of ALL THE TIME:
- Easy Pie Crust – Saving Thanksgiving dessert, one stressed-out cook at a time.
- How to Make a Layer Cake
- How to Use a Piping Bag – Admittedly not my best skill, I should probably watch this about a dozen more times.
Savory Food Blogs
Alas man cannot live on Christmas cookies alone. And with so many great recipe developers out there, who’d want to? There are countless great recipes out there for everything from quick and easy weeknight meals to great mains and side dishes for your holiday table to cozy comfort food for couching it after your shopping marathons. Here is where I go when I need to figure out what to make for dinner:
Dynamite Dinners – Jo Cooks/Craving Home Cooked
These two are sharing my top spot because they are from the same stellar cook and blogger, Jo Cismaru. I’ve been a Jo Cooks fan for many years, and am loving the new sister site, Craving Home Cooked. There are probably thousands of great dinner recipes on the sites, and I’ve loved every single one I’ve made at home. You are guaranteed to find a great idea for dinner when you’re coming up blank. The best part? The sites each have a great design and super-useful categories like 30 minute meals, instant pot dinners, and slow cooker recipes so you can always find what you need. Here are the Jo Cooks and Craving Home Cooked recipes I make most often:
- Salisbury Steak Meatballs
- Instant Pot Hamburger Helper – I make this twice a month, minimum! Sooo good, soooo easy!
- Potatoes Au Gratin – Unbelievable with your Christmas or New Year’s Ham
Best Breakfasts – Smitten Kitchen
Most everybody loves breakfast. Some of us love breakfast more than others. The folks at Smitten Kitchen must really love breakfast, because they’ve got amazing recipes for the most important meal of the day! Whether it’s the big one, Christmas Day breakfast, or just a cozy Sunday morning, you are guaranteed to find something fabulous to start your day:
- Apple Cider Doughnuts
- Rich Buttermilk Waffles
- Over-The-Top Mushroom Quiche – Wow your Christmas morning crowd!
Comfort Food Central – Natasha’s Kitchen
This is my kind of food blog, and these are my kind of people. Natasha’s Kitchen has all of the comfort food your pj-wearing, blanket-cuddling, Hallmark-movie-watching holiday heart desires. I’m telling you, get your comfy sweats, you’re gonna need ’em:
- Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
- Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole – Make-ahead Holiday side for the win!
- Swedish Meatballs – New Year’s Eve buffet, anyone?
Perfect for Pickier Eaters – Plain Chicken
There’s always one. I thought it was going to be my oldest kid. He has autism, and it’s common for people on the Autism spectrum to have sensory challenges that lead to picky eating. I was WRONG. It was a rough go in the early years, but at 17 that boy will eat anything that can’t outrun him. My picky eater is kid 2, and for absolutely no good reason whatsoever. Plain Chicken is my food blog site for food that will make kid 2 happy. The owner, Stephanie, specializes in quick, easy recipes that don’t involve hard to find or exotic ingredients and that makes for picky-eater-approved meals. Here are some of the ones my picky eater loves:
- Ham & Cheese Biscuit Bake
- Slow Cooker Pizza Soup – load up your crockpot before you hit the stores and be ready to eat when you get back home!
- Cornbread Sausage Balls – holiday, football-game, anytime appetizer
Bonus Round – Entertaining Tips and Ideas
Entertaining is a talent and an art form. It requires creativity, a generosity of spirit and a warm and open heart and home to do it well. Some people are just gifted hosts. The rest of us need a little (or a whole lot) of help. These are not necessarily food blog sites, but they are all a treasure trove of entertaining ideas. From topic-specific recipe collections for holiday desserts, Christmas cookies, etc. to entire holiday meal menus, these four will help you get your party on:
Enjoy your recipe hunting and your holidays!