The Winter Solstice marks the longest night of the year and the promise of the return of the light. That definitely deserves a feast. Here are 100 awesome recipes to celebrate Yule from dawn til dusk, and beyond.
What is Yule?
Yule is a mid-winter festival celebrating the winter solstice and the longest night of the year. Also associated with the Roman festival of Saturnalia and the sun god Mithras, Yule is all about the return of the light. Whether you're celebrating the birth of the Sun King, the Holly King, or a baby born in a manger, these mid-winter celebrations are all about hope. We're celebrating in defiance of the darkness and with the faith that the light will return and the Earth's fertility alongside it.
A lot of modern Christmas traditions that we all know have their roots in Pagan cultures. Everything from the Christmas tree to Santa Claus can all be traced back to pre-Christian mid-winter celebrations. If you're looking for a more traditional Christmas recipe round-up, I have one of those. This one will focus more on Yule with a modern twist. We'll look at the plants and ingredients that correspond with the season and how you can honor them in your kitchen today.
Witches love a good pentacle-filled apple. And with these fruits being harvested in Autumn, they're still hanging around to be celebrated at Yule. Apples carry the energy of abundance, fertility, and protection which are all important at this time of year.
- Sausage Egg & Cheese Biscuits with Apple Butter - Make an epic breakfast biscuit with pork and apple, both celebrated at this time of year.
- Apple Margarita - A fun and festive Yule libation.
- Apple Butter - If you have a bunch of apples that you're not sure what to do with, give your friends some of this for Yule.
- Caramel-Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies - Not remotely natural, but so packed with flavor from a whole box of powdered hot apple cider mix. Oh, and there's a hidden caramel inside.
- Spiced Sparkling Cider Cocktail - Bring in some of those winter spices with this fizzy sweet cocktail.
- Apple Brandy Frozen Punch - A low-alcohol drink the you can serve frozen for a bit of winter fun. No blender required.
- Apple Butter & Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese - Cut these into triangles for nostalgic cocktail party nibbles.
- Green Apple Martini - This drink definitely feels like a magic potion.
- Pork & Apple Hot Pot - Let this simmer in your cauldron for hours.
- Orange & Amaretto Cider - Fortify your hard cider with amaretto, orange juice, and maybe a splash of mead.
- Cider Braised Chicken Thighs - Slow cooked in hard cider for maximum tenderness and flavor.
- Cran-Orange-Apple Juice - This juice blend can be the basis for mimosas, spiked with gin, or fizzed up with some soda water.
The fiery energy of cinnamon is practically synonymous with the season. Nutmeg and clove are also associated with Yule, so anything with those winter spices are going to be perfect for your celebration. Cinnamon has so many magical properties, but at this time of year, I'd be calling on protection, money drawing, and blessings for the home.
- Snickerdoodle Cookies - I strongly associate these cookies with Christmas, and now I know why.
- Cinnamon Whole Wheat Pancakes with Blackberry Brown Butter Syrup - A fancy ass breakfast for a fancy ass season. Really, it's so simple. Use frozen blackberries since they're not in season right now.
- Snickerdoodle Cupcakes - If buttery cinnamon-coated cookies aren't your bag, here's a treat for everyone on team cupcake.
- Cinnamon Pull-Apart Cake with Lemon Glaze - This is made with a yeasted dough for a cinnamon roll type cake.
- Mini Chocolate Cinnamon Croissants - These are incredibly simple because they're made with store-bought puff pastry. They're the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea in the afternoon.
- Double-Glazed Chai Spice Muffins - These are perfect for baking ahead and bringing along to your coven Yule gathering.
- Hint of Cinnamon Chocolate Cake - This is a simple cake that starts with a cake mix and can be decorated with all your favorite pagan symbols.
- Chaitini - Raise a glass to the rebirth of the sun with this spiced, creamy cocktail.
- Chocolate Cinnamon Cake - A simple loaf cake full of love energy.
- Spiced Honey Vodka - This is so delicious sipped warm on a cold night.
- Homemade Churros with Chocolate Sauce - This is a messy and interactive dessert that's totally fun to enjoy with the fam.
- Homemade Cinnamon Rolls - Why wouldn't you?
- Biscoff Mug Cake - For quick, emergency dessert needs this winter.
Of all the winter spices, I think ginger is the fieriest. I love the heat it brings to baked goods. It makes you feel alive. Ginger is associated with prosperity, joy, and protection from malevolent spirits.
- Mistletoe Mocktail - This non-alcoholic ginger and lime drink is totally refreshing after a meal of heavy winter food.
- Carrot Ginger Orange Mimosas - At the holidays we get to drink with breakfast. This would be a good place to start.
- Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting - There's a good mix of spices here, but ginger is doing all the heavy lifting.
- Lemon & Ginger Bars - These lemon bars get a hit of fire from crystalized ginger in the crust.
- Ginger-Glazed Gammon Steak - Maybe you don't need to make a whole ham. This recipe is a great seasonal alternative.
- Rum & Ginger Beer with a Twist - Spiced rum meets fiery ginger and tart lime.
- Stem Ginger Biscuits - These are like next level homemade ginger snaps.
- Vanilla Ginger Mojito - A seasonal twist on a Cuban classic with fresh mint and vanilla ginger syrup.
- Ginger & Lemon Iced Tea - Stay refreshed throughout the holiday season and bring the healing power of ginger into your life.
- Cranberry Ginger Cocktail - Cranberries are still in season and ready to bring their beautiful water and fire energy to your party.
- Gingerbread Cookies - Make some edible poppets and decorate them with your intentions for the year ahead.
I was in my teens when I learned that other families had a tradition of leaving oranges in Christmas stockings. And dried orange slices are now a popular tree decoration. The scent of an orange being peeled automatically brings a smile to my face and a sense of peace. Oranges carry the magical properties of fertility, prosperity, and friendship.
- Citrus Bundt Cake - Bring some sunshine to the winter solstice with this gorgeous cake.
- Orange Chocolate Chunk Muffins - A super simple, slightly sweet treat to bring to the office to make the coffee break a bit more festive.
- Orange Cheesecake Brownies - These are so fudgy and gooey. I absolutely love them.
- Chocolate Orange Scones - Who needs to go to a coffee shop when you can make your own gorgeously festive scones.
- Chocolate Orange Cake - This humble loaf cake tastes exactly like a chocolate orange.
- Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Orange Frosting - A simple single layer cake with a fluffy white cloud of frosting. Put a sunny orange slice right in the center to honor the rebirth of the sun.
- Chocolate Orange Mousse - This is a cheater version, so no messing about with egg whites. Get to the deliciousness in a hurry.
- Satsuma & Dark Chocolate Brioche - If you wish your pannetone had chocolate instead of stupid fruit, this recipe is for you.
- Citrus Cocktail Cupcakes - Darkness doesn't need to stop you from celebrating color.
- Spiced Flourless Chocolate Cake - This gluten-free dessert features orange zest and plenty of winter spice.
- Citrus Gin Fizz - A sunny libation for the darkest night of the year.
- Maple Panettone Bread Pudding - Full of citrus zest, dried fruit, and winter spice, this Italian bread becomes something deeply indulgent when transformed into a custardy bread pudding.
- Cherry Orange Sangria - Use frozen cherries in this pitcher of boozy happiness.
I love to work with peppermint at this time of year. Bringing the energy of prosperity and abundance to this bleak season, the flavor of mint really brightens up the whole scene. Whether it's from candy canes, extract, or the only house kitchen herb tenacious enough to stick around, this is your excuse to put a little mint in everything.
- Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies - Use your favorite mint-infused chocolate instead of the usual chocolate chips in these classic cookies.
- Chocolate Candy Cane Cocktail - Yes, I put booze in chocolate milk. You're welcome.
- White Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake - This might be my favorite cheesecake, and it's a perfect holiday showstopper dessert.
- Chocolate Mint Cupcakes - Bring these cute little cakes to your next holiday gathering.
- Mint Limeade - Like drinking a glass of prosperity.
- Mint Brownies - Three layers of minty, chocolatey awesomeness.
- Gammon Steaks with Pineapple Salsa - The salsa also features jalapeno and fresh mint to bring maximum flavor to a sometimes bland meal.
- Cloudy Cider Cup - Loaded up with cucumber and fresh mint to heighten the aroma.
- Grasshopper Pie - This boozy no-bake dessert is made with mint and white chocolate liqueurs for a nostalgic treat.
- Mint Cucumber Lemon Water - This infused water potion is here for you when you've overindulged at the office Christmas party.
- Grilled Chicken Skewers with Chili Mint Yogurt - I used to live in Hawaii, so this one is for all you tropical witches.
- Mint Chocolate Mousse - This is so rich and indulgent, it will definitely feel like a treat.
Have you ever heard of the Yule boar? This was something new I discovered this year during our Yule podcast episode. Apparently, everyone made wishes or vows for the coming year on the bristles of the boar, then the boar was sacrificed and roasted. Eating the boar was thought to give you the power of Freyr.
I certainly won't be roasting a whole boar for Christmas, but I thought this might be a good excuse to eat some bacon, sausage, and ham, which is how I most like to enjoy my pork.
- Black Pudding Hash - This is a humble but delicious dish that can be for breakfast or dinner.
- Full English Breakfast - Start your winter solstice morning with a variety of pork products plus fried tomatoes and toast, and you're bound to stay warm all day.
- Mini Pork Pies - Here in the UK, you absolutely must have these at the holidays.
- Pork & Onion Hand Pies - I'd definitely serve these in a holiday snack spread.
- Red Currant Glazed Ham - Use this glaze on whatever size ham you need to feed your crew.
- Homemade Sausage Rolls - You can't have a winter festival without sausage rolls in the UK.
- Sausage Rolls with Ham & Cheddar - If you want to make your sausage roll game a little bit fancier this year, these are awesome.
- Ham & Potato Soup - A great way to use up leftover Yule ham.
- Brie Grilled Cheese with Ham & Cherry Jam - Swap out the cherry jam for cranberry to make it a bit more seasonal.
- Maple Bacon Pancake Syrup - Put this on all your breakfast treats. Pancakes, waffles, French toast, whatever.
- Chicken & Ham Pie - Bring a Dickensian flare to your Yule feast with a classic pie.
- Cayenne Candied Bacon - Bring some fire energy to your breakfast bacon.
- Swiss & Bacon Dip - This dip is an absolute must at the holidays for me.
- Pork Puff Pastry Pockets - Like if hot pockets were actually delicious.
Pomegranates are a symbol of Persephone and the dark half of the year. They represent the ability to go into darkness and return with the light. Mix up a Yule potion with this sacred fruit.
- Pomegranate Martini - A potent Yule potion.
- Ginger Pomegranate Cocktail - This low-alcohol cocktail is bright and refreshing.
- Pomegranate Margarita - A little Mexican flare for your Yule libations.
- Sweet Potato Chickpea Dip - This is a gorgeous vegetarian dip studded with jewel-bright pomegranate seeds for a pop of sweetness.
Rosemary & Sage
Rosemary and sage are probably two of the most popular herbs in witchcraft, and they're absolutely beautiful to cook with at this time of year. Rosemary is great for protection, and sage is powerful for banishing negative energy. These herbs will make you feel great.
- Italian Roasted Potatoes - Add some rosemary to your classic roasties.
- Rosemary Potato Rolls - I make these rolls for either Thanksgiving or Christmas every year.
- Smoked Cheddar & Sage Biscuits - If you're not comfortable with baking with yeast, these are a delicious alternative.
- Chicken & Goat Cheese Pasta - This creamy pasta recipe features fresh rosemary.
- Whipped Ricotta - Weave an enchantment as you scatter dried herbs, lemon zest, and sea salt flakes over this beautiful cloud of creamy cheese.
- Italian Panissa Rice & Beans - This hearty pot of goodness is scented with fresh rosemary for a humble winter feast.
- Chicken & Potato Bake - Potatoes, chicken, lemon, rosemary, and garlic all get roasted together in one dish for a simple, classic meal.
- Weeknight Chicken & Dumplings - A bubbling cauldron of chicken soup gets enhanced with sage dumplings that are absolutely delightful.
There are a few other Yule food traditions worth mentioning. Of course, there's the well known Yule Log Cake, aka a Buche de Noel. You can also incorporate the energy of pine by using buttery pine nuts. I'm calling in some color magic with some red foods and using this as an excuse to drink hot chocolate every day. Oh, and don't forget a bit of cookie decorating.
- Gorgonzola Focaccia with Pine Nuts - This bread is absolutely heavenly and covered with the energy of renewal with crunchy pine nuts.
- Vanilla Hot Chocolate for One - You don't need a mix. You probably already have everything you need to make your own hot chocolate from scratch.
- Chestnut Soup - After someone else has roasted those chestnuts on an open fire, you can turn them into a delicious creamy soup with crunchy bacon lardons.
- White Hot Chocolate - This works some winter white energy into your hot sweet drink experience.
- Buche de Noel - A Yule classic that's surprisingly easy to make from scratch. We're covering the whole thing in chocolate buttercream, so it's very forgiving if you're afraid of decorating like me.
- Red Bean Salad - This is a no-cook, vegan, gluten-free side dish that you can make ahead. It's got everything you need.
- No-Fail Sugar Cookies - This will hold all your Yule shapes if you follow the recipe. And these cookies actually taste really good.
- Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge - It's a family tradition, and you can't let December pass without it.
- Poinsettia Champagne Cocktail - It's the exact color of this traditional winter flower.
- Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies - I know cookies for Santa are modern, but it's also not something I'm willing to skip. And the man who brings the presents deserves the best.
- Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies - And if we're gonna make Christmas cookies, we might as well add these to the list.
- Easy Chocolate Fudge - Another family tradition I couldn't bear to omit.
- Lofthouse Cookie Bars - These are the perfect vehicle for Yule color magick.
I hope you enjoy these recipes to celebrate Yule. If you make any of these, I'd love to see them. Share a photo on Instagram and hashtag it #awesomeon20. If you're looking for more ideas on how to celebrate the season check out my 3 Easy Yule Rituals.
I wish you a joyful and abundant feast. May you laugh too loudly, eat too much, be overwhelmed with love, and be grateful for it all. Blessed be.