Christmas Bread

One of those things that I’ve assigned myself as the woman of the house, is taking care of Christmas gifts for everyone. Philip does gifts for me (and does an amazing job every year), and likes to help with Peanut’s gifts if we happen to be out together, but besides that I take care of everyone — his parents, his family, his co-workers, etc. I really like being in charge of this because it makes me feel like a good wife, and plus I really like to give gifts.

For his co-workers, it’s become a yearly tradition to make Christmas bread. It’s simple, it’s pretty, it’s delicious, and everyone likes a good sweet bread (right?). I didn’t really plan on doing it every year, but the first year we were married I made it and his boss ate the entire loaf before he got home. I mentioned it to his wife a week or so later and she had no idea we’d even given them bread! The next year he asked Philip if I was going to make it again, and the tradition was born. (also, I don’t think he saved any for his wife on year two!).

This year Philip is in a smaller office, so I only made three loaves. Much easier and faster than my usual seven or eight.

The bread is actually a coffee cake recipe from Betty Crocker’s cookbook, but it makes a fantastic bread, and a loaf is a little bit less weird than giving your co-workers a coffee cake, no?

So go make some and if you plan to give it away, at least make one extra loaf so you don’t miss out on the deliciousness.

Christmas Bread (makes 2 loafs)

1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
3 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups sour cream

Brown Sugar Filling

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (optional; I’ve never put them in)
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon

1.  Heat oven to 350.  Grease bottom and sides of 2 loaf pans.
2.  Prepare brown sugar filling and set aside.
3.  Beat together sugar, butter, vanilla & eggs in large bowl with
electric mixer on medium for 2 minutes.  Mix flour, baking powder,
baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately
into sugar mixture on low speed until blended.
4.  Spread 1/4 of the batter (about 1-1/2 cups) into each pan, then sprinkle  each with one fourth of the filling; repeat once.
5.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center
comes out clean.  Cool slightly; remove from pans and place top side up
on wire rack.  Cool 10 minutes.  Serve warm
or cool (but it’s best warm!)

  • My mom does this, and it's a great tradition. I don't do it myself, yet (not a wife 😉 but I do often bake stuff for friends, for occassions that deserve to be celebrated but don't really need a full-on gift. Plus everyone loves something homemade!

  • I'm with you, wrench that whole "buying and making the gifts for everyone" out of your husband's hands! 🙂 It's because I enjoy it so much! What beautiful bread! I will have to try this recipe. With that much butter and sour cream and sugar, I can't go wrong. . .

  • I've been trying to decide what treat to make for friends and neighbors this year (cookies are always good, but I'm feeling a little cookied out at the moment…how is that possible?), and this bread may have just won. Thanks for the recipe!