It’s the holiday season, and holiday food is one of my favorite parts of the holidays. Though I’m not a food blogger (perhaps in my next life), I come from a family of foodies, including a mom who is an amazing cook. I love to cook and bake and try new recipes.

I am also a collector of cookbooks, especially international and vintage cookbooks. I have nearly 100 cookbooks in my collection (after trying unsuccessfully to thin it to one bookcase), and I read them like most people read novels.

So, in honor of the holiday season and because  in our family, many of our traditions revolve around cooking together, I’ve rounded up a baker’s dozen fun and creative cookbooks for you (and me) to enjoy this season.

You can find out more about each cookbook by either clicking on the picture, or on the link.

And if you have a favorite holiday cookbook I should add to my collection, be sure and let me know in the comment section below.

International Creative Cookbooks

I love to try my hand at baking and cooking from different cultures. Trying recipes from the cultures of my family’s history helps me feel connected to them—and it’s just fun.

The NewThe New Irish Table Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland’s Top Chefs 

by Leslie Conron Carola

It’s no secret that I am a fan of all things Irish. According to AncestryDNA, I’m nearly 60% Irish, which isn’t surprising since four of my great-grandparents were born near Waterford, Ireland.

I’ve been to Ireland once and fell in love with the country, the people and the food. So, naturally, I include Irish specialties in my holiday celebrations. This cookbook is a compilation of many well-known Irish chefs and definitely makes my mouth water.


German Christmas CookbookGerman Christmas Cookbook: Recipes for the Holiday Season

by Laura Sommers

I can’t honor one side of my heritage without paying homage to the other. Three of my other four great-grandparents were immigrants from Germany, and my husband has German ancestors as well. In addition, he spent two years in Germany, so German cooking earns a regular spot on our family’s menu.  This holiday cookbook includes 70 different German holiday recipes, which will definitely put you in a traditional Christmas mood.


ScandiKitchen Christmas: Recipes and traditions from Scandinavia 

ScandiKitchen Christmas

by Bronte Aurell

Another entry into the Christmas celebrations of my heritage. My Germans share a Danish heritage, and my husband’s family comes from Denmark, so we incorporate a few delicious Scandinavian traditions into our holidays as well. Their Christmas treats are definitely festive—after all, what else do you do but cook in the land of perpetual winter?



Great British Bake OffGreat British Bake Off: Christmas (The Great British Bake Off) 

by Lizzie Kamenetzky

What foodie doesn’t love the Great British Bake Off? I love this show any time of year, and no matter which side of the pond they’re baking on. This volume contains more than 100 recipes, and not just dessert, with no judges except your dinner guests to comment on your efforts. As the review says, this book is the “perfect Christmas companion.”


Specialty Creative Cookbooks

The holidays aren’t just about cooking for our heritage. At our house, it’s also about cooking for our friends and guests. I’ve had gluten-free friends since long before Celiac was a well-known medical condition, and I like to be sure I have good things for them to eat when we get together to celebrate. I also have an increasing number of vegan friends, and I always hate for my guests to feel second-best. So I’ve found a few creative cookbooks to add to my library that help me honor all of my different friends.


The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook: Entertaining for Absolutely Every Occasion 

The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbookby Isa Chandra Moskowitz

While I am definitely not a vegan (I’m not even vegetarian), I do enjoy a variety of dishes and think we could all benefit from  incorporating more non-meat dishes into our diets. This festive cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a well-known cookbook author, makes vegan easy, appetizing and fun. This cookbook not only covers Christmas, but also holidays and celebrations throughout the year.



Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays: 60 Recipes for Traditional Festive Treats Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays

by Jeanne Sauvage

Gluten-free cooking isn’t known for its tasty treats and baked goods, but I am counting on this cookbook to help me change things.  With 60 different dessert recipes, and tips on how to work with wheat-free ingredients, even novice gluten-free bakers should be able to enjoy the delights of the season. Ms. Sauvage’s cookbook even includes a gingerbread house recipe.



The Instant Pot® Holiday CookbookThe Instant Pot® Holiday Cookbook: 100 Festive Recipes to Celebrate the Season 

by Heather Schlueter

Am I the only cook left on the planet who hasn’t purchased an Instant Pot yet? That may change this Christmas as I’ve added this Instant Pot to my wish list. And of course, buying an Instant Pot means I need a holiday cookbook for it.  This one includes 100 recipes covering everything from appetizers and drinks to main dishes and desserts. Fast and festive. That’s a reason to celebrate!


Creative Holiday Fun

This last group of cookbooks is on my list because I love cookies and treats and holiday parties. These books are full of everything you need for festive food and festive fun.


12 Days of Christmas with Six Sisters’ Stuff12-Days-Christmas-Six-Sisters-Stuff

By Six Sisters’ Stuff

I reviewed this one a couple of years ago, and it’s still just as fun. In keeping with the 12 days theme the Six Sisters give us 12 Family Traditions, 12 Homemade Gifts, 12 Christmas Cookie Recipes, 12 Christmas Decorating Projects, 12 Neighbor Gift Ideas, 12 Ways to Make Christmas a Breeze, 12 Quick and East Dinners for Busy Families, 12 Christmas Party Themes, 12 Days of Christmas for Your True Love, 12 Spectacular Christmas Treats, 12 Days of Giving Back, and 12 Christmas Brunch Recipes.

Fun stuff for every family—and directions clear and simple enough for every member of the family to take part and enjoy.


The Gingerbread BookThe Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations

by Allen D. Bragdon

What’s more holiday than gingerbread houses? This cookbook has more than just Christmas houses; it includes gingerbread creations for Easter, Halloween and other fun projects.  Whether you’re new to gingerbread building, or an expert architect, you’ll find inspiration and instructions to keep you creative for endless holidays here.


The Pioneer Woman CooksThe Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays: 140 Step-by-Step Recipes for Simple, Scrumptious Celebrations 

by Ree Drummond

Ree Drummond is the Food Network’s queen of entertaining. And The Pioneer Woman Cooks gives us a whole year’s worth of holiday entertaining. Menus for breakfasts, lunches and dinners, party planning ideas, decorations and stories to entertain you while you plan.


The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook: 60 Large-Batch Recipes to Bake and Share The Great Christmas Cookie Swap Cookbook

by Susan Westmoreland & Good Housekeeping

Cookie swaps are all the things these days. If you want something more fun and creative than the usual Christmas sugar cookies, try one of the 60 recipes in this book, just the right size for sharing at a cookie swap. Or for sharing with your friends and family.

Each batch makes at least eight dozen cookies with varieties from around the world. But you’ll find no exotic ingredients here. All these recipes are made with readily-available, every day ingredients.

Happy baking!


Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook: For the Best Christmas Ever Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook

by Jamie Oliver

Whether you want your holidays modern or traditional, you’ll find everything in Jamie Oliver’s Christmas cookbook, including timetables and cooking charts to make your holiday entertaining as stress-free as possible.

Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook is packed with all the classics you need for the big day and beyond, as well as loads of delicious recipes for edible gifts, party food, and new ways to love those leftovers.


At Home at Highclere: Entertaining at the Real Downton AbbeyAt Home at Highclere

by The Countess of Carnarvon

Whether you’re a Downton Abbey fan or not, what’s not to love about the beauty and elegance of old English manor houses? If you’re a fan of all things British and royal, you’ll love reading about Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the current chatelaine of Highclere.

She describes in great detail (and with many beautiful photos) how to entertain in English country style, including etiquette, attire, menus and recipes. All of this is accompanied by a trip through the family archives to share four real-life historic parties over the last 75 years.

While it may not be a cookbook, per se, it is a beautiful tribute to the art of entertaining.

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