Canada is a country that can’t be defined by any one way of life. We’re a country based on multiculturalism, and you can easily see that whether you’re on the East Coast in Prince Edward Island and Quebec, steadfastly in the middle of central Canada, or on the West Coast and way up North. 

But Canada is also a country based on tradition, and that’s something you can really see during the Holidays. In fact, research statistics published by the Toronto Star during the last Holiday season showed that over ¾ of Canadians who were planning on celebrating Christmas were also planning on roasting the traditional Christmas turkey and decorating their houses in a traditional way to celebrate the season.  

For the past month I’ve been writing about different dishes from across Canada and Martin guest-posted on his own family traditional dishes. Today I’m going to talk about the traditional Canadian Christmas, including one treat you’ve probably never thought about making for yourself.

Candy Canes


If you’ve never even considered making your own candy canes, don’t feel bad. It’s not really at the top of the list as far as Holiday treats are concerned. But did you know that candy canes are one of the most popular decorations Canadians add to their Christmas trees?

A couple of years ago I watched Candy Canes being made in the kitchens at Disneyland, and I was convinced to try them out myself.

Try this recipe and make them yourself this Holiday season. You might find them so good they don’t even make it to the tree.


3 cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Peppermint flavoring
1/2 cup Water
3/4 cup Lt. corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon Red vegetable coloring
1/4 teaspoon Cream of tartar


Combine the sugar, water, syrup, and cream of tartar and heat until the sugar is dissolved very fine.

Divide into two saucepans, boil, but don’t stir until each lot is 280 F. You can use a candy thermometer like the Norpro Candy Thermometer to make sure you are at the exact temperature.

Add 1/2 tsp peppermint to each lot and add the coloring to one. Place on an enamel or marble countertop to cool. (First oiling the table, as a general rule).

Like taffy you stretch and pull and form into ropes of red and white, now twist them around again and again. And form them into your cane.

On an oiled surface, allow them to harden.

Buche de Noel or Yule Log


I make a Yule Log every single year, and it’s one of the favourites in our house. I use a recipe my Grandma has used for decades and that I’ve memorized, but this is a close match.















2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 eggs

3/4 cup white sugar

2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened


2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur

2 tablespoons white sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

confectioners’ sugar for dusting

4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet baking


1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese,


3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon coffee flavored liqueur



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly spray a 10×15 inch jellyroll pan and line with parchment paper. Sift flour with baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs on high for several minutes until they are very pale and fluffy. Gradually add in the sugar, beating 1 to 2 minutes more or until very thick. Gently, but thoroughly, fold in the flour mixture.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs on high for several minutes until they are very pale and fluffy. Gradually add in the sugar, beating 1 to 2 minutes more or until very thick. Gently, but thoroughly, fold in the flour mixture.

Pour batter into prepared 10×15 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Lightly sift an even layer of confectioners sugar over a cloth napkin or tea towel (do not use Terry-cloth). Flip the cake out of its pan onto the prepared cloth as soon as it comes from the oven. Carefully peel away parchment paper. Lightly dust top of cake with confectioners’ sugar, then trim away crisp edges. Starting with one of the short sides of the cake, immediately roll the cake up in the cloth, jellyroll style, and cool thoroughly on a rack.

For the Filling and Frosting: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate.

Remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with the confectioners sugar until smooth, and then blend in the vanilla extract and coffee liqueur. Blend in the melted chocolate. Unroll the cake and spread about 1/3 of the filling evenly over the surface. Roll the cake back up.

Arrange cake roll on serving tray, then frost generously, swiping with an icing spatula to form the long ‘bark line’ design. Swipe ends of cake in a circular motion to simulate the tree-rings of a cut log. Decorate log as desired with holly leaves and berries, mushrooms and snow made from confectioners’ sugar.

Canadian Christmas pudding


If you haven’t tried a traditional Christmas pudding, you’re really missing out. This recipe comes from, and is one that the contributor’s family has been using for over 70 years in Canada.


  • 3 cups (750 mL) fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 cups (500 mL) shredded suet, (or 2/3 cup/150 mL butter, softened)
  • 1-1/3 cups (325 mL) dark raisins
  • 1-1/3 cups (325 mL) light raisins
  • 1-1/3 cups (325 mL) currants
  • 1 cup (250 mL) mixed candied peel
  • 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped almonds
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lemon rind
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) dark rum
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour

Hard Sauce

  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (250 mL) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) dark rum


In large bowl, combine bread crumbs, suet, raisins, currants, candied peel, sugar, milk, almonds, eggs, lemon rind and juice, 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the rum, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Stir in flour and remaining rum; scrape into 2 greased 6-cup (1.5 L) pudding molds or bowls, smoothing tops. Place circle of waxed paper directly on surface of each. Cover with lids. (Or make 1-inch/2.5 cm pleat across middle of large piece of foil and fit over top, pressing down side. Trim edge, leaving 3-inch/8 cm overhang; press down side. Tie string securely around mold about 1 inch/2.5 cm from rim; fold foil overhang up over string.)

Place molds on rack in deep pot; pour enough boiling water into pot to come halfway up side of molds. Cover and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, adding boiling water as necessary to maintain level, until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean, about 5 hours.

Remove molds from pot and let cool slightly. Run knife around edge of pudding to loosen; turn out onto warmed platters.

Hard Sauce: Beat butter with icing sugar until fluffy. Beat in 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the rum; set aside. In small saucepan, warm remaining rum over medium heat; drizzle over hot puddings and light with long match, jiggling platters to keep flame lit. When flame dies, serve with hard sauce.

Put a few of these treats together with your traditional Holiday turkey, stuffing, and cranberries and you’ll have all the makings of a classic Canadian Christmas.

What are some of your Holiday traditions?

By Shelly Wutke, Editor Appliances and Home & Lifestyle

A freelance writer for 5 years, Shelly loves to write about anything techy, especially tablet computers and all of the apps that come along with them. She writes a tech blog for The Vancouver Province digital edition and has copy in various print and online magazines. For fun, she writes and publishes Survive Parenthood Magazine, an online magazine that focuses on relevant news and Mom Tech. 

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Shelly Wutke
Editor TV & Home Theatre
I'm a Vancouver freelancer and tech enthusiast. When I'm not writing you'll find me on my farm with my alpacas, chickens, and honeybees. Visit my website Survivemag