Gorgeous festive bakes to fill your home with the smell of Christmas

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From mince pies to gingerbread houses and from chocolate yule logs to Christmas pudding, baking has long been a key part of the festive celebrations for many households.

With the aroma of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger combined with that classic freshly-baked, just-out-of-the-oven fragrance of home baking, the smell of festive bakes is incredibly powerful. It reminds us of Christmases past, makes our mouths water and tempts us to make batch after batch of sweet bakes.

Sadly, there are only so many mince pies one can eat in December before starting to feel a little sluggish, but this doesn't mean that your home can't smell beautifully festive at all times.

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The Winter Spice Candle in a Tin from our 2017 Celebration Collection is inspired by the scent of mulled wine and Christmas bakes, with warm spicy notes combined with a zesty hit of orange. Imagine a perfectly baked Christmas cake fresh out of the oven and that's the Winter Spice fragrance.

Light it when you simply can't eat another mince pie, light it in February when you're missing the festive cheer, or light it while you're doing your Christmas baking to really enhance the fragrance of your efforts as they come out of the oven.

So, what should you make?

Homemade mince pies

For us, turkey isn't the true taste of Christmas - it's mincemeat encased in sweet pastry topped with lashings of rum or brandy butter. Mmmm.

Paul Hollywood's recipe for mince pies, which you can find on the BBC Good Food website, is particularly good, combining sweet shortcrust pastry with aromatic homemade mincemeat, packed with chopped apples, lemons and satsumas.

If you're not especially confident about making your own pastry, you could buy it ready-made and roll it out at home. Fill your cases with the homemade mincemeat and use a star-shaped cookie cutter to make festive lids for your pies.

The smell of festive bakes is incredibly powerful

Classic Christmas cake

Mary Berry is one of the country's biggest authorities on cake, so it's her we're turning to for a traditional Christmas cake recipe, which can be found on the BBC Food website.

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It's laden with all things festive and decadent, including black treacle, sultanas, glace cherries, brandy (or sherry, it's up to you), orange zest and mixed spice.

Although you don't need it, as the cake will smell good enough by itself, lighting our Winter Spice Candle while you're baking will truly fill your home with the gorgeous scent of Christmas cake.

A chocolate yule log

A chocolate yule log is essentially a chocolate swiss roll topped with chocolate buttercream or ganache and some festive decorations - the snow-like effect of sprinkled icing sugar never stops being magical.

The original domestic goddess Nigella Lawson has an easy-to-follow yule log recipe on her website, which is incredibly decadent.

We think that our Vanilla Custard Candle in a Can is the perfect accompaniment to light while you're working on this bake, as its sweet scent paired alongside the rich aroma of the cooking chocolate will combine to fill your house with a fragrance that's absolutely divine.

Love the idea of pairing scented candles with your food? Browse our full range of mouth-watering Candles in a Can here