The holidays can be a stressful and chaotic time, keep your holiday season easy and sweet by following these useful baking tips.

The holiday season is all about treats, sweets and spending time with those closest to you! Here are four tips to ensure you master the art of baking this holiday season.

Check Your Pantry

Once you have determined what delicious baked goods you’ll be making this holiday season, you will need to take an inventory of all the ingredients you have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Obviously, you will want to ensure you have the essentials, including eggs, butter, flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. But you may also want to think about the not so obvious items such as chocolate chips, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, sprinkles and an assortment of nuts. Once your baking essentials are organized, make a grand list with all the items you need from the supermarket.

Wrap Em’ Up

If you’re planning on gifting homemade baked goods to family, friends, and coworkers, wrap each gift up in festive packaging. Not only is gifting baked goods a creative and inexpensive way to spread the holiday cheer, but it also allows you to add your own little personal touch to each homemade gift.

Get Your Family Involved

Baking should be fun and it should never feel like a chore. Many families partake in holiday season baking traditions, which allows for the entire family to work together creating yummy cakes, pies, and cookies. It’s the perfect way to bond! If you’re looking for a simple way to include your children in the baking process, purchase a DIY cake kit . You can create a fun and delicious cake, while keeping the stress and holiday chaos down to a minimum. Having your children help out also serves as a learning experience for them. Even if they are too young to actually assist in the kitchen, they can lend a hand by creating greeting cards or Christmas ornaments. There are also many seasonal craft activities for kids, beyond the kitchen, that can get them in the holiday spirit and out of your hair while you’re baking.

get your family involved

Low Prep Time, Please

If you have a lot of free time, there is no reason not to attempt a few complicated and more complex holiday baking recipes. However typically the holiday season means a lot of running around and many of us don’t have several hours to spend baking. To save time and avoid getting flustered, look for holiday baking recipes that are simple to follow, require only a few ingredients and steps and allow you to do the prepping ahead of time. There are several cake and pie recipes that take less than two hours and even more holiday cookie recipes that take an hour or less. The same goes for birthday cakes. You needn’t spend hours upon hours baking a birthday cake when you can make a perfectly delectable and beautiful cake in half the time.

With a little strategizing and commitment, you can get the task of holiday baking done.