Holy Spirit Province Saint-Esprit
Franciscans of CanadaFranciscains du Canada

Ordo Fratrum Minorum

Christmas Baking with the Archives

Christmas Baking with the Archives


Some may have started their Christmas baking already, even if this year’s Christmas celebrations are drastically different than previous years. Whether baking gives you comfort and peace, a sense of fun and excitement, or inexpressible stress, we would like to venture in the kitchen with you with these following recipes!

In 1967, the Sisters of St. Elizabeth put together a cookbook containing recipes for many of the favourite dishes they served at Mount St. Francis for the retreatants and Franciscan community there. The cookbook contained cartoons by Calgary cartoonist Tom Innes with sketches and doodles by Will Magee. Recipes included hors d’oeuvres, soups and salads, pickles, meat and vegetable dishes, casseroles, desserts, and cakes and cookies.

Among these recipes are a few Christmas cakes! If anyone happens to bake these, we would be thrilled to see some pictures.

May you experience peace and joy this Christmas more than ever before. With love from the archives and best wishes for all your baking endeavors!


2 cups butter
2 cups brown sugar
5 eggs
½ cup sour cream
2 cups raisins
1 cup almonds
2 cups currants
2 cups dates

1 cup glazed cherries
1 cup citron peel
3 cups flour
½ tsp. soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ cup fruit juice

Bake 1 ½ hours in slow oven.


1 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
3 ½ cups flour
½ cup corn starch
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup grapefruit juice
8 egg whites, beaten stiff

2 cups raisins
1 cup cut peel
2 cups cherries
2 cups coconut
2 cups walnuts
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. almond extract

Cream butter and sugar. Add dry ingredients, and juice. Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 275° in preheated oven for 2 ½ to 3 hours.


Franciscans of Canada Archives