So the first year my husband and I were married, my sister-in-law Stephanie gave us a little box of homemade Christmas candy and I loved it. I also realized that I was suddenly in the realm of Christmas treat-giving. How grown-up.

Anyway, inspired by Stephanie (who makes awesome toffee, by the way. And check out her cakes), the next year I decided to make Christmas treats for our friends and family. In fact, I think Stephanie and I made them together while our husbands bought toilet paper together at Costco. No joke. However, as I was packaging the treats up, I realized that I was a few treats short and I really didn’t want another toffee fiasco (don’t ask). So I made this instead, modifying it from 2 large loaves to 5 mini loaves. It quickly became a family favorite and a staple in Christmas treat-giving.

Funny story, and then we’ll get cooking. A few years ago, I made a bunch of these for some people who helped me with a project. After I baked them, they just didn’t seem quite right, but I still delivered them. And never heard the usual “oohs” and “aaahs” that I get from this bread. So I took a bite and something was seriously wrong. And then I remembered that I forgot the oil. So don’t forget the oil, but if you do, don’t feel stupid because I did, too… :)

Almond Poppyseed Bread

3 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/8 c. canola oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
2 tsp. poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
1 1/2 tsp. almond flavoring


3/4 c. white granulated sugar
1/4 c. orange juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, oil, sugar, and flavorings and beat for 2 minutes. Alternate adding in flour mixture and milk and then mix until just combined. Add poppyseeds and mix until just combined. Pour into prepared pans (5 mini pans or 2 regular loaf pans) and bake (35-40 minutes for mini pans, 1 hour for large pans; keep an eye on them). When done, place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes

and then remove from pans and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. While cooling, prepare glaze by combining all glaze ingredients. Drizzle over loaves and allow to harden.

I like to place these in cellophane goody bags (found in the cake decorating section of Walmart or a craft store like Michael’s) and tie with a ribbon

If possible, try not to package these in cellophane until ready to deliver because after awhile, the moisture will condense in the bag and the glorious sugary crust on the bread will liquify and soak into the bread. Which, don’t get me wrong, tastes great, but the slightly-crispy texture on top of the soft bread may just be the best part.


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