In my picture book, Wintercake, Thomas and Lucy bake a cake and carry it, despite obstacles and difficulties and great distances, to thank the stranger who found and returned Thomas’s basket of dried-up fruits.

The three creatures share the cake, and stories, and become good friends.

But we don’t have to travel great distances to share baked treats and stories. We can take cakes and cookies to our friends and loved ones and neighbors. Some of them might invite us in for conversations. If no one is at home, we can leave our gifts hanging from the door knob with a note: Happy Winter’s Eve! It’s a little bit like the tradition of delivering paper May baskets with flowers. Only it’s wintry.

Here are some ways to do it:

The baked treat can certainly be a Wintercake. (The recipe is on the back of the book under the paper dust jacket.)

But it could also be snowflake cookies:

Or it could be round cookies, with bits of dried-up fruit (apricots! cranberries!) stirred into the dough, and white icing “like snow on a lumpy hillside.” I found some tiny bottle-brush trees at the craft store to set in the middle of some of them. Not necessary, but fun.

I also decorated some small twigs with icing and sugar:

Snowball cookies would also be a good idea. (I haven’t made some yet, so no pic)


I wanted to find a way to deliver my treats that wasn’t plastic-y. I found some choices at my local food-service-product distributor, including:

  • Chinese take-out containers
  • Recyclable/compostable cardboard soup bowls
  • Cardboard take-out soup bowls, with lids


For the soup containers, just punch holes in opposite sides and thread a pipe cleaner or ribbon or string through the holes. Voila!

If you like, cut out a paper snowflake and attach that, too.

Be sure to sign your Happy Winter note, so they know it’s from a friend.