Saturday, November 26, 2022

Weekend Cooking/Blog Tour: The Great Christmas Cook Off by Helen Buckley

I am a big Bake Off fan whether it be Great British Bake Off, Great Australian Bake Off, Great Kenyan/Kiwi/Canada/Professionals or any other variation. So when I was offered a blog tour for a book set during a bake off like competition at Christmas it was a no-brainer for me.

When "Queen of Chocolate" Beatrice Wodehouse is invited to participate in The Great Christmas Cook Off alongside other well known bakers she knows that it will be great for her public profile. Whilst she had a wealthy (but unhappy) upbringing, she has built her successful business and online profile by herself. 

One of the other participants in the competition is Beatrice's social media nemesis Charlie Simmonds. The two are known for their clashes which all stem from their fundamental differences in their opinions about baking. Beatrice is all about the decadence of chocolate, sugar and butter, whereas Charlie is determined to show the world that you can have healthy bakes that taste amazing! Charlie has his own reasons as to why he is so passionate about healthy eating and lifestyle choices.

The Cook Off is being filmed at a luxury hotel owned by one of the judges, so Beatrice and Charlie, along with the other four contestants and judges have to spend a lot of time together, both during and outside of filming.

When there is an unfortunate incident occurs on the first day of filming, no one thinks too much of it. Accidents happen, especially when you are under the pressure of being filmed and competing against other talented bakers. However, as more incidents occur, it appears that there might be a saboteur in the group. Could Charlie be sabotaging Beatrice in the ultimate quest to win, or maybe it's the other way around?

Over the course of the week, the bakers are asked to make their own version of Christmas classics, ranging from mince pies to trifle and Christmas pudding. Most of the dishes sound absolutely delicious, although to be fair I definitely sit on Beatrice's side of the argument. For example, when Charlie makes his Christmas Pudding it features sweet potato as one of the ingredients and I couldn't quite figure out how they would taste. 

As the week of filming progresses, Charlie and Beatrice begin to realise that maybe their enmity is actually hiding something different, especially once they begin to understand each other's past and motivations

This was such a fun read with lots of delicious sounding Christmas food. I was, however, surprised that there were no recipes included.  I think that maybe this was explained by the author note where the author admits that she isn't a baker herself although she is more than happy to eat great baking. I was also a bit surprised to see that this is part of a series, but this is definitely standalone. All the books in the series take a reality TV format and use it as the frame for the story.

This was a lot of fun! And good to help get into a Christmassy mood!

Rating 4/5

Thanks to Netflix  and  Rachel's  Random Resources for the review copy of this  book.

About the Book

The Great Christmas Cook Off

It’s the festive showdown to end all festive showdowns …
“Queen of Chocolate” Beatrice Wodehouse, known for her decadent desserts, is ready to go head to head with her social media nemesis, clean lean baking machine Charlie Simmonds, in the Great Christmas Cook Off TV show.
Beatrice is fed up of Charlie’s sanctimonious attitude and is ready to show him that food is there to be enjoyed. Surely she’ll blow his keto, low sugar, low-carb mince pies out of the water with her chocolatey creations?
Except filming for the Cook Off turns out to be anything but sugar, spice and all things nice when the contestants realise there’s a festive saboteur in their midst – leading to melted ice cream, trifle mishaps and private stories leaked to the press.
As the countdown to the final commences, suspicions run high and sparks are bound to fly – and not just from the flaming Christmas puddings!
Part of the Spotlight series but it can be read as a standalone story.

Purchase Links

UK -

US -

About the Author

Ever since I was little I wanted to be a writer, to turn daydreams into books. I'm fascinated by fame, in love with Happy Ever Afters, and enthralled by slow-burn romances. I squeeze in time to write around looking after my two sons. Find out more about me on my website

Social Media Links –




Weekly meals

Saturday - Out for dinner
Sunday -  Pressure cooker spaghetti bolognaise
Monday - 
Tuesday - Beef Stroganoff
Wednesday - Chicken Kiev, mash and beans
Thursday - Chicken Enchiladas
Friday -Out for dinner

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page


  1. Although it does sound like a fun story, I too would have liked some recipes. I'm cheering for the healthy holiday food! Thanks for hosting Weekend Cooking. I enjoy it.



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