The One Christmas Treat Paul Hollywood Can't Wait To Make Every Year - Exclusive

When it comes to the holiday season, everyone has their own traditions. For some, it's decorating sugar cookies. For others, it's making huge batches of tamales. For the brave few, it's baking a fruitcake and gradually soaking it with alcohol over the course of a few weeks.

Even Paul Hollywood has his own traditions, which include making a few Christmas treats each year to make the holiday feel special. While known for his baking and immaculate technique, one of Hollywood's favorite traditions includes a dessert that's controversial for many: fruitcake. While he has no problem baking the cake, sometimes a busy schedule gets in the way of making the best fruitcake he can. "Sometimes I've started my fruitcake too late, and I don't [get] a chance to feed it with alcohol, so you don't get that real depth of flavor," Hollywood said. "Sometimes I'll overfeed, and then people have a load of alcohol in a cake."

Even more than fruitcake, there's one treat that Hollywood looks forward to making every holiday season. In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, he revealed his must-bake Christmas dessert.

Paul Hollywood's favorite Christmas pie

Paul Hollywood loves making a wintery treat that packs just as much dried fruit as any fruitcake: mince pies. These little cups of shortcrust pastry filled with mincemeat – which, despite its name, is primarily made with fruit — are classic Christmas desserts in Britain. While Tasting Table's mince pie recipe uses packaged dough and jarred mincemeat, Hollywood's version doesn't use shortcuts.

According to Hollywood, his mince pies, "are basically mincemeat, but it's got mandarin in there. It's got apple in there. I put a little bit of cognac in there." Along with these additions, he has a special way to serve mince pies as he puts a little leaf on top. "When they come out of the oven, they're still beautifully warm," Hollywood said. "Then, I pour some cream over it and have that."

The "Bake Off" judge's other favorite treat during the holidays is Christmas pudding, which isn't pudding by the American definition. Instead, it's more like a dense, steamed fruitcake. Again, he has a very specific way he likes to eat his pudding. "I always have custard with mine because I'm from the north of England, from Liverpool."

You can watch Paul Hollywood in "The Great American Baking Show: Celebrity Holiday Special" now on The Roku Channel.