By Danielle Moore // SWNS


While in-person holiday dinners with extended family might not be on the menu this holiday, famous family recipes still are.

In fact, three out of five (60%) Americans are certain their family would “throw a fit” if one particular dish wasn’t present at a holiday gathering. 

According to a recent survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, 75% of families typically indulge in a combination of old and new recipes during this time of year, with an emphasis on traditional favorites — only 6% enjoy a “completely different” holiday feast each time they get together. 

As 2020 comes to an end, however, even households whose menus are typically set in stone will have to adapt. 

Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed plan on breaking tradition in “one or more ways” this year, and 53% will specifically be trying something new in the kitchen. 

The poll, which was conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill , also discovered that 68% of respondents look forward to a specific food brought by someone else in the family. 

Oft-cited favorites included pies (especially pumpkin, apple and pecan), cheesecake and chocolate desserts, most commonly made by mothers or grandmothers. 

While 53% say the person who usually makes their favorite dish won’t be attending this year’s festivities, 67% say they still expect the dish itself to make an appearance. 

Forty-seven percent also said that they already expect to take on a traditional family recipe by themselves for the very first time. 

As anyone who’s tried to decipher handwriting on a decades-old recipe card can attest, trying to match exactly what another family member does in the kitchen can be a difficult task. 

“You don’t have to be a diehard fan of reality cooking shows to know that a ‘good bake’ depends on lots of factors beyond skill level,” said Sarena Shasteen, Culinary Content Specialist at Bob’s Red Mill. “Even if you follow the recipe exactly, your dish can be affected by the oven you use, the ingredients you buy and even the climate you live in, which might be why family recipes can be so tough to recreate.”

Almost two out of five (44%) of respondents have already tried their hand at a traditional dish before — only to find that it didn’t look right (28%), didn’t taste right (28%) or didn’t have the right texture (26%) once they were done. 

But given that half of those surveyed (49%) will only be spending the holidays with their immediate family this year, they’ll have to adjust to some variation in their favorite desserts. 

Thirty-five percent of respondents plan to make their own pumpkin pies this year, compared to 22% who said they made them last year. 

Expect peanut butter to make a slightly larger impression, too; 26% of respondents will bake peanut butter cookies for 2020, compared to 20% who did so in 2019. 

Surprisingly, the most popular treat that respondents plan on baking — and the one that’s most often left out for Santa Claus — is one that’s usually available all year round. 

“It’s hard to beat the classic chocolate chip cookie,” Shasteen added. “They might not have the traditional spices and flavors we associate with winter, but they’re easy for the whole family to bake together with just a few high-quality ingredients.” 

The familiarity of the chocolate chip cookie may also keep it safe from scavengers — only 25% admitted that they’ve stolen a treat or two from the stash reserved for Jolly ol’ Saint Nick. 

“I told my daughters that I was taste testing for Santa,” admitted one respondent who was once caught in the act. “Boy, they got mad at me.” 


  1. Chocolate Chip (40%) 
  2. Peanut Butter (26%) 
  3. Sugar (25%) 
  4. Gingerbread (21%) 
  5. Snickerdoodles (20%) 
  6. Oatmeal Raisin (20%) 
  7. Shortbread (20%) 
  8. Kiss Cookies (19%) 
  9. Snowball (17%) 
  10. Thumbprint (16%) 


  1. Pumpkin Pie (35%) 
  2. Apple Pie (25%) 
  3. Sweet Potato (18%)
  4. Cherry (17%) 
  5. Pecan (17%) 
  6. Cream (17%) 
  7. Strawberry (16%) 
  8. Blueberry (14%) 
  9. Key Lime (13%) 
  10. Blackberry (12%)

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