Cooking during the holidays doesn’t have to be a disaster.

Sugah Cakes is one of Spartanburg’s favorite bakeries, and co-owner Melissa Bearden offers tips for holiday dinner success by sharing baking advice and her family’s favorite dishes.

Fool-proof flavor combos: Bearden noted some flavor combinations work well together.

“Cinnamon and nutmeg, chocolate and mint, chocolate and coffee and raspberries or cranberries with white chocolate,” always work, she said.

Use fresh ingredients: The fact that fresh is better may seem obvious, but Bearden offered a unique example.

“If your baking powder has expired, it simply won’t rise,” she said.

Be patient: “Take your time,” Bearden advised. “You don’t need to rush when you are baking. That’s when you make mistakes.”

Watch the details: Measure precisely and double-check because not all dishes cook at the same temperature.

Crowd-pleasing dishes: “Some of our holiday favorites are oven-roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, iced sugar cookies, pumpkin muffins and peppermint ice cream,” Bearden shared.

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