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Cathryn’s new cookbook a special treat just in time for Christmas

The Salvation Army’s best-loved baker, Major Cathryn Williamson, in the kitchen making gingerbread from her newest cookbook, Special Occasion Treats.


If you’re doing any baking this festive season, you might like to consider throwing Major Cathryn Williamson’s new cookbook into the mix.

One of The Salvation Army’s best-known bakers, Cathryn has released a new cookbook – Special Occasion Treats.

This book is the fourth in her successful ‘2 Thumbs Up’ series, the first three being Brilliant Biscuits, Sensational Slices and Cakes Loaves and Muffins.

Proceeds from Special Occasion Treats will go towards The Salvation Army’s ‘Making it Happen’ women’s ministry fundraising appeal, as well as the work of The Salvation Army with Ukrainian children.

Cathryn, the Corps Officer at Grafton/Maclean in northern NSW with her husband Mark, said putting together this newest edition had taken her longer than the other three books combined.

“There was COVID, and a bit of a lack of motivation,” she admitted, explaining that other factors like illness in the family and her need to have foot surgery also meant an extended break out of the kitchen.

But now that the book has finally been released, Cathryn says she can’t rule out doing another; however, the next edition may be aimed at a younger audience.

“The next one might be a kids’ cooking book to go along with the Kids in the Kitchen program. And it will have little Bible devotionals along with the recipes,” she said.

Christmas Nougat is one of the many simple recipes in Major Cathryn Williamson’s new cookbook, Special Occasion Treats.

Cathryn developed the Kids in the Kitchen program in 2017 when she was the corps officer at Cowra (NSW). It is now a program many corps across the territory use in their children’s ministry and outreach to local communities.

Cathryn said it was a family affair making Special Occasion Treats. Her mother contributed the Hot Cross Buns recipe (“because I’m not mucking around with yeast!” laughed Cathryn), and her father designed and printed the book.

The book contains detailed recipes and some quick, easy treats – like the Christmas Nougat in which you simply melt white chocolate melts in the microwave, add marshmallows and then stir through nuts and cranberries.

The cover and contents page of the new cookbook.

“Probably the most involved is the Burger Cupcake – it looks like a burger,” said Cathryn. “The Portuguese Egg Tarts were difficult. I tried so many different variations to get one that would work. We have had Portuguese tarts in Macau, so we were very picky in wanting to get it right.”

Copies are $10. To order, email Cathryn at:


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