Best Holiday Baking Recipes

Let Food Network make your holiday more festive with fun holiday baking recipe ideas from our expert chefs.
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Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

The holidays wouldn't be complete without old fashioned sugar cookies cut in festive shapes and decked out with colorful sugar or sprinkles.

Get the Recipe: Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Gingerbread House

Once you build your gingerbread house, decorate it with whatever colorful candies you like, "glueing" them on with icing.

Get the Recipe: Gingerbread House

Chocolate Fudge

Homemade fudge makes the perfect holiday gift. Pack it in a decorative tin; it will stay fresh for a week.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Fudge

Apple Crumble with Cardamom-Vanilla Caramel Sauce

Melissa's apple crumble is just the thing for holiday entertaining: It is easy to make, uses seasonal ingredients and can feed a crowd. Moisten up the crunchy oat topping by drizzling on some of the cardamom-vanilla caramel sauce when the crumble is hot out of the oven.

Get the Recipe: Apple Crumble with Cardamom-Vanilla Caramel Sauce

Jelly-Glazed Doughnut Cookies

These Hanukkah-inspired, doughnut-shaped cookies are subtly sweet, thanks to the jelly-and-lemon-juice glaze. They'll go perfectly with tea or coffee.

Get the Recipe: Jelly-Glazed Doughnut Cookies

Cinnamon Chocolate Fudge

Giada De Laurentiis loves the combination of cinnamon and chocolate. She uses baking staples to make this easy, inexpensive fudge gourmet.

Get the Recipe: Cinnamon-Chocolate Fudge

Fabulous Red Velvet Cake

The name says it all: This cake is fabulous. Two layers of moist red velvet cake topped and filled with fluffy vanilla frosting — this is one cake your family will request again and again.

Get the Recipe: Fabulous Red Velvet Cake

Eggnog-Panettone Bread Pudding

Rachael soaks cubes of panettone, the sweet Italian Christmas bread, in an eggnog-based custard, then bakes it up in muffin tins.

Get the Recipe: Eggnog-Panettone Bread Pudding

Fleur de Sel Caramels

Make salty-sweet caramels at home with The Barefoot Contessa's step-by-step.

Get the Recipe: Fleur de Sel Caramels

Creme Brulee

This classic dessert is sure to be a showstopper at your holiday dinner — make the custard ahead of time and brulee the sugar topping with a culinary torch at the table. It will make for a special presentation, plus the sugar won't get soggy.

Get the Recipe: Creme Brulee

Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing

Sandra's secret for making shortcut gingerbread cookies: use store-bought sugar cookie mix and flavor it with pumpkin pie spice, ginger and molasses.

Get the Recipe: Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing

Classic Apple Tart

For the holidays, Melissa likes to prepare a French-style apple tart instead of an apple pie, as a wedge of the tart is neater and more elegant for a festive meal. Take a few extra minutes to fan out the apples — it'll make your dessert look like it came from a bakery!

Get the Recipe: Classic Apple Tart

Peanut Brittle

Trisha says it's the baking soda that makes this peanut brittle so light and crunchy. Act quickly because once you add the baking soda, it's time to pour the mixture on the sheets to harden.

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramelized Mango Buttercream

Leave it to an Iron Chef to dream up this unusual flavor combo. Bobby's creative cupcakes are loaded with flavor: The cool mango frosting is refreshingly light and perfectly complements the warm gingerbread.

Get the Recipe: Gingerbread Cupcakes With Caramelized Mango Buttercream

Chocolate-Coconut Macaroons

Grace your holiday dessert spread with these elegant coconut macaroons. Unsweetened coconut flakes provide their signature texture, and a drizzle of melted semisweet chocolate adds a festive touch.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Coconut Macaroons

Chocolate Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread

Simple shortbread is made gift-worthy by giving it a quick dip into melted chocolate.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Dipped Hazelnut Shortbread

Hazelnut Crunch: Noci Croccante

Give hazelnut brittle as a gift for friends and family.

Get the Recipe: Hazelnut Crunch: Noci Croccante

Holiday Biscotti

Giada De Laurentiis loves the color of these cookies that are great for the holidays or any time of year.

Get the Recipe: Holiday Biscotti

Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls

Giada gives classic cinnamon rolls an Italian twist by incorporating hazelnuts into the cinnamon-brown sugar filling and mascarpone cheese into the powdered sugar icing.

Get the Recipe: Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls

Ron's Baked Alaska

Layer your three favorite ice creams over cake and top with generous amounts of Swiss meringue. Broil immediately before serving for a showstopping dessert that's warm on the outside and cool on the inside.

Get the Recipe: Ron's Baked Alaska

Chocolate Drop Cookies with Caramelized White Chocolate Filling

Alex sandwiches her brownie-like cookies with a caramelized white chocolate filling, which adds richness and a "toasted" flavor that pairs well with the chocolate.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Drop Cookies with Caramelized White Chocolate Filling

Creme Brulee

This classic custard is simply flavored with vanilla and Grand Marnier. Ina lets her friends put on the finishing touch by caramelizing their own sugar topping with a kitchen blowtorch.

Get the Recipe: Creme Brulee

Almond and Lemon Biscotti Dipped in White Chocolate

Chopped almonds speckle the inside of Giada's biscotti and enhance the zest of the citrus and nutty white chocolate coating.

Get the Recipe: Almond and Lemon Biscotti Dipped in White Chocolate

Brown Butter Fig Tartlets

These sophisticated tartlets are filled with fig jam.

Get the Recipe: Brown Butter Fig Tartlets

Gingerbread and Lemon Curd Trifle with Blackberry Sauce

Bobby's trifle will happily feed any crowd during the holidays. The gingerbread cake adds holiday warmth, which complements the fruity lemon and blackberry flavors.

Get the Recipe: Gingerbread and Lemon Curd Trifle with Blackberry Sauce

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pattie Cake

Refreshing peppermint adds an extra dimension to this rich, fudge-like cake. Serve with whipped cream, cocoa fudge sauce and a drizzle of mint syrup.

Get the Recipe: Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pattie Cake

Croquembouche

Follow our step-by-step how-to and make this delightful holiday show-stopper.

Get the Recipe: Croquembouche

Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Giada's take on chocolate chip cookies includes oats, English toffee candy and toasted hazelnuts. The crunch of the mix-ins adds a contrast to the soft, chewy cookies.

Get the Recipe: Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Apple Dumplings

Trisha uses canned biscuit dough to simplify the preparation of these dumplings. Tart apples are wrapped in the dough and baked with a lemon, sugar and butter sauce until golden brown.

Chocolate Cannoli

Use store-bought cannoli shells for an easy, semi-homemade holiday treat.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Cannoli

Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Candies

Inspired by buckeye candies, these chocolate-hazelnut treats get a light and crunchy texture from finely ground toasted rice cereal.

Get the Recipe: Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Candies

Holiday Sticky Buns

Ina fills store-bought puff pastry with cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins and dried cranberries for a holiday twist on sticky buns that are ready in under an hour.

Get the Recipe: Holiday Sticky Buns

Mint Chocolate Cheesecake

The chefs in the Food Network Kitchens married the richness of cheesecake with the refreshing minty chocolate of grasshopper pie. Serve it in full portions or cut into minis for an elegant finish to a meal.

Get the Recipe: Mint Chocolate Cheesecake

Monster Marshmallow Cookies

These fully-loaded cookies are packed with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, crispy rice cereal and pecans and are topped with even more marshmallows and chocolate chips.

Get the Recipe: Monster Marshmallow Cookies

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge

Two flavors everyone's sure to go crazy for: chocolate and peanut butter, come together in a rich, creamy fudge.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge

Chocolate Fruit Cake

Finally, a fruit cake everyone will love.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Fruit Cake

Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Anne adds tart Granny Smith apples, walnuts and raisins to spice cake with nutmeg and cinnamon, then tops it with a rich cream cheese icing.

Get the Recipe: Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Coconut Roulade with Rum Buttercream

Roll and slice this easy roulade for a crowd-wowing dessert. White rum-spiked frosting is the perfect pair to the fluffy coconut cake and topping.

Get the Recipe: Coconut Roulade With Rum Buttercream

Almond Layer Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

This simply elegant dessert from Food Network Magazine features almond-flavored cake layered with an easy white chocolate-cream cheese frosting.

Get the Recipe: Almond Layer Cake With White Chocolate Frosting

Daddy's Biscuits

Only four ingredients are needed to make Trisha's dad's fluffy biscuits, which can accompany any holiday meal or be enjoyed on their own.

Get the Recipe: Daddy's Biscuits

Banana Coconut Cake

This showstopping cake boasts layers of moist banana bread-like cake, coconut custard, sliced bananas and toasted coconut flakes.

Get the Recipe: Banana Coconut Cake

Chocolate Toffee

This combination of almonds with crunchy toffee and bittersweet chocolate makes a great holiday gift.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Toffee

Apricot Oat Bars

The combination of dried fruit and nuts is popular around the holidays, but it also makes a healthy treat. Giada's fiber-packed Apricot Oat Bars give this classic medley a sweet twist. Every bite is loaded with apricots, walnuts and jam.

Get the Recipe: Apricot Oat Bars

Mini Linzer Cookies

The foundation to Ina's gorgeous linzer cookies is the shortbread, which comes together with the help of flour, sugar and a generous amount of butter. Raspberry preserves sandwiched between two cookies add an elegant touch.

Get the Recipe: Mini Linzer Cookies

Chocolate Truffles

It isn't a holiday celebration without a batch of rich, nut-coated truffles to adorn the table. Alton demystifies the process of making your own from scratch. Boxed up, they make a great personalized gift for the holiday hostess.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Truffles

Hot Chocolate Marble Pound Cake

This swirly pound cake is the perfect place to use leftover hot chocolate mix. Fold in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips if you want a little more chocolate.

Get the Recipe: Hot Chocolate Marble Pound Cake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This creamy cheesecake is packed with pumpkin pie flavor but with a fraction of the fat as the original; it's made with reduced-fat cream cheese and Greek yogurt.

Get the Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake

Almond Snowballs

Rachael's chewy almond-flavored cookies are coated with coconut and topped with a cherry giving these light treats a festive look.

Get the Recipe: Almond Snowballs

Lighter Chocolate Chip Cookies

These crispy cookies will give your full-fat recipe a run for its money. By adding some ground oats to whole wheat pastry flour, cutting the butter and adding some agave nectar, Food Network Kitchens cut the fat and calories without sacrificing flavor.

Get the Recipe: Lighter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Granola-Topped Apple Crisp

Substituting toasted granola for the traditional topping helps scale back on sugar while bringing delicious crunch to spiced apples.

Get the Recipe: Skillet Granola-Apple Crisp

Healthy Carrot Muffins

Grated carrots and crushed pineapple add naturally sweet flavor to these muffins, which are made with a mix of whole-wheat and all-purpose flours. They're perfect for a holiday breakfast or an after-dinner treat.

Get the Recipe: Healthy Carrot Muffins

Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

Food Network Kitchens replaced most of the cream cheese in a traditional cheesecake with one-percent cottage cheese, then added cocoa powder and just a touch of melted chocolate. The end result: a silky rich, deeply chocolatey dessert.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

Kitchen Sink Cookies

Ellie’s cookies have a little bit of everything — except the kitchen sink! Dark chocolate, walnuts, oatmeal, and dried apricots and cherries are all part of the mix, as is whole-wheat pastry flour.

Get the Recipe: Kitchen Sink Cookies

Holiday Meringue Cookies

With a little decoration, these light, airy treats from Food Network Magazine turn into festive holiday desserts. Each meringue is just 32 calories and has no saturated fat.

Get the Recipe: Meringues

Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

Holiday guests who avoid gluten and even those who can eat gluten will love these blueberry-studded muffins for dessert or breakfast.

Get the Recipe: Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins

Buckeyes

Who doesn't love a confection inspired by nature? In this case, it's a peanut butter truffle dipped in chocolate, which resembles the nut from Ohio's state tree, the buckeye.

Get the Recipe: Buckeyes

Sugar Cookies

Perfect your sugar cookie recipe with this favorite from Food Network Magazine.

Get the Recipe: Sugar Cookies

Chocolate-Oat Tea Cakes

In Scotland, an oat cake biscuit is the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea. Food Network Kitchens adds chocolate and hazelnut to this version, and bakes them in mini-muffin tins for a pretty tea-cake shape and easy portion control.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Oat Cakes (Scotland)

Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

These gooey cookies make a rich dessert option for gluten-free guests, but everyone will be flock around the plate. Coconut oil, evaporated cane juice and applesauce keep the dough super moist.

Get the Recipe: Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whole-Wheat Biscuits

Whole-wheat flour keeps these biscuits healthy and hearty, while buttermilk ensures a rich, fluffy texture.

Get the Recipe: Whole-Wheat Biscuits

White Chocolate Bark with Peppermint Stick

This three-ingredient bark recipe packs a double punch of peppermint and fits the bill as an inexpensive holiday treat.

Get the Recipe: White Chocolate Bark with Peppermint Stick

Cranberry Almond Chocolate Bars with Tangerine Zest

These decadent bars roll four classic holiday flavors into one hand-held dessert: chocolate, dried cranberries, citrus flavor and nuts. Best of all, they only require five minutes of prep work.

Get the Recipe: Cranberry Almond Chocolate Bars with Tangerine Zest

S'More Rockin' Reindeer Ravioli

These dessert ravioli feature a graham cracker dough stuffed with a chocolate and cream cheese filling.

Get the Recipe: S'More Rockin' Reindeer Ravioli

Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

This recipe is for the peanut butter obsessed. Spread a few tablespoons of raspberry jam on each cake layer along with the peanut butter for an easy PB&J upgrade!

Get the Recipe: Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

This easy, creamy fudge is a great way to use up excess holiday candy canes. If you're not a fan of peppermint, try swapping the candies for sprinkles, nuts or dried fruit!

Get the Recipe: White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Eggnog-Chocolate Cake Roll

Combining the flavors of eggnog and chocolate equals a match made in holiday dessert heaven. And chocolate cake rolled in malted-milk French buttercream will win over even eggnog skeptics.  

Get the Recipe: Eggnog-Chocolate Cake Roll

Eggnog Meringue Cake

Baking meringue atop a rich egg yolk batter creates an extra-special cake that hardly calls for a fancy topping — although a white-chocolate cream cheese frosting sandwiched between the layers never hurt anyone. 

Get the Recipe: Eggnog Meringue Cake

Eggnog-Panettone Ice Cream Cake

Repurpose a traditional holiday loaf into an irresistible ice cream cake. Brush panettone slices with brandy-spiked cream, layer with spiced vanilla ice cream and top with fluffy whipped cream frosting. 

Get the Recipe: Eggnog-Panettone Ice Cream Cake

Peppermint Candy Cake

Peppermint fans will love the look and taste of this giant faux candy. To complete the look, wrap the cake in cellophane. 

Get the Recipe: Peppermint Candy Cake

Salted Caramel-Pretzel Thumbprints

Pretzel sticks, caramel sauce and honey give these cookies a salty-sweet finish.

Get the Recipe: Salted Caramel-Pretzel Thumbprints