Celebratory Christmas Desserts

Make your holiday get-together more festive than ever with the help of these sweet and eye-catching treats.

October 18, 2021
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Buche de Noel

Transform your holiday dessert spread into a fantasyland by serving traditional French buche de Noel, or yule log cake. Rich chocolate genoise (sponge cake) is rolled in a coffee- and brandy-flavored buttercream, then decorated with marzipan berries, pinecones and mushrooms. The look of awe on your guests' faces will be well worth the effort.

Get the Recipe: Buche de Noel

Strawberry Santas

These delicate holiday treats are great for brunch or as a light dessert. For assembly, Giada De Laurentiis pipes rich mascarpone frosting onto cut strawberries, reserving the strawberry tip for Santa's hat.

Get the Recipe: Strawberry Santas

Sticky Toffee Pudding

For the final act in your holiday meal, whip up this gooey cake made with sweet rum-soaked dates and generously topped with toffee sauce.

Get the Recipe: Sticky Toffee Pudding

Christmas Tree Cheesecake Pops

Trimming the tree gets new meaning when it comes to decorating these adorable cheesecake pops.

Get the Recipe: Christmas Tree Cheesecake Pops

White Chocolate Holiday Bark

Chocolate bark is a simple, crowd-pleasing sweet. This version is made with white chocolate and studded with red cranberries and green pistachios.

Get the Recipe: White Chocolate Holiday Bark

Cupcake Christmas Tree

Transform basic chocolate cupcakes into a stunning centerpiece for your Christmas dessert spread by generously coating the frosted tops with green sprinkles or jimmies and fastening them onto a Styrofoam cone using toothpicks.

Get the Recipe: Cupcake Christmas Tree

No-Bake Chocolate Mocha Yule Log

This showstopping holiday cake requires zero baking and is packed with luscious chocolate and coffee flavor. Make it up to one day in advance to save yourself some time on the big day.

Get the Recipe: No-Bake Chocolate Mocha Yule Log

Homemade Cannoli

Alex Guarnaschelli's recipe makes homemade cannoli preparation a breeze. Her No. 1 tip? Don't fill the shells with the cream until you are ready to eat them. A quick dusting of powdered sugar gives these traditional Italian pastries a snow-coated feel, festive for the holidays. 

Get the Recipe: Homemade Cannoli

Christmas Cookie Cheesecake

Sugar cookie meets cheesecake in this brilliant holiday mash-up: a creamy vanilla cheesecake gets the royal icing treatment — no cookie platter required.

Get the Recipe: Christmas Cookie Cheesecake

Gingerbread Roulade Cake

The trick to rolling this sweet, spiced cake (without cracking it) is to do it while it’s still warm. Dust the cake with confectioners’ sugar, flip it over onto a large, clean kitchen towel and then peel the parchment away before gently rolling into a tight log. After the cake cools for 30 minutes you can unroll it and continue with the recipe.

Get the Recipe: Gingerbread Roulade Cake

Holiday Berry Meringue Wreath

This edible wreath is almost too pretty to eat (but seriously, you should dive in — it's delicious.) Crisp and crunchy meringue lies beneath a ruby red cranberry, raspberry and pomegranate sauce.

Get the Recipe: Holiday Berry Meringue Wreath

Stollen

This traditional German dessert dazzled with candied fruit and nuts can be served plain or topped with powdered sugar or icing.

Get the Recipe: Stollen

Peppermint No-Churn Ice Cream

No ice cream maker is required for this peppermint-packed frozen treat. The refreshing mint flavor comes from two very common candies, while mini marshmallows add an extra something special.

Get the Recipe: Peppermint No-Churn Ice Cream

Panettone Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce

For this traditional Italian dessert, tender cubes of panettone bread are soaked in a rich custard, then baked and served warm with a sweet amaretto sauce on top.

Get the Recipe: Panettone Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce

Ricotta Orange Pound Cake with Strawberries

Giada's homemade pound cake is so sweet, light and fluffy that all it needs is a simple strawberry topping — no need for an icing or a glaze.

Get the Recipe: Ricotta Orange Pound Cake with Strawberries

Christmas Tree Cake

No special cake pan is needed to make this impressive 3D Christmas Tree Cake: cleverly arranged and stacked squares of sheet cake are frosted and decorated with edible "lights." There's even a festive star topper.

Get the Recipe: Christmas Tree Cake

Giada's Cranberry Cornmeal Cake

Cranberries, orange zest and cornmeal combine to create an irresistible Christmas dessert.

Get the Recipe: Cranberry Cornmeal Cake

Christmas Reindeer Brownies

Candy canes, marshmallows and wafer cookies turn fudgy brownies into a festive holiday dessert. These brownies are so easy the kids can help make them!

Get the Recipe: Christmas Reindeer Brownies

Santa Hat Crispy-Treat Cheesecake Squares

Crispy treats make an unexpected and sweet crust for cheesecake. Topped with strawberry Santa hats, these squares are sure to become a holiday favorite.

Get the Recipe: Santa Hat Crispy-Treat Cheesecake Squares

Gingerbread People in Gingerbread Hot Chocolate Tubs

Give your gingerbread people a story this year. Frost on bathing suits and let them swim in cups of hot cocoa.

Get the Recipe: Gingerbread People in Gingerbread Hot Chocolate Tubs

Christmas Brownie Trees

A simple brownie recipe becomes extra special with the addition of green frosting and candy. We bake the brownies in round cake pans to make cutting triangle shapes easy, with no trimmings or waste.

Get the Recipe: Christmas Brownie Trees

Meringue Lollipops

White chocolate lollipops are sandwiched between hardened meringues for an elegant, seasonal dessert.

Get the Recipe: Meringue Lollipops

Pull-Apart Gingerbread Man

This year's gingerbread man is made of cupcakes. Make sure to snap a photo of your handiwork before letting guests devour it!

Get the Recipe: Pull-Apart Gingerbread Man

Chocolate Almond Cake with Sugared Cranberries

Make this elegant chocolate cake using a mix of all-purpose flour and almond flour. Top it with sweet and tangy sugared cranberries for festive flavor.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Almond Cake with Sugared Cranberries

Meringue Sandwiches

Mini meringues are the perfect size for these dessert sandwiches. Sandwich berry jam or lemon curd between two and serve them on a crystal platter for a wintry presentation.

Get the Recipe: Meringue Sandwiches

Chocolate Reindeer Cake

When cut, each slice of this adorable holiday cake resembles one of Santa's reindeer.

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Reindeer Cake

Peppermint Marshmallow Snowmen

These cheerful snowmen have a secret: They're flavored with peppermint extract for an extra dose of holiday cheer.

Get the Recipe: Peppermint Marshmallow Snowmen

Triple Ginger Souffle

Giada's sweet-and-spicy souffle makes an elegant addition to a holiday brunch table. The recipe takes its name from the three types of ginger it requires: ground, crystallized and fresh. 

Get the Recipe: Triple Ginger Souffle

Eggnog Ice Cream

Alton Brown adds bourbon and freshly grated nutmeg to his creamy vanilla ice cream to create a frozen form of the classic holiday drink.

Get the Recipe: Eggnog Ice Cream

Candy Cane Cookies

Sandra Lee creates her charming Candy Cane Cookies using cream cheese for rich texture, box sugar cookie mix for convenience and peppermint extract for holiday flavor.

Get the Recipe: Candy Cane Cookies

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