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The holidays are upon us and Idk about you, but I could use a little holiday cheer right about now. And these 12 Christmas dessert recipes are making me feel all toasty inside.
I welcome any excuse to consume sweets and treats around the holidays (and who doesn’t), but this year I’m in the mood for something a little different than the standard fudge and fruit cake.
You’ll notice a few holiday classics on this list plus several new friends that will be a welcomed addition to your (virtual) Christmas party menu.
These Christmas dessert recipes are easily shared and many make great gifts, in case you’re into spreading holiday joy.
Jump To Recipe:
- Sticky Toffee Pudding
- Gingerbread Cake
- Peppermint Bark
- Apple Walnut Upside Down Cake
- Perfect Chewy Molasses Cookies
- Not So Basic Sugar Cookies
- Peppermint Marshmallows
- Olive Oil Cake
- Peppermint Ice Cream
- Linzer Cookies
- Eggnog-Panettone Bread Pudding
- Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Maple Icing
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1. Sticky Toffee Pudding
Sticky Toffee Pudding is a guilty pleasure of mine, and this luscious recipe by Food & Wine is the most perfectly gooey I’ve tried.
Over 900 reviews and an overall rating of 5 stars tells me I’m not alone.
I absolutely love the perfectly creamy and smooth caramel that enrobes these gorgeous little cakes. I like to serve them warm with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.
A Christmas dessert recipe your guests will be asking for every year.
Get the recipe: Sticky Toffee Pudding
2. Gingerbread Cake
Gingerbread is everywhere around the holidays, but usually in the form of a house or small people.
If you love the flavor of gingerbread but prefer a moist, melt-in-your-mouth texture, this cake is for you.
It is perfect all on its own or, my personal preference, with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of homemade lemon curd. Out. Of. This. World.
Get the recipe: Gingerbread Cake
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3. Peppermint Bark
What is peppermint bark, you ask? Traditionally, it is a combination of white and dark or semi-sweet chocolate with candy cane or peppermint pieces.
Essentially, it’s a match made in Christmas candy heaven! But isn’t peppermint bark difficult to make from scratch?
Surprisingly, no. Peppermint bark is extremely easy to make at home. And, it’s ready in under an hour!
It’s the perfect homemade holiday gift idea and one of my favorite Christmas dessert recipes.
Get the recipe: Peppermint Bark
4. Apple Walnut Upside-Down Cake
We’re all familiar with the classic pineapple upside-down cake, but this Apple Walnut Upside-Down cake from Bon Appétit is giving pineapple a run for its money.
Not only is this cake stunningly beautiful, but it is also incredibly moist and loaded with toasty, nutty undertones and plenty of caramel goodness.
Serve this at your (very small, socially-distanced) holiday gathering and your family is sure to be delighted.
And be sure to add this Apple Cake to your Christmas dessert recipes collection as it is likely to be requested again next year.
Get the recipe: Apple Walnut Upside-Down Cake
5. Perfect Chewy Molasses Cookies
Molasses cookies are a holiday tradition in my home and are always at the top of my Christmas dessert recipes list.
This is my most requested recipe and, until now, it had been a secret.
But this year has been a bit much and everyone deserves a damn good cookie to brighten their spirits.
These molasses cookies are crispy around the edges, chewy in the center, and filled with holiday spice.
Get the recipe: Perfect Chewy Molasses Cookies
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6. Not So Basic Sugar Cookies
Decorating sugar cookies with my childhood neighbor, Mrs. Wilson, is one of my fondest holiday memories.
She was, essentially, another grandma to all of the kids in our neighborhood and her sugar cookie recipe was classic and perfect.
And this recipe from Delish is, dare I say, even better.
What makes this sugar cookie recipe so good? These cookies hold their shape with clean, sharp edges, making them perfect for decorating!
This sugar cookie dough may be made ahead of time (up to 3 days in advance) and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to hone your inner Mrs. Wilson and invite all the neighborhood kids over for a cookie decorating party.
Get the recipe: Perfect Sugar Cookies
7. Peppermint Marshmallows
Who doesn’t love the soft, pillowy goodness of a big marshmallow?
And peppermint marshmallows? Almost irresistible and one of my favorite Christmas dessert recipes.
Homemade marshmallows are actually super easy to make, and they make amazing holiday gifts! I especially like this recipe from King Arthur because these marshmallows pack a real peppermint punch.
Top off a mug of hot cocoa or a mocha with one of these peppermint marshmallows, or just eat them straight from the pan!
Get the recipe: Peppermint Crunch Marshmallows
8. Olive Oil Cake
Don’t let her simplicity fool you, this cake is something special.
If you’ve never baked with olive oil before, you’re in for a real treat. Olive oil produces extremely moist cakes, and this beauty from Bon Appétit is no exception.
This cake is lightly sweet, moist, and delicate with undertones of lemon and vanilla.
This olive oil cake may be prepared up to 4 days in advance and keeps exceptionally well when stored tightly wrapped at room temperature.
In fact, it actually gets a little better each day after it’s baked.
Get the recipe: Olive Oil Cake
9. Peppermint Bark Ice Cream
Every Christmas dessert recipes collection should include ice cream, don’t you think?
Imagine taking some of that peppermint bark you made last week and turning it into ice cream. Hello, winter dessert perfection.
This no-churn ice cream recipe could not be easier. No ice cream maker? No problem!
You only have to commit 15 minutes of time for prep and the freezer will do the rest.
I love this easy ice cream recipe because it is so quick to prepare and checks all of the minty chocolatey ice cream boxes (yes, I am team mint chocolate chip).
Get the recipe: Peppermint Bark No-Churn Ice Cream
10. Linzer Cookies
I know what you’re thinking. What is a Linzer cookie?
Linzer cookies are delicate sandwich cookies traditionally filled with raspberry jam. And they are beautiful.
Which leads me to your next question: are Linzer cookies difficult to make?
Shockingly, no! With a good set of cookie cutters you’ll be on your way to Linzer cookie land in no time.
So, do Linzer cookies have to be made with raspberry jam? Absolutely not! Use your favorite variety of jam, just be sure it is seedless and smooth.
These sandwich cookies are not only one of the best Christmas dessert recipes, but they also make excellent holiday gifts!
Get the recipe: Linzer Cookies
11. Eggnog-Panettone Bread Pudding
What is Panettone, you ask? Panettone is a traditional Italian dessert served around Christmas and the New Year and falls somewhere between a bread and a cake.
(Although most people just think of it as that sweet bread that comes in a box that nobody likes. Not exactly.)
I know what you’re thinking: but where can I buy Panettone? Not to worry, you can find it on Amazon or at your local Whole Foods!
Panettone can leave a little to be desired when served on its own, but when Rachael Ray covers it with eggnog and turns it into bread pudding the result is next level.
I love this bread pudding recipe because it’s made in a muffin tin, making serving a breeze, and it is as beautiful as it is ridiculously delicious.
I guarantee that once you serve this, your friends and family will request that you make this easy bread pudding recipe every year at Christmas.
Get the recipe: Eggnog-Panettone Bread Pudding
12. Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Pumpkin desserts absolutely belong in the Christmas dessert recipes collection! Why limit pumpkin cake to the fall?
This pumpkin cake recipe is so delicious, I can’t help but make it more than once a year.
The brown butter and maple icing is simply to die for and this easy cake recipe will wow your friends and family.
Moist, tender pumpkin cake paired with a nutty, caramel icing? Sign me up twice.
Get the recipe: Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Maple Icing
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