35 Christmas Desserts for an Especially Sweet Holiday

Go ahead and add hot chocolate fudge to your holiday to-do list.

christmas desserts

Visions of cakes, cookies and tarts will dance in your head this holiday season. Satisfy everyone's sweet tooth with these festive and sugary treats.

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tree-mendous gingerbread cake
Tree-Mendous Gingerbread

Cross one more thing off your holiday dinner checklist by making this super-moist cake up to a month early and freezing it. Thawed and topped with whipped cream, no one will know the difference!

Danielle Occhiogrosso
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salted caramel pears
Salted Caramel Pears

If you're on the receiving end of the ubiquitous holiday fruit basket, try turning those pears into a extra-sweet treat. Homemade caramel requires just three ingredients, and it can accompany more than just fall apples. 

Mike Garten
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candy cane cookie sandwiches
Candy Cane Cookie Sandwiches

Rolled in crushed peppermints, these frosting-filled sammies offer two cookies for price of one. Santa would approve.

Lindsay Conchar
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double chocolate bundt
Double Chocolate Bundt

Chocoholics, this one's for you. A cup of buttermilk keeps this baked creation from getting too dry and crumbly while a melted chocolate glaze hides any potential mishaps from removing the bundt pan. 

Mike Garten
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midnight mocha cheesecake
Midnight Mocha Cheesecake

Cocoa and coffee are a match made in heaven, and this indulgent recipe is no exception. Heads up: The cake needs to cool and chill for at least three hours, so plan accordingly (or better yet, whip it up ahead of time). 

John Kernick
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Cake Batter Christmas Cookies

These cookies use the best baking shortcut of all time: boxed cake mix. A fresh batch takes only 15 minutes to make, and that includes baking time. 

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Blood Orange Tiramisu

You'll have to wait to dig into this multilayered masterpiece. The ladyfingers needs five or more hours to to soak up all of that citrus (and Grand Marnier!) flavor. 

Get the recipe »

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Hot Chocolate Fudge

You don't need copper kettles or marble countertops to make homemade fudge. This recipe calls for just four ingredients, a microwave and a fridge to get the job done. 

ETHAN CALABRESE
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Red Velvet Cupcakes

Yes, you can enjoy red velvet year-round, but iced snowflakes make these cupcakes especially festive. Dye the cream cheese frosting a bright crimson for even more color. 

Con Poulos
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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Spice Filling

Your favorite holiday flavors (think cinnamon, cloves, maple and ginger) combine for one sweet treat. Here's hoping pumpkin season never ends. 


Ian Bagwell
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Pear Clafoutis

Approach clafoutis as if you're making waffles! It's no more complicated than that. It serves as the perfect blank canvas for almost any fruit you can think of, including fall pears.

Get the recipe »

Johnny Miller
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Chocolate Layered Cake

Topping chocolate cake with peppermint swirls and candy canes is super fun for Christmas.

Yunhee Kim
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Eggnog Pudding

A Christmas dinner with no eggnog is not a Christmas dinner at all. If family members are extra fond of the drink, try whipping up this brandy-and-eggnog pudding, too.

Ann Stratton
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Chocolate Raspberry Roll

A Yule log is a traditional dessert served during Christmas, particularly in France. This roll mimics the tasty dessert perfectly, and gives it a unique spin.

Kate Mathis
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Almond Cheesecake

Topped with a subtle handful of cranberries, this cheesecake's rockstar ingredient comes in the form of 40 amaretti cookies.

Brian Hagiwara
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Quince Mince Pie

A traditional Christmas favorite, mince pie looks even more desirable when the crust is designed to look like crisp fallen leaves.

Keller & Keller
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Sticky Toffee Bundt

A bundt cake is a quick go-to dish any home cook can whip up. Try yours with caramel drizzle on top.

Kate Mathis
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Decorated Sugar Cookies

Good Housekeeping's "best sugar cookies ever" look that much more tasty with ornamental frosting.

Monica Buck
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Cranberry-Pistachio Lace

If you love cranberries and pistachio, and simply can't choose one over the other, this cookie is for you.

Kate Mathis
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Popcorn Stars

Popcorn balls are a common snack around Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. To make these December-ready, add green and red candies after cutting each one into a star.

Melina Hammer
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Cream Cheese Spritz

These cookies are a classic, and conveniently shaped like mini Christmas trees!

Marcus Nilsson
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Mini Cheesecakes

No one will feel too guilty indulging in these bite-sized cheesecakes, made complete with brown sugar.

Andrew Purcell
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Red Velvet Cookie Sandwiches

These delectable treats carefully get sprinkled with red and green to make them extra festive.

Life, Love & Sugar
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Rolo Stuffed Cookies

A bag of Rolos goes a long way when baking a batch of these double chocolate chip cookies.

Living Locurto
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Chocolate Peppermint Cake

Take this riff on a candy-cane theme for a festive dessert that will wow guests.

The Kitchen McCabe
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Strawberry Trees

Little ones will enjoy eating this chocolate covered strawberry trees just as much as they love helping you make them.

Lovely Little Kitchen
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Gingerbread Man

This blogger suggests serving with a glass of milk, decorated with festive red-and-white string.

Bright Eyed Baker
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Saltine Toffee

Chocolate peanut butter adds even more flavor to these already divine pieces of toffee.

Pinch of Yum
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Corn Flake Holly Wreath

This festive little wreath lookalike is almost too cute to eat — but the cinnamon and marshmallows make it hard to resist.

Pretty Providence
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Spiced Sugared Cranberries

If guests are looking for something to snack on, these cranberries are good to have on hand.

Cookie Monster Cooking
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