40 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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candy cane cake
Becky Luigart-Stayner
Candy Cane Forest Cake

Will Ferrell walked through all seven levels of the candy cane forest in the movie , so the least you can do is whip up this decorative dessert as an homage.

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rockin' around the christmas tree cupcakes
Steve Giralt
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Get your decorating fix with these toppers. It's the perfect excuse to go crazy with the .

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tree-mendous gingerbread cake
Danielle Occhiogrosso
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!

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Santa's Belt Surprise Inside Cake
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salted caramel pears
Mike Garten
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.

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candy cane cookie sandwiches
Lindsay Conchar
Candy Cane Cookie Sandwiches

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

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double chocolate bundt
Mike Garten
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.

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midnight mocha cheesecake
John Kernick
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).

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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.

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ETHAN CALABRESE
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.

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Con Poulos
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.

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Ian Bagwell
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.


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Johnny Miller
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.

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Holiday Rice Krispie Pops
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Yunhee Kim
Chocolate Layered Cake

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

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Ann Stratton
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.

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Kate Mathis
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.

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Brian Hagiwara
Almond Cheesecake

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

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Keller & Keller
Quince Mince Pie

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

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Kate Mathis
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.

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Monica Buck
Decorated Sugar Cookies

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

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Kate Mathis
Cranberry-Pistachio Lace

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

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Melina Hammer
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.

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Marcus Nilsson
Cream Cheese Spritz

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

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Andrew Purcell
Mini Cheesecakes

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

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Life, Love & Sugar
Red Velvet Cookie Sandwiches

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

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Mirror Glaze Cake
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Living Locurto
Rolo Stuffed Cookies

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

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The Kitchen McCabe
Chocolate Peppermint Cake

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

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