15 Christmas Desserts to Delight Your Holiday Crowd

Tight shot of apple bavarian torte with almond garnish on cooling rack next to apples
Photo: Kim's Cooking Now

Hosting friends and family this Christmas? Be prepared with festive desserts that make enough to keep everybody feeling holly jolly. These are special-occasion desserts that don't skimp on the servings. Each of these top-rated Christmas desserts yields enough to feed at least a dozen people.

01 of 15

Butter Snow Flakes

snowflake shaped cookies with clear sprinkles
Lauren B.

Use a cookie press or pastry bag to create magic in cookie form this season. The cream cheese in this recipe results in a silky mouthfeel and and the orange zest adds a beautiful brightness. A short bake time and endless decorative options make these a great choice for Christmas.

02 of 15

Cranberry Upside-Down Coffee Cake

a slice of cranberry- and pecan-topped coffee cake on a white plate with the rest of the cake in the background
Scott M.

"I found this recipe right before Christmas last year, and it was such a hit at our Christmas Eve party that I've had requests to bring it again," says reviewer FAIRUZAH. Turn this cake over for a spectacular display of cranberries and pecans.

03 of 15

Chocolate Decadence Yule Log

Chocolate Decadence Yule Log
Photo by Yan. Yan

This classic holiday cake is as much a dessert as it is a work of art. "We traditionally have a buche (or yule log) for Christmas, and I've tried many recipes before I reached what I was expecting with this one. It is so easy too," says reviewer IVANDIEPART. "It took me less than one hour to have this one ready on my serving plate."

04 of 15

Cranberry Pudding Cake

Ultimate Cranberry Pudding Cake

This cranberry bundt cake is drizzled with a hot butter sauce for a decadent dessert. Reviewer ILA 8030 says, "I sliced the cake and placed on a Christmas platter with the sauce in a bowl in the middle—beautiful display. This is a keeper for holiday parties!"

05 of 15

Irresistible Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie
Photo by Meredith. Meredith

"I've been struggling for the last 8 years to get a pecan pie that had a firm middle but lightly toasted pecan top," says reviewer TammyTexas. "This recipe calls for crushed pecans to be stirred into the filling — and I was completely shocked that my filling was perfect. Nice, firm, not over done, not over cooked — and you don't notice from a texture perspective that the pecans are in the filling. I'm glad to finally know the secret!"

06 of 15

Upside Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread cake with thinly sliced, caramelized pears on top
Raven Messenger

Warm spices blend with winter pears to make a unique seasonal dessert. Reviewer coloradomaj says, "I lined my springform with parchment paper and put a cookie sheet on the rack below the cake pan which caught a little butter drippage but nothing major. Great spice flavor-blend!"

07 of 15

Chocolate Trifle

Chocolate Trifle

Make this dessert ahead of time and chill it in the fridge overnight for less stress the day of. Layers of brownies, chocolate pudding, whipped topping, and chocolate chunks make for a dessert that no one will be able to resist. Reviewer Juliebird says, "This is now known among our friends as 'The Dessert.' Before every party, I'm asked if I'm bringing 'The Dessert.' It is so good!"

08 of 15

Cherry Pound Cake

Maraschino Cherry Pound Cake

This cake fits perfectly in a smaller, specialty Bundt pan and makes a really beautiful presentation glazed with a mixture of reserved cherry juice and powdered sugar. Some reviewers suggest lowering the baking time to prevent dryness.

09 of 15

Apple Bavarian Torte

Tight shot of apple bavarian torte with almond garnish on cooling rack next to apples
Kim's Cooking Now

This elegant torte is layered with cream cheese, almonds, and apple for an impressive display. Make your holiday extra special with this beautifully decorated confection. Feel free to substitute other fruits like pear, nectarines, or plums to suit your personal preference.

10 of 15

White Fruit Cake

White Fruit Cake slices close up

This fruit cake has been known to turn even the most reluctant fruit cake eaters into fans. Reviewer KWEBB says, "I made this first last Christmas (with a few fruit tweaks of my own, but I always do that) and everyone loved it, even the fruitcake resisters."

11 of 15

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake decorated with raspberries on top
Alberta Rose

"This recipe got rave reviews from my family on Christmas! I used seedless raspberry jam instead of cooking the raspberries on the stove. I just microwaved 6 tablespoons of jam for 30 seconds before adding to the cheesecake. It was so much easier and tasted fantastic," says reviewer CLEMSONMAV. Garnish with white chocolate curls for an elegant dessert fit for a holiday gathering.

12 of 15

Golden Rum Cake

Golden Rum Cake

A rich, boozy slice of fluffy cake will bring everyone together. This easy recipe has a yellow cake mix base, and uses pudding mix to keep the texture moist. A generous helping of rum glaze is poured over the cake while it's still warm.

13 of 15

Deep South Eggnog Cake

Deep South Eggnog Cake
Photo by Doughgirl8. Doughgirl8

Moist, spiced, and decadent cake with a traditional eggnog flavoring. A thick icing layer coats a classic white cake elevated with spices and a touch of liquor. Reviewer Baricat says, "This was delicious. It's my new go to Christmas dessert!"

14 of 15

Santa's Favorite Cake

santa's favorite cake garnished with cacndycane

It's Santa's favorite and soon to be yours too: peppermint red velvet cake with peppermint cream cheese frosting. "I called it a 'Candy Cane Cake' and it was the perfect ending at my in-law's Christmas dinner this year," says reviewer shaken_not_stirred. "Everyone loved it, especially served with a scoop of chocolate ice cream!"

15 of 15

Snow-Capped Sour Cream Drops

drop cookies dripping in white icing
Holiday Baker

Let it snow on your holiday table this year! These sweet, easy drop cookie will make your dessert table the one to beat. Cranberries, chocolate, and pecans are mixed in to add depth and texture to these buttery, glazed cookies.

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