Our 25 Top-Rated Christmas Dessert Recipes

Linda's Cranberry Cookies in a bowl
Photo: pomplemousse

Christmas is the season of sharing, and these top-rated desserts are too good not to share with your loved ones. There's something here for every palate — whether you're partial to spiced cheesecake or prefer a simple, chewy caramel. These beloved Christmas recipes have been vetted by thousands of home cooks and will make your family just as happy. Your holiday spread will be picture perfect with one (or many) of these confections.

01 of 25

Old Fashioned Butter Cookies with Butter Frosting

Old Fashioned Butter Cookies with Butter Frosting

Cookies are a way of the life during the holidays, so embrace the spirit and get to baking these simple but delicious treats. Using ingredients you already have in your pantry, you'll be able to whip up a batch for the dessert spread and have leftovers to go! Remember to keep cookie dough chilled so that cutouts are a breeze.

02 of 25

Raisin Squares

tight side shot of gooey raisin bars with knife
Scott M

You'll definitely want to make these gooey raisin squares a part of your Christmas tradition. A lovely crust tops the soft and sweet custard-like texture in the center. Reviewers recommend soaking dried cherries in orange juice if you don't have sour cherries on hand. The comfort of warm, buttery oats, coconut, and tangy fruit awaits.

03 of 25

Peppermint Brittle

peppermint brittle

Quintessential holiday flavor gets the brittle treatment in this delightful candy recipe. Only 2 ingredients makes a sweet and refreshing treat for you to share with your loved ones. Show your guests how much you care with smooth white chocolate and crushed peppermint candy—they'll love the flavor and have no idea how easy it is!

04 of 25


Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
Rob Tanner

A classic recipe that allows you to customize to your heart's desire. Biscotti has it all: wonderful crunch, mellow, toasty flavor, and endless opportunity to make the recipe all your own. Reviewers recommend incorporating warming spices, berries, and nuts for an elevated holiday snack.

05 of 25

Aunt Teen's Creamy Chocolate Fudge

Aunt Teen's Creamy Chocolate Fudge on a white dish
My Hot Southern Mess

Christmas isn't complete without good fudge, and this top-rated recipe does not disappoint. "Absolutely incredible fudge," raves Adam M. "It is perfectly smooth, creamy, chocolately, and all-around enjoyable."

06 of 25

Chantal's New York Cheesecake

Chantal's New York Cheesecake
Photo by Allrecipes Magazine.

Something about cold temperatures makes cheesecake all the more appealing. This rich dessert is a crowdpleaser that can be topped with fresh fruit for a lovely addition to your holiday spread. The familiar creaminess, tang, and sweetness will make every bite a memory to treasure.

07 of 25

Nanaimo Bars

Canada Day Nanaimo Bar Cheesecake

We love a no-bake dessert! Vanilla frosting is sandwiched between a cookie base and a decadent chocolate top for a perfect bite every time. The holidays are a time for true indulgence, so make and share these cold squares of cold, creamy goodness.

08 of 25

Chocolate Cookie Mix in a Jar

mason jar filled with chocolate chip cookie ingredients

We guarantee this won't be regifted. This thoughtful gift of cookies-to-be is a wonderful way to share holiday cheer. Make the presentation fun by decorating your cookie mix with ribbons and adding a colorful gift tag.

09 of 25

Chewy Caramel

a square green plate holding fresh cut caramels

Reviewer Janet Leigh says, "This recipe is excellent and easy to make. The caramel is rich, buttery and just plain fantastic!" Serve on a platter to guests or wrap individually for delicious take home treats. This classic candy recipe is what everyone will want for Christmas.

10 of 25

Chef John's Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

overhead shot chocolate dipped shortbread cookies

Rosemary is an unexpected but delicious addition to these crisp cookies. The earthen, somewhat piney flavor of the herb elevates the buttery dough. Chef John's shortbread cookies are scrumptious as is or dipped in a bit of dark chocolate for heightened drama.

11 of 25

Eggnog Gingerbread Trifle

Eggnog Gingerbread Trifle
Eggnog Gingerbread Trifle | Photo by Allrecipes Magazine. Allrecipes Magazine

Combining two beloved Christmas desserts and adding whipped cream on top? We'll take it. This smooth, decadent dish would be right at home as the centerpiece of the holiday dessert table. For an extra special touch, add crushed gingerbread and cranberries as garnish.

12 of 25

Pumpkin Maple Pie Supreme

pumpkin pie with maple leaf crust
Robert Smith

"Without a doubt the best pumpkin pie I have ever made (and I've made more than my fair share)," says jncfusek. "I have been on the search for a great pie - and this is IT!" A mouthwatering blend of spices joins maple syrup and pumpkin for a perfectly rich slice.

13 of 25

White Fruit Cake

White Fruit Cake on a red napkin

This lovely confection has all the sweet, chewy bits you could want in a fruitcake. Even those usually resistant to this infamous dessert will be asking for a second sliver. Candied orange peel, pineapple, and cherries are encased in a buttery sponge for a festive flavor.

14 of 25

Stoofperen met Rode Wijn (Red Wine-Poached Pears)

red wine poached pears

"Very similar to my Dutch mother's recipe! I added 1 tsp ginger and 1 tsp cloves." This beautifully colored and comforting recipe is so simple to make ahead. All you'll need is a good bottle of wine, firm pears, sugar, and spices for a soft, boozy holiday treat.

15 of 25

Peanut Butter Temptations

peanut butter temptation
Linda F

"Made two batches of these for a Christmas party over the weekend," says Sherry. "Should have made five. They were the first to go and everybody kept asking for more." Peanut butter and chocolate are a naturally delicious pair and these sweets are no exception.

16 of 25

Eggnog Creme Brûlée

eggnog creme brûlée

Our favorite spiked Christmas beverage turned torched dessert. The spiced taste of the season is served in individual ramekins. Fresh, tart raspberries are the perfect foil for this rich treat. Easy to make ahead for even the most discerning guest.

17 of 25

Coconut Cream Pie

Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

Let it snow toasted coconut flakes! This beautiful coconut cream pie is always a winner. A creamy vanilla custard is topped with delicate whipped topping for a lighter-than-air experience. Make ahead an impressive display when guests arrive.

18 of 25

Linda's Cranberry Cookies

Linda's Cranberry Cookies in a bowl

"Cranberries and white chips put a new spin on chocolate chip cookies," says recipe creator Tori. "These cookies are soft on the inside, with a little crunch around the edges. Perfect for the holidays."

19 of 25

Plum Pudding

a steamed pudding with blue flame, garnished with a holly sprig
"Steamed Christmas Pudding ablaze. My Steamed Christmas Pudding has become a tradition on Christmas for my family.". Cooking-n-MS

For those new to Christmas pudding—it's actually a steamed cake with raisins and candied fruits. Home cook Ryan Lorek says, "A fantastic rich and authentic tasting dessert. Perfect for finishing off any Christmas dinner."

20 of 25

Molasses Cookies

The cookies of our Christmas dreams. "A contender for world's best cookie. Chewy, spicy, sweet, and rich... I usually go a little long on the spices for extra kick," says reviewer Michael Carmody. This recipe will give you the wonderful softness and cracked top that molasses cookies are famous for.

21 of 25

Raspberry and Almond Shortbread Thumbprints

thumbprints with raspberry filling and icing drizzle

The fruit-filled cookies are good enough to leave out for Santa. Thick, buttery dough is complemented by a dollop of raspberry jam in the center. Almond extract lends a subtle but elegant flavor. A beautifully reliable recipe that really evokes the spirit of Christmas.

22 of 25

Holiday White Chocolate Popcorn

buttered popcorn with white chocolate pieces and peppermint bark

Perfect for making with little ones, this holiday popcorn will please eaters of all ages. "Oh. My. Goodness. This is such a simple yet elegantly delicious way to spruce up popcorn around the holidays," says home cook Karen.

23 of 25

Golden Rum Cake

Golden Rum Cake
Photo by Tricia. Tricia

This boozy Bundt cake remains moist with the help of vanilla pudding mix. A generous pour of rum and plenty of egg yolks gives the dessert a richness that is perfectly paired with eggnog. A rum glaze is brushed over the top and sides of the cake for a fun, sticky finish.

24 of 25

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

double layered pumpkin cheesecake on a plate with whipped cream topping
An Do

Double the decadence with this top rated cheesecake. "This was wonderful,"says reviewer Cindy. "Not an intensely spiced flavor, but a really delicious smooth cheesecake-y pumpkin with some spice. Very lovely! It'll be on our table regularly!"

25 of 25

Holiday Wreaths

Christmas Wreaths
Photo by CANADAKATE. CanadaKate

An easy and festive treat made from crispy rice cereal. These no-bake wreaths will entertain young cooks, and add a sweet, colorful presence to your holiday spread.

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