Winter Holiday Desserts

A homemade cake brings a special joy to the holidays. From decadent chocolate to sophisticated coffee-fig cake, you'll find a dessert here that will become a family holiday favorite forever.

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    Red-and-White Christmas Cake

    Your guests will be delighted with this cake inside and out! As a centerpiece, it resembles a sumptuous snowball. Inside is an ever-favorite classic -- the red velvet cake -- made more delicious for the holidays with a raspberry filling.

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    Mini Snowball Cakes

    Secret ingredients -- eggnog and nutmeg -- turn ordinary cake mix into a deliciously different holiday dessert. Dip the cakes into a cream cheese and eggnog icing and coconut to resemble new-fallen snow.

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    Maple-Pumpkin Cheesecake

    Maple flavors the crust and the filling of this lovely cheesecake.

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    Snow Angel Cake

    This all-white dessert -- angel food cake topped with whipped dessert topping, white chocolate, and coconut -- provides an energy boost after a long day of sledding.

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    Chocolate Blitzen

    This frosty beverage doubles as drinks and dessert. Chocolate ice cream, Irish cream liqueur, and dark cream de cacao unite for a boozy treat that's still sophisticated.

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    Figgy Espresso Cake with Honey Fruit Compote

    Brewed espresso poured over this cake makes it super moist, like Christmas pudding. Starting with cake mix makes it super easy.

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    Oatmeal Cake

    Broiled nut topping and a sturdy oatmeal cake add up to a mighty fine old-fashioned dessert. Serve this family-pleaser with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

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    Orange-Champagne Cakes

    Humble cornmeal cakes get a spectacular dress-up from ground almonds, orange peel, and a lavish champagne-syrup finish. If you don't have miniature tube pans, muffin cups work well, too.

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    Maple Creme Brulee with Cranberries and Hazelnuts

    Every bite of this dessert will bring you closer to sweet tooth satisfaction. Arrange sprigs of fresh rosemary and cranberries around the cups for a lovely holiday garnish.

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    Santa's Pear Pouches

    If it's a one-of-a-kind festive finale you're after, serve these little pouches packed with pears and a cardamom-infused caramel topping.

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    Panettone Triumphant

    Drizzle a panettone with icing or fill it with ice cream.

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    Fluffy Cranberry Mousse

    This sweet and tart mousse takes only 20 minutes to make and provides a light, airy dessert option.

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    Cake with All the Trimmings

    Purchase a yummy bakery cake and you're almost finished creating a dazzling holiday finale.

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    Granny Cake

    Also known as the hummingbird cake, this old-fashioned, church-social-style goody is one of those recipes that's been traded over backyard fences for years.

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    Walnut Mocha

    The cake batter is assembled completely in a blender or food processor. The whirled-together results are moist, nutty, and spectacular.

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    Double Chocolate-Orange Torte

    For chocolate lovers, a dessert buffet just isn't complete without a generous sampling of their favorite flavor. Set out this Double Chocolate-Orange Torte and indulge your guests.

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    Sherry-Almond Sponge Cake

    Slicing into Sherry-Almond Sponge Cake is a little like opening a beautifully packaged gift. Inside, there's a lovely surprise: A rich-hued berry filling nestled between two sherry-infused cake layers.

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    Glazed Gingerbread Cake

    Fluted round cakes are a baker's dream -- they make for a pretty cake the minute they come out of the pan. Just add a drizzle of icing and a sprinkle of crystallized ginger, and Glazed Gingerbread Cake will dazzle.

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    Apricot-Hazelnut Cake Roll

    Reminiscent of a classic Victorian jelly roll and just as charmingly old-fashioned, Apricot-Hazelnut Cake Roll brings a touch of simple elegance to the table.

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    Pistachio Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream

    Pistachio Cake with White Chocolate Buttercream features three cake layers, studded with pistachios and slathered with an elegant buttercream frosting. It all stacks up to one opulent dessert.

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    Festive Angel Cake

    Dreaming of a white Christmas? Make this dreamy, all-white Festive Angel Cake that's as light and wondrous as a Christmas Eve snowfall. (No one need know that all the magic starts with a mix.)

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    New Year's Almond Log Cake

    Almond Log Cake sweetly celebrates the European custom of burning a Yule log to bring prosperity and protection from evil in the coming year. Almonds, another coin symbol, add extra value.

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    Apricot-Nut Spice Cake with Coconut Butter Frosting

    This wonderful spice cake, filled with dried apricots and walnuts and showered with coconut frosting, is destined to become one of the most popular recipes of the decade. Hint: For the garnish, you can make the coconut shards from fresh coconut, as directed. (Note, these are for decoration only. They are too tough to eat.) Or, if you prefer, purchase coconut shards or chips in the produce section of supermarkets or at health food stores.

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    Cream Caramel Cake

    Combine mocha syrup, coffee liqueur, and Irish cream to your liking to equal 5 tablespoons.

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    Mahogany Pound Cake

    Baked in a deeply fluted tube pan, this fine-grain, red-brown cake turns out nothing short of spectacular. A light dusting of powdered sugar adds to the drama.

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    Best-Ever Chocolate Cake

    This recipe has been perfected over the years. We think you'll agree that this version is the moistest, richest, "chocolatiest" cake ever. And, of the many ways to frost it, we vote for our classic Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting -- though you can certainly use your own family favorite.

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    White Chocolate Snowdrift Cake

    The melted chocolate mixture must be thoroughly chilled to make the frosting successful.

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    Tres Leches Cake

    Why cool cakes exactly 10 minutes before turning them out? That length of time allows the cake to firm up yet still be easily removed from the pan.

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    Cranberry Sorbet

    Nothing could be easier than this light and refreshing concoction -- just cook and puree the cranberries, strain, then freeze. It's also the perfect palate pleaser to serve between courses at a brunch.

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    Black Forest Cakes

    May your New Year be as rich and delightful as these spectacular little desserts. With brandy-soaked cherries inside, the recipe is a mini-and-mod takeoff on the classic Black Forest Torte.

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    Honey Shortcakes and Strawberries

    If you're using heavy baking pans, watch the shortcakes' progress carefully to avoid overbaking.

  • Next Slideshow Crowd-Pleasing Holiday Casserole Recipes

    Crowd-Pleasing Holiday Casserole Recipes

    Beat the chaos of the holidays with a delicious, hearty casserole recipe (or two). Casseroles are easy to make ahead, and you can save the leftovers for dinner the next day. We've picked our favorite cozy casseroles so there's something for everyone, including cheesy pasta bakes, classic tuna casserole, and green bean creations.
    Begin Slideshow »

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