Winter Holiday Desserts

Homemade dessert recipes bring a special joy to the season. From a rich chocolate holiday cake to a warm gingerbread winter cake, you'll find sweet treats here that will become treasured family favorites. Serve them on a Christmas or any winter day that needs a little extra cheer!

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  • 1 of 26

    Spiced Pear-Pomegranate Pan Pie

    You don't need a round pie pan to make this dessert! Making it in a large baking pan means that it serves up to 24 people. The real gift is hiding in the details of the recipe: this pan pie features TWO cookie crusts (crumbled gingersnaps as the base and sugar cookie cutouts on top). Try holiday-themed cookie cutters, such as leaves, bells, or stars, depending on the event you're serving it for.

  • cake, chocolate, dessert 2 of 26

    Chocolate Peppermint Bundt Cake

    A classic chocolate bundt cake recipe is a instant crowd pleaser in any season. Make it an easy holiday dessert by adding peppermint extract to the batter and sprinkling crushed peppermint candy on top.

  • 3 of 26

    Figgy Espresso Cake with Honey Fruit Compote

    Brewed espresso poured over this winter cake makes it super moist, like Christmas pudding. You'll want to save this one in your collection of easy holiday desserts, since the recipe starts with store-bought spice cake mix. (Don't worry, nobody will notice!) 

  • Bread pudding, cinnamon rolls, desserts, caramel sauce 4 of 26

    Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding with Caramel Rum Sauce

    Cinnamon rolls and bread pudding? Sign us up! Throw in dried cranberries for seasonal flair, layer with whipped cream and caramel sauce, and you've got a crop of easy Christmas desserts (or anytime desserts, really).

  • Caramel-Coffee Snickerdoodles, carmel, cookies 5 of 26

    Caramel-Coffee Snickerdoodles

    Snickerdoodle cookies are a cinnamon-y classic. Update this easy holiday dessert with a caramel-coffee drizzle. This recipe is also ideal for large crowds (it makes 42 cookies!) and stays fresh at room temperature for up to three days.

  • 6 of 26

    Tres Leches Cake

    Drizzled with a sweet tres leches ("three milks") sauce and filled with fresh strawberries, this winter cake will be the star of your holiday dessert spread. Be sure to cool the cake 10 minutes before turning it out so no crumb gets left behind.

  • Pumpkin Bread with Eggnog Glaze, pumpkin bread, glaze, bread 7 of 26

    Pumpkin Bread with Eggnog Glaze

    Eggnog isn't just for your cup. This season, try it in a new way: as a sweet glaze combined with vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour over moist pumpkin bread and serve with coffee on Christmas morning or New Year's Day.

  • 8 of 26

    Maple Butter Cake

    Among your Christmas dessert recipes, this one might just, well, take the cake. Loaded with butter and maple syrup, the resulting treat is perfectly moist and gooey. Finish with a dusting of snow (AKA powdered sugar) on top.

  • 9 of 26

    Chocolate Blitzen

    These frosty holiday cocktails do double duty as drinks and dessert. Chocolate ice cream, Irish cream liqueur, and dark cream de cacao unite for a boozy treat that's still sophisticated.

  • 10 of 26

    Maple-Pumpkin Cheesecake

    We've got your Christmas cheesecake recipes covered. Maple flavors the crust and the filling of this luscious winter holiday dessert.

  • Marbled Gingerbread Latte Cake 11 of 26

    Marbled Gingerbread Latte Cake

    Packed with flavors of cinnamon, ginger, and coffee, this rich cake gets its marbled appearance from swirls of a cream cheese filling. A maple glaze completes this winter cake.

  • 12 of 26

    Oatmeal Cake

    A broiled nut topping and a sturdy oatmeal cake add up to a mighty fine old-fashioned dessert. Serve up a batch of family-pleasing holiday dessert recipes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

  • 13 of 26

    Maple Creme Brulee with Cranberries and Hazelnuts

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

  • 14 of 26

    Fluffy Cranberry Mousse

    Whip up 24 cups of easy Christmas desserts to serve to a large crowd. This sweet and tart mousse takes only 20 minutes to make and provides a light, airy dessert option.

  • 15 of 26

    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. Or try it as the centerpiece of your Hanukkah dinner table!

  • 16 of 26

    Cake with All the Trimmings

    The easiest holiday desserts are those that update pre-made ones. Purchase a yummy bakery cake and you're halfway to a dazzling holiday finale. Just add toppings!

  • 17 of 26

    Walnut Mocha Torte

    Looking for a low-fuss treat? This easy holiday dessert only requires five base ingredients, plus the cake batter is assembled completely in a blender or food processor. The whirled-together results are moist, nutty, and totally party-worthy.

  • 18 of 26

    Sherry-Almond Sponge Cake

    Slicing into this 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.

  • 19 of 26

    Glazed Gingerbread Cake

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

  • 20 of 26

    Mini Snowball Cakes

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

  • 21 of 26

    Apricot-Nut Spice Cake with Coconut Butter Frosting

    This wonderful spice cake, filled with dried apricots and walnuts and smothered with coconut frosting, is destined to become one of your most popular Christmas dessert recipes. For the garnish, you can make your own coconut shards from fresh coconut or use store-bought ones.

  • 22 of 26

    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 for your winter holiday dessert.

  • 23 of 26

    Cranberry Sorbet

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

  • 24 of 26

    Black Forest Cakes

    May your new year be as rich and delightful as these spectacular little winter holiday desserts. With brandy-soaked cherries inside, the recipe is a mini and modern take on the black forest torte.

  • 25 of 26

    Double Chocolate-Orange Torte

    For chocolate lovers, a buffet of holiday cakes just isn't complete without a generous sampling of their favorite flavor. Set out this double chocolate-orange torte and prepare for rave reviews.

  • 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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