Popular in Desserts & Baking

Impressive Desserts for Special Occasions

These gorgeous desserts will be the talk of your family, friends, and guests. When you really want the final course to be special, make a spectacular sweet that will have you accepting an extra round of applause at your celebration.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Croquembouche with Maple Cream

      With a shimmery sugar adornment, this pretty pyramid will elicit gasps of delight. One bite of the light, cream-filled puffs will garner even more praise.

    • Joyful Almond Cheesecake

      Treat your guests to a candy bar in party attire. A longtime favorite flavor combination goes glamorous in a cheesecake brimming with elegance and candy-store appeal.

    • Baked Alaska with Rum Pudding Ice Cream

      Ice cream in the oven is a classic contradiction, but moments under the broiler make this dessert a reality. Slice into the pretty meringue to reveal an even more striking color and flavor. Rum-raisin injects a warm, spicy kick into the stunning dessert.

    • Opera Cake

      The epitome of elegance, layers of almond sponge cake, coffee syrup, java-spiked buttercream, and opulent ganache fill this unassuming cake with taste that will make guests sing its praises.

      Editor's Tip: Although music notes are typically piped on the cake, you can create any design to suit your occasion.

    • Pomegranate Pavlova with Pistachios and Honey

      Cloudlike puffs of meringue and whipped cream will send guests into seventh heaven. Named to honor the grace and elegance of ballerina Anna Pavlova, the airy dessert resembles a dancer's tulle tutu.

    • Baumkuchen

      This exquisite treat, broiled one layer at a time in a single pan, hints at all the smile-inducing pleasures of a European pastry shop. The name (pronounced bowm-KYOO-kin) roughly translates as tree cake -- an allusion to the sliced layers' resemblance to rings on a crosscut tree.

    • Orange-Ginger Ricotta Tart

      Glossy glazed citrus garnishes this dessert, but the gleaming marmalade topper pales next to the tart's flavor. This pretty dessert is made memorable by a lightly spiced crust and a creamy filling.

    • Black Forest Cake Log

      This starring roll deserves its accolades. Chocolate sponge cake, brandied cherries, whipped cream filling, and chocolate ganache fuse into a classic flavor combination that's guaranteed to earn rave reviews.

      Editor's Tip: Shape the cake into a roll while it's still hot. If you let the cake cool, it will crack instead of bending into a beautiful spiral.

    • Cranberry-Vanilla Bean Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

      At first sight, the cake is lovely with luscious lemon cream cheese frosting, sugared cranberries, and lemon peel. But the first slice reveals the true beauty of the classic seasonal flavors in a deliciously unexpected way.

      Editor's Tip: Despite its everyday reputation, vanilla hails from an exotic source. Vanilla beans come from a tropical orchid. To use, cut a vanilla bean in half lengthwise and use a small knife to scape the seeds from the pod.

    • 10 of 15

      Malted Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Glaze

      Your guests will feel like kids again when they bite into this soda fountain-inspired cake. Deep chocolate flavor and an infusion of malted milk powder fill this showcase dessert.

    • 11 of 15

      Salted Caramel Pots de Creme

      Chilled to perfection and classically prepared and presented in individual dishes, this delectable custard shines in every way. A sprinkling of sea salt brings out the rich, buttery flavors in the caramel.

    • 12 of 15

      Triple-Mint Ice Cream Dessert

      Guests will be enticed by its good looks, but the sinfully pleasing taste of this ice cream treat will capture their hearts. Minty zest and chocolate richness meld to create a refreshing favorite.

    • 13 of 15

      Carrot-Coconut Cake with Raisin-Rum Filling

      Carrot cake bursts with dense spiciness; coconut cake contrasts with sweet richness. Layer them with a divine raisin-rum filling and top it all with a splendid coconut-curl flourish for a memorable final scene.

    • 14 of 15

      White Chocolate-Gingerbread Trifle

      Showcase these five layers in clear glass to tantalize guests before they even taste the sublime flavors. The striking colors accentuate the tart, spicy, and sweet elements of each tier.

    • 15 of 15
      Next Slideshow Freezer-Friendly Holiday Cookies

      Freezer-Friendly Holiday Cookies

      These Christmas cookies don't mind waiting around in the cold one bit. Get a leg up on holiday preparations by baking early and freezing Christmas cookies. Each Santa-special treat freezes for up to three months.
      Begin Slideshow »

    Loading... Please wait...

    I Did It!
    Share on Facebook
    Uh oh! Please pick a jpg at least 600x600px.
    Share on Facebook
    Uh oh! Your photo failed to upload. Please try again or visit your profile.
    No one has shared their photo yet.

    Add My Photo close