17 Fabulous Christmas Cakes That Are the Perfect Finale to Your Holiday Feast
Hoping to serve something fantastic for dessert at your holiday dinner or party? These epic Christmas cakes taste as good as they look.
After a day of giving and receiving presents and sharing good food and drink with family, a fantastic dessert is definitely in order, especially if you want to close out Christmas on a festive note. That's why we've pulled together a wide range of delicious, seasonal dessert options that are guaranteed to wow your loved ones. Some are surprisingly simple while others take more time (which can often be spaced out so you can do the steps in phases), but all are elegant, with a touch of glamour, too, befitting a late December feast.
There's nothing cuter or more seasonal than a Yule Log Layer Cake, as shown here. Our recipe is for a chocolate chestnut cake that's easy to decorate—no fancy piping required, we promise—because the frosting is spread using a palette knife so it resembles bark. It's finished with magical marzipan acorn and mushroom decorations. If you're looking for a European-inspired dessert, we have a couple of different bûches de Noël, including one traditional iteration and one that incorporates coffee and caramel. The flavors might be different, but they do have a defining commonality: Both look like something straight out of an enchanted forest. There's even a third, less traditional version that's actually a fig roll stuffed with luxurious mascarpone cream and decorated with frozen grapes or currants, their frost lending a sparkling effect. Kransekake, a Norwegian "wreath cake," is another magical-looking confection, where 18 delicate cookie rings form a tall tower decorated with dramatic drips of royal icing.
Citrus fans will find plenty of ideas here, too. There's a crepe cake stuffed with lemon-mascarpone cream, an orange cake spiced with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, and a gingerbread cheesecake topped with juicy, sweet-tart mixed citrus segments. Ginger also pops up in a cake topped with simple and striking wine-poached pears, tender enough to eat with a spoon.
Alongside a tray of cookies or a bowl of clementines, these gorgeous desserts are sure to delight.
Coffee-Caramel Swiss Roll
In this elegant bûche de Noël, sponge cake is brushed with espresso syrup, filled with caramel, and covered in seven-minute frosting. For the finishing touch, the snowy white exterior gets brûléed with a kitchen torch, making it look like something straight out of an enchanted forest.
The name of this cake, from Norway, translates to "wreath cake," and it's essentially a tall tower made out of 18 delicate cookie rings. It's surprisingly straightforward to make, consisting of ground almonds, confectioners' sugar, and egg whites. Royal icing holds them together and lends a wintery effect.
Eggnog Semifreddo Génoise Cake with Meringue Frosting
Looking for a dessert to impress? This extravagant eggnog meringue frosted creation features layers of génoise (sponge cake) alternated with a nutmeg-and-rum-scented semifreddo. In a unique twist, the layers are vertical instead of horizontal.
Here's a refreshing and unexpected dessert that's a delightful way to end a big meal. A creamy gingerbread-spiced filling is balanced by a topping of juicy, sweet-tart mixed citrus segments.
Mini Chocolate Cakes with Dark-Chocolate Ganache
Lemon-Mascarpone Crepe Cake
This light and lovely dessert is essentially a stack of 20 crepes layered with lemon curd and whipped cream, all covered in rich mascarpone cream. A garnish of crushed amaretti cookies give it just a bit of crunch.
Made extra merry by a wood-grain fondant finish and molded chocolate pinecones, this creative yule log is the ultimate centerpiece for a holiday table and a festive and delicious dessert.
Make cheesecake thrice as festive with a gingerbread crust, a spiced molasses filling, and a ring of two-tone cookies on top.
Jam-Filled Cake with Chocolate Glaze
It's name doesn't do justice to this extravagant dessert. Sure, there is a delectable jam-filled cake on this pedestal and it's topped with a simply irresistible and easy chocolate glaze. Feel free to stop there and you'll have a divine sweet ending. Or go all out and make the crown of raspberry-filled cream puffs. It's the holidays after all!
Coconut Angel Food Cake
Hark! Any angel would sing after tasting this heavenly coconut cake. The coconut glaze, flaked coconut, and snow angel lollipop decorations add to its sweet appeal.
Steamed Persimmon Pudding
Oven-dried persimmon slices curl up like flowers, a simple yet perfect accent for this spiced pudding cake.
Frosted Fruitcake with Meringue Mushrooms
Fig Holiday Roll
An opulent, fruity rolled cake, made with dried figs and currants, is filled with a luxurious mascarpone cream. No frosting is necessary, frozen grapes or currants are all the decoration needed.
Glazed Chocolate Layer Cake
Powdered sugar snowflakes turn a chocolate-glazed layer cake into something worth celebrating.
Poached Pears with Gingerbread
Simple but striking, here's a cake for those who aren't fans of frosting. A gingerbread cake is topped with wine-poached pears and cinnamon cream.
Orange Spice Cake with White Chocolate Poinsettia Topper
Is this the ultimate Christmas cake topper? A three-layer cake made with spices, ground walnuts, molasses, and orange zest is covered with a sleek layer of seven-minute frosting. It makes a simple backdrop for a stunning marzipan poinsettia with white chocolate leaves.