A cake can turn any occasion into a celebration, and that holds especially true during the holidays. While cookies may reign supreme as THE dessert synonymous with Christmas, we think cakes are just as notable. From creamy cheesecakes to breakfast bakes, with multilayered masterpieces in between, we’ve got every cake you need to celebrate this holiday season.
We’ve got a little something for everyone here, whether you’re looking for a show-stopping centerpiece for a holiday dinner or simply an easy addition to a Christmas party dessert table. Not a super-confident baker but want to get in on the holiday spirit? Try our mini eggnog cheesecakes (no water bath!), our ugly sweater cake, our citrus upside-down cake (the fruit is the decoration), or our milk 'n' cookies icebox cake. They're full of seasonal flavors and easy decorations but don't require a ton of effort.
Have more experience in the kitchen and are looking for something that’ll blow your guests' minds? Check out our (9-layer!) Christmas tree cake, our lemon meringue cheesecake, our bûche de noël, or our peppermint bark cheesecake. Plan ahead, as these babies will take some extra time but are so worth the extra effort.
We’ve even got things here to make your breakfasts festive, like our cranberry cake, our salted caramel pound cake, our fruitcake, or our cookie dough pound cake. Serve them alongside some Christmas coffee, our cranberry mimosas, or our best hot chocolate for the perfect holly jolly morning.
Bûche de Noël (Yule Log Cake)
Bûche de Noël cakes are a French Christmas tradition dating back to the 19th century. Decorate it like a log, as is traditional, or try any other variety of frosting and topping combos—it's all about that gorgeous swirl, so anything else is a bonus.
Get the Bûche de Noël (Yule Log Cake) recipe.
Want your kitchen to smell like Christmas? Make gingerbread cake! Enjoy it warm or cold, for breakfast or after dinner, plain or topped with whipped cream, from a plate with a fork or straight out of your hand. No judgment here!
Get the Gingerbread Cake recipe.
Cranberry-Mimosa Breakfast Cake
Ugly Sweater Cake
Unlike our ugly sweater cookies, which involve some pretty serious piping skills, all you need to do for this cake is pipe a few thick lines on a store-bought (or homemade cake) to make it look like somewhat like a sweater, then go crazy with the décor!
Get the Ugly Sweater Cake recipe.
Fruitcake is an iconic holiday dessert that doesn't get the love it deserves. This is the one you should take the risk on though. Freshly baked, fruitcake is delicious and studded with dry fruit and pecans and warmly spiced. The glaze is optional but is a helpful, sweet addition.
Get the Fruitcake recipe.
Christmas Tree Cake
Nine layers of breathtaking beauty! This Christmas tree cake is perfect for when you really want to show off this holiday season. We recommend using a homemade cake recipe, like our chocolate or yellow cakes, but boxed cake mix will work too.
Get the Christmas Tree Cake recipe.
Chocolate Bundt Cake
Calling all chocolate dessert lovers—this fudgy Bundt cake is really something special. We’re partial to covering it in a rich ganache and serving it after a nice dinner, but keep it plain and it can be the perfect indulgent Christmas brunch or midday pick-me-up.
Get the Chocolate Bundt Cake recipe.
Citrus Upside Down Cake
We used slices from navel, blood orange, Cara Cara oranges, grapefruit, and lemons, but really any of your favorite wintery citrus can be used for this stunner of an upside-down cake.
Get the Citrus Upside Down Cake recipe.
Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Traditionally a date-studded sponge cake topped with a rich toffee sauce, this the perfect dessert for holiday meals or special occasions. It’s truly a dessert like any other and is best served still slightly warm out of the pan with extra toffee sauce drizzled on top.
Get the Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe.
Milk 'N' Cookies Icebox Cake
Want to turn Santa's milk and cookies into a dessert you can serve a crowd? This no-bake icebox showstopper is for you—did we mention it only has 4 ingredients?
Get the Milk 'N' Cookies Icebox Cake recipe.
Baby, it’s cold outside! We can’t think of a better way to welcome the first snow of the season than with these adorable snowman cupcakes. Marshmallow snowmen sit atop sweet, frosted coconut cupcakes to create a dessert guaranteed to put you in a festive mood.
Get the Snowman Cupcakes recipe.
Red Velvet Cake
Everyone should have a good red velvet cake recipe in their back pocket—and this is it. It has a decadent chocolate flavor and the creamiest cream cheese frosting, and the striking red color makes it unforgettable (and perfect for the holidays!).
Get the Red Velvet Cake recipe.
Contrary to the name, Figgy Pudding isn't pudding (at least not by America's definition). "Pudding" in this case refers to the British style of a steamed cake-like dessert that will perfume your entire house as it bakes, thanks to its dreamy combination of spices.
Get the Figgy Pudding recipe.
This cranberry pound cake is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. The cranberries will burst and release all of their juices while baking, making each bite extra exciting. The sugar topping adds a subtle crunch too, and the sour cream keeps this cake moist for days.
Get the Cranberry Cake recipe.
We chose to make vanilla cake pops with white chocolate frosting and sprinkles, but you can switch it up based on your favorite flavors! Do vanilla cake with chocolate frosting (semisweet would be perfect), white cake, chocolate, or red velvet with any icing and decorations you please.
Get the Cake Pops recipe.
Bake up an ode to our favorite grumpy Christmas character complete with a bright red Santa hat made from buttercream.
Get the Kranky Cupcakes recipe.
Have you ever wondered what a gooey chocolate brownie paired with cheesecake would taste like? Look no further! This chocolate cheesecake recipe is a chocolate lover’s dream. It’s rich, silky smooth, moist, and almost fudge-like—everything you want in a chocolate dessert.
Get the Chocolate Cheesecake recipe.
You know about the sun-kissed yellow cake smeared with chocolate buttercream frosting and the classic yolk-less white cake. But what about the one in between, the one speckled with vanilla bean? THIS is the best vanilla cake recipe around.
Get the Vanilla Cake recipe.
Almost Flourless Chocolate-Orange Cake
This almost flourless chocolate cake gets its orange flavor from both zest and 2 to 3 tablespoons of Cointreau or other orange liqueur. Using a full 3 tablespoons will give the cake a slightly boozy taste, not unlike the foil-wrapped chocolates in a box of truffles.
Lemon Cream Cake
Even if you've never had the Olive Garden version, this is a lemon dessert worth making. The vanilla cake is soft and fluffy with a hint of lemon and gets a thick lemon cream filling that’s just tart enough.
Get the Lemon Cream Cake recipe.
Santa Hat Cupcakes
Bake off your favorite cupcakes, pipe a tall swirling mound of red frosting on top, then add a little white around the edges and top. You'll have the cutest Christmas dessert in no time, and everyone will be obsessed.
Get the Santa Hat Cupcakes recipe.
Want to feel like you’re on The Great British Bake Off? Make Battenberg cake. White- and pink-tinted slices of rich almond cake are brushed with apricot jam, artfully stacked, and covered with sweet almond marzipan for a cake that’s stunning and delicious enough to win any day of the week.
Get the Battenberg Cake recipe.
Christmas Light Cupcakes
Get the Christmas Light Cupcakes recipe.
Tres Leches Cake
We use sweetened condensed, evaporated, and whole milk for this Latin American sponge cake. Some recipes use heavy cream in place of whole milk, but we feel the mixture is already so decadent and that milk helps balance it.
Get the Tres Leches Cake recipe.
Andes Chocolate Cake
Get the Andes Chocolate Cake recipe.
Cookie Dough Pound Cake
This perfect pound cake is sliced, then stuffed with delicious cookie dough for the most epic of combos. We are dreaming up excuses to make it over and over again this Christmas (we might leave some out for Santa in lieu of regular cookies!).
Get the Cookie Dough Pound Cake recipe.
Lemon Meringue Cheesecake
If you’re looking for a showstopping, mouthwatering dessert to impress dinner guests, look no further than this lemon meringue cheesecake recipe. The layers of graham cracker crust, creamy cheesecake, bright yellow lemon curd, and a big swoop of toasted meringue will get everyone in a frenzy even before their first bite.
Get the Lemon Meringue Cheesecake recipe.
Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes
Eggnog is one of the best ways we know how to celebrate the holidays so, naturally, we had to turn some into mini cheesecakes. Using a gingersnap for the crust makes these extra easy and makes them taste even more seasonal.
Get the Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes recipe.
Glazed Rum Cake
Popular in the Caribbean, rum cake is a vanilla Bundt cake that has rum in the batter. Traditionally, dried fruit is soaked in rum for months and then added to the cake batter too, but we've made a more accessible homemade version here.
Get the Glazed Rum Cake recipe.
Chocolate-Covered Cake Balls
You could use any type of cake for this recipe, but truthfully, we actually prefer starting with boxed mix. With the homemade buttercream, chocolate coating, and festive sprinkles, no one will notice or care.
Get the Chocolate-Covered Cake Balls recipe.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake
Get the Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake recipe.
Peppermint Bark Cheesecake
It doesn’t get more festive than everyone’s favorite holiday menu special from The Cheesecake Factory. Peppermint bark meets cheesecake in this minty, chocolate-y epic dessert. Studded with chopped chocolate and candy canes, it tastes just like the real thing.
Get the Peppermint Bark Cheesecake recipe.
White Chocolate Cake
A classic chocolate cake is always a good idea, but if you want to switch things up a bit, give this white chocolate cake a try. It's soft and layered with a white chocolate mousse and then frosted with a simple cream cheese frosting.
Get the White Chocolate Cake recipe.
It’s hard not to love a creamy, light slice of tiramisu, but we especially love it in cake form. Whether you’re looking for a slightly more approachable take on the Italian classic, or are just a tiramisu fanatic looking for a clever twist, this recipe will make for the perfect addition to any holiday celebration.
Get the Tiramisu Cake recipe.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake
If you love sky-high, show-stopping desserts, prepare to meet your new obsession. Crêpe cake is a cool, lofty masterpiece composed of layers of crêpes and lightened vanilla pastry cream, all topped with a billowing cloud of whipped cream and a crown of fresh berries.
Get the Crêpe Cake recipe.
Flourless Chocolate Coconut Cake
Say hello to the most decadent flourless chocolate cake, upgraded with fragrant toasted coconut in both the batter and on top. Because it's grain-free, this cake is perfect for anytime you need a last-minute gluten-free dessert too.
Chocolate Pudding Cake
Chocolate cake meets chocolate pudding in this decadent dessert. This sliceable homemade pudding in cake form is a great dessert for the non-cake lovers this holiday season. Warm up your knife to ensure clean slices!
Get the Chocolate Pudding Cake recipe.
Salted Caramel Pound Cake
This is no ordinary pound cake. It's swirled with a sweet and decadent caramel batter and topped with a healthy drizzle of salted caramel after it's baked. We recommend using our perfect caramel sauce for this recipe (but store-bought works too!).
Get the Salted Caramel Pound Cake recipe.
Lemon Icebox Cake
Icebox cake may be an old-school concept, but this recipe is truly spectacular. The combination of lemon curd and cream cheese frosting is intensely citrusy and refreshing, and the quick candied lemon peel makes it priceless.
Get the Lemon Icebox Cake recipe.
Eggnog Spice Cake
The holidays aren't the holidays without eggnog. This layer cake takes cues from the classic holiday drink for a perfectly decadent and festive dessert. We'd take a slice of this over a Christmas cookie any day.
Get the Eggnog Spice Cake recipe.
Candy Cane Cheesecake
Get the Candy Cane Cheesecake recipe.
Crème Brûlée Cheesecake
To get that perfect caramelized sugar topping crème brûlée is known for, we highly recommend using a torch. If you need more excuses to get one, check out our crème brûlée cupcakes or sugar cookies too.
Get the Crème Brûlée Cheesecake recipe.
Get the Snickerdoodle Cheesecake recipe.
Get the Creamsicle Cheesecake recipe.
Hot Cocoa Poke Cake
Get the Hot Cocoa Poke Cake recipe.
Few desserts are as easy as an icebox cake. If you can whip cream, you're basically halfway there. Oreo Thins make a great cookie base because they can soften perfectly all the way through, but, honestly, a a regular Oreo or even holiday Oreos will work just as well if you have those on hand.
Get the Icebox Cake recipe.
Peppermint Poke Cake
This poke cake is a must make this holiday season. Topping chocolate cake with peppermint-flavored marshmallow topping and Cool Whip would be delicious enough, but we take it over the top with fudge sauce and crushed peppermints too.
Get the Peppermint Poke Cake recipe.
Polar Bear Paw Cupcakes
Take a batch of boxed cake mix cupcakes to the next level of cuteness with some shredded coconut, M&Ms, and Oreos. These are perfect for a holiday bake sale or classroom party.
Get the Polar Bear Paw Cupcakes recipe.
Love cheesecake, but hate water baths? This cheesecake has the best work around to avoid one—blanket your cheesecake with delicious sugared almonds to cover any cracks. That and the almond flavor here makes this cheesecake a winner, for the holidays and beyond.
Get the Amaretto Cheesecake recipe.
Our main goal in developing this chocolate cake recipe was to make sure the chocolate was the star, so we tested it over 10 times (and the frosting 5 times!) to guarantee it. Read on for all my tips and tricks to get the most fudgy, rich chocolate cake imaginable.
Get the Chocolate Cake recipe.
Grinch Pull-Apart Cupcakes
Don't be intimidated. These pull-apart cupcakes are wayyyy easier to make than you'd think. (Just watch the video a couple times 😉) If you're not willing to put in the work on decorating with frosting, make our Grinch Kranky Treats instead.
Get the Grinch Pull-Apart Cupcakes recipe.
Citrus Olive Oil Cake
If you've never had olive oil-based dessert, this citrusy, tender cake is a great place to start. Wintery lemon and orange zest play super well with the grassy, bright flavors of olive oil.
Get the Citrus Olive Oil Cake recipe.
Classic buttercream is great and all, but have you ever had Italian meringue? The not too sweet frosting pairs well with the rich chocolate cake and looks great swirled or toasted on the outside. Pipe it on to make pretty swirls and rosettes, or use a kitchen torch for a s'mores vibe.
Get the Marshmallow Cake recipe.
We turned two store-bought cake mixes, one 8" cake pan, one 8" heat-safe bowl, marshmallows, and one cake donut to create this joyful igloo cake. Check out our video for tips, and then use this recipe to spark your baking imagination.
Get the Igloo Cake recipe.
Ground pistachios and cardamom are added in with the flour here to create a subtly spiced, green-hued cake with a nutty flavor and texture. The cake then gets a thin layer of cream cheese frosting for a tangy addition that perfectly ties it all together.
Get the Pistachio Cake recipe.
Milk & Cookies Cake
It's hard to beat a great chocolate chip cookie. A chocolate chip cookie + milk? Perfection. This cake has it all and more (more being... cake) and we think it's the perfect celebration cake to welcome Santa down the chimney this holiday season.
Get the Milk & Cookies Cake recipe.
Sparkling Cranberry Cheesecake
This cheesecake will be the star of all your holiday parties this year. Sugared cranberries look crazy impressive on top but are actually very simple to make (once you learn how, you might just want to put them on everything).
Thin Mint Cheesecake
Get the Thin Mint Cheesecake recipe.
Gingerbread cookies are a holiday staple. That said, no one EVER turns down a slice of cheesecake at our holiday celebrations. This beauty merges the two, for a festive cheesecake worthy of your holiday table.
Get the Gingerbread Cheesecake recipe.
Eggnog Poke Cake
Get the Eggnog Poke Cake recipe.
You Might Also Like