Heavenly Holiday Desserts
These fabulous holiday confections taste divine and will absolutely dazzle on your dessert table. Prepare to wow!
Make Ahead: Loosely wrap baked and cooked tiramisu in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Recipe: Pumpkin-Espresso Tiramisù
If you like red velvet cake, you'll love this fudge.
Recipe: Red Velvet Fudge
Use the foil as a handle to remove the cooled batch from the pan for easy slicing.
Warm spices and molasses blend beautifully with tangy buttermilk frosting.
Recipe: Gingerbread Cake with Buttermilk Frosting
We love using mint kisses and candy cane kisses for the holidays.
Recipe: Hidden Kiss Cookies
Try unsweetened coconut flakes for a not-too-sweet topping.
Recipe: Coconut Pudding
Pick your favorite filling for this classic sandwich cookie: We tested with peppermint, orange, and lemon extracts and used food coloring to match each flavor.
Recipe: Cookie Press Sandwiches
Bake this a day before serving so it soaks up the creamy syrup. Make mini cakes with a round cutter. Top with whipped cream and a grating of nutmeg.
Recipe: Milk Punch Tres Leches Cake
Use your fingers to make a small hole in the center of each cookie.
Recipe: Wreath Macaroons
This cake will be the star of your holiday meal. Your guests will be begging for the recipe.
Recipe: White Cake with Cranberry Filling and Orange Buttercream
Top this rich trifle with a sprinkle of chocolate curls.
Recipe: Mexican Hot Chocolate Trifle
Use food coloring gel in a squeeze bottle or a food-safe paintbrush to make lines in the piping bag. Once meringues are cooled, store them in an airtight container at room temperature.
Recipe: Peppermint Meringue Cookies
You can substitute mini marshmallows for espresso beans.
Recipe: Mississippi Mud Medallions
These festive nibbles are the perfect giftable treat.
Recipe: Minted White Chocolate Balls
You can chill the dough for these gingersnappers up to three days before baking.
Recipe: Triple Gingersnappers
Use your favorite jams to vary the flavor and color of these beauties.
Recipe: Pecan Linzer Cookies
Any remaining sauce makes a great topping for ice cream.
Recipe: Banana Brownie Sticky Toffee Puddings
This three-layer butter cake has a pecan-pie filling in between the cake layers, a rich cream cheese frosting, and a topping of sweet coconut and chopped pecans. It's a great dessert for holiday entertaining.
- Recipe: Caramel Cream Cake
If you like the taste of pecan pie, you'll love this easy alternative. Serve the squares with vanilla ice cream for an over-the-top dessert.
- Recipe: Pecan Squares
For festive holiday flair, prepare these individual desserts in mugs or ramekins. This chilled dessert recipe makes three servings, so plan to enjoy the two extra servings the next day.
- Recipe: Double Coffee Tiramisù
Chocoholics are sure to love this ultra-rich cheesecake, which features traditional cheesecake filling sandwiched between a chocolate-pecan brownie base and a thick, homemade chocolate glaze.
- Recipe: Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake
This rich holiday cake is a show-stopper that will become a family holiday classic recipe. Don't be tempted to substitute peppermint extract for the peppermint oil used in this recipe. Peppermint oil, available from cake-supply stores, has an intense, highly concentrated flavor like that found in chocolate-covered peppermint patties.
- Recipe: Chocolate-Mint Cake
A delicious twist on our favorite Hummingbird Cake, this recipe is so simple to make you won't believe you started from scratch. This recipe can be made with fresh figs or with good quality preserves. Sweet cream cheese frosting covers the cake and is a nice balance to the spicy fall flavors.
- Recipe: Fig Cake
Easy as icebox pie, this party-pretty tart pairs the bright fresh flavors of lemon and orange with a crisp gingersnap crust. It's just the right finish for a rich holiday meal, and freezes beautifully.
- Recipe: Double Citrus Tart
There are crisp Italian cookies also called ladyfingers, but be sure to use soft ones in this recipe. Look for them in the bakery or produce section of your supermarket.
- Recipe: Raspberry Tiramisù Bites
A lavish amount of melted chocolate and sour cream gives these moist cake layers a tender, velvet-textured crumb. You'll find lots of imaginative ways to bake and frost the cake layers listed with the recipe for the batter.
A New Orleans specialty, this simple but ethereal dessert is nothing short of spectacular. It takes just minutes to put together, and bakes while everyone enjoys the main meal.
- Recipe: Bread Pudding With Vanilla Sauce
A burst of sweet-tart cranberry sauce lies at the bottom of these creamy, double-rich custards. Prepare the custards a day ahead, and chill. Crisp, paper-thin crusts of caramelized sugar are added just before serving—all it takes is a few minutes under the broiler. For the best flavor and texture, choose a quality white chocolate with cocoa butter listed as the primary ingredient.
This classic English layered pudding dessert goes Southern with banana pudding and bourbon-soaked vanilla wafers.
- Recipe: Banana Pudding Trifle
Still warm from the oven or tucked away to season in a secret hiding place, golden-crusted pound cakes are loved by everyone. We serve them any time of day or night, and have even been known to butter and toast a slice or two for breakfast. A colorful confetti of red and green maraschino cherries makes this merry little cake a hit with all ages.
- Recipe: Noel Pound Cake Loaf
A star-tipped pastry bag makes quick work of piping these festive little cream puffs, but you can also shape small dollops of dough with a pair of teaspoons. Bake them up to a month ahead; cool completely, and freeze in zip-top plastic bags. We chose vanilla bean ice cream as a filling, but butter-pecan or dulce-de-leche are also a great match for the compote. Or, change the flavor combination and use coffee ice cream and caramel sauce to create a fun twist on the popular pumpkin spiced latté.
A decadent trio of dark chocolate cake layers is the delicious surprise inside this festive package. There's no need to worry about picture-perfect swirls of frosting—just spread it on. Then decorate like a pro simply by pressing finely chopped white chocolate and almonds into the top and sides of the cake. Tie on a ribbon, and you have a stunning dessert that tastes every bit as good as it looks.
- Recipe: White Chocolate-Almond Cake
Doughnuts are a true passion for Mindi–she even asks for them instead of birthday cake. "This recipe is an awesome sweet to add to your brunch menus too," says Mindi.
Top with whipped cream and this sweet potato pie is sure to be a hit.
- Recipe: Sweet Potato-Buttermilk Pie
Swirl chocolate and yellow cake batter together in this marble sheetcake recipe and top with a rich mocha frosting.
- Recipe: Chocolate Marble Sheet Cake
Make a classic white cake for Christmas this year. This recipe starts with boxed mix, then adds a few key ingredients to make the end result light, fluffy, and totally delicious.
- Recipe: Sugar-and-Spice Cake
We replicated the flavor profile of Mexican chocolate using semisweet chocolate and cinnamon. If you prefer to use Mexican chocolate, look for it with the hot drink mixes or on the Hispanic food aisle. This moist pound cake is equally delicious without the Mexican Chocolate Sauce
Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake
The bourbon-soaked fruits and bold flavors in this rustic pie make it an adults-only dessert. Splurge for a premium brandy or bourbon—it’s worth it.
- Recipe: Tipsy Spiced Fruit Tart with Buttermilk Whipped Cream
- Step-by-Step: How To Make a Fabulous Fruit Tart
These snazzy red velvet soufflés are not only eye catching, but drool-worthy desserts that will dazzle any holiday table.
This praline bundt cake gets raves for being moist, flavorful and beautiful! Something about it evokes a feeling of Southern nostalgia.
- Recipe: Praline Bundt Cake
This ultimate recipe is the most requested in Southern Living magazine history and frequents covered dish dinners all across the South, always receiving rave reviews.
Recipe: Hummingbird Cake
Save time and stress with this elegant make-ahead dessert your guests will love.
- Recipe: Cheesecake Squares
This trifle has a unique mixture of flavors and textures from the creamy yogurt and cream cheese and the moist red velvet cake. Top this dessert with raspberries for a light and satisfying treat.
- Recipe: Red Velvet Trifle
Make an easy holiday pound cake by starting with a box of pound cake mix and adding eggnog and ground nutmeg. Not only is it perfect for holiday entertaining, you can also toast a few slices and top with jam or preserves for breakfast. You can also use the delectable batter to make Eggnog Cupcakes.
Recipe: Eggnog Pound Cake
Step-by-Step Video: Festive Eggnog Pound Cake
This impressive dessert isn't difficult, but do plan ahead. Preheat the oven, and just before sitting down to dinner, pop the soufflés in. When done, serve them all puffed up and gorgeous.
Recipe: Gingerbread Soufflés
Chill any remaining custard, and serve it with the remaining ladyfingers for dipping.
- Recipe: Charlotte Russe
Santa's secret: No one will ever guess these elegant little cakes came from a box of white cake mix and a can of cherries.
- Recipe: Cherries Jubilee Cakes
This is a towering peppermint-lover's dream. Clear about 14 square inches of room in your freezer before you begin.
- Recipe: Peppermint Ice-Cream Cake
Make even larger quantities for gifting this easy microwave treat by skipping the jelly-roll pan and covering your counter with parchment. It'll take longer to harden at room temperature, but you can make large batches without pans or the refrigerator.
- Recipe: Peppermint-Pretzel Bark
Effortless to pull off? Check. Tastes better the longer it sits? Check. Make this beauty up to one day before company arrives.
- Recipe: Cranberry Dreamsicle Trifle
Cardamom spice gives this silky custard its delicious flavor. Use any berry you wish, adjusting the sugar in the mixture to taste.
- Recipe: Raspberry Panna Cotta
For a formal fête, freeze the custards in elegant wine glasses or brandy snifters. For a casual gathering, use small milkshake glasses or punch cups.
- Recipe: Milk Punch Frozen Custards