21 Festive Holiday Desserts You Can Make This Year That Don't Require Cream Cheese

Gingerbread Latte Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

While we must say we love to use cream cheese when making desserts and often reach for it while baking, we realize there are times when you may prefer a recipe that doesn't call for a block. Whether you're having trouble finding cream cheese on the shelves of the supermarket or have family members that don't particularly love the flavor, there are still plenty of dessert recipes you can make without it. From cakes to cookies to fudge and more, there is a long list of festive dessert recipes that don't need cream cheese to be delicious. We've rounded up 21 of our best Christmas dessert ideas you can make this year without cream cheese.

01 of 21

Chocolate Peppermint Cake

Chocolate Peppermint Cake
Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Kathleen Varner

Recipe: Chocolate Peppermint Cake

Our Test Kitchen recommends following the steps exactly in this recipe to make sure the frosting doesn't deflate.

02 of 21

Red Velvet Cake Crinkle Cookies

Red Velvet Cake Crinkle Cookies
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

Recipe: Red Velvet Cake Crinkle Cookies

While most Red Velvets desserts require cream cheese, these crinkle cookies don't.

03 of 21

Eggnog Bundt Cake

Spiked Eggnog Bundt Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Eggnog Bundt Cake

If desired, you can substitute the bourbon for heavy cream.

04 of 21

Christmas Fudge

Christmas Fudge
Micah A Leal

Recipe: Christmas Fudge

We've included a secret ingredient to ensure this fudge has a creamy texture and won't crumble or crystallize.

05 of 21

Santa's Kitchen-Sink Cookies

Santa's Kitchen-Sink Cookies
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Santa's Kitchen-Sink Cookies

You can follow this recipe exactly, or tailor to your family by adding your favorite mix-ins.

06 of 21

Snowball Cake

Snowball Cake
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Ana Kelly Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke

Recipe: Snowball Cake

A biscuit cutter will allow you to make these miniature snowball cakes from a simple sheet cake.

07 of 21

Gingerbread Latte Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting

Gingerbread Latte Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Gingerbread Latte Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting

Brewed coffee gives this gingerbread cake the same flavor as your favorite holiday latte.

08 of 21

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

Brown Sugar-and-Ginger Whipped Cream
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Old Fashioned Gingerbread

Fresh, homemade gingerbread will fill your home with the smell of the spices of the season. Plus, it's simple to make.

09 of 21

Triple Chocolate Brownie-Mousse Stacks

Triple Chocolate Brownie-Mousse Stacks
Linda Pugliese, Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas, Buffy Hargett Miller

Recipe: Triple Chocolate Brownie-Mousse Stacks

Not only are these triple stacks cute, but they can also be assembled up to 24 hours ahead of time.

10 of 21

Peppermint Cake with Seven-Minute Frosting

Peppermint Cake with Seven-Minute Frosting
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Peppermint Cake with Seven-Minute Frosting

A peppermint buttercream gives the inside of this cake a pop of color and mint flavor.

11 of 21

Chocolate-Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cookies

Chocolate-Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cookies
Joy Howard

Recipe: Chocolate-Gingerbread Christmas Tree Cookies

If you tend to prefer the taste of chocolate over gingerbread, give this recipe a try.

12 of 21

Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake

Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas: Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake

We topped this chocolate cake with Magnolia cake flowers, but you can decorate however you'd like.

13 of 21

Hot Chocolate Brownies

Hot Chocolate Brownies
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipes: Hot Chocolate Brownies

When it's time to cut these brownies, dusting the knife with powdered sugar between each cut will help each square come out perfectly.

14 of 21

Sprinkle Sandwich Cookies

Sprinkle Sandwich Cookies
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Sprinkle Sandwich Cookies

Whether you give them as a gift, bring them to a party, or just make them for your family, these sprinkle cookies are sure to be a hit.

15 of 21

White Chocolate-Peppermint Blondies

White Chocolate-Peppermint Blondies
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: White Chocolate-Peppermint Blondies

Peppermint extract and crushed peppermints make sure these blondies have plenty of minty flavor.

16 of 21

Mini Chocolate Chess Tarts

Mini Chocolate Chess Tarts
Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Recipe: Mini Chocolate Chess Tarts

This recipe makes five dozen, so they're great to gift or serve a larger crowd.

17 of 21

Buche de Noel

Buche De Noel
Photographer: Jennifer Causey Food Stylist: Ana Kelly Prop Stylist: Kay Clarke

Recipe: Buche de Noel

If you want to try your hand at something other than a layer cake this year, this festive yule log is for you.

18 of 21

Fudgy Pecan Bourbon Balls

Fudgy Pecan Bourbon Balls Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Karin Olsen; Food Styling: Kellie Gerber Kelley

Recipe: Fudgy Pecan Bourbon Balls

A dessert that needs just four ingredients and doesn't even require turning on the oven is our kind of recipe.

19 of 21

Mint Meringue Christmas Trees

Mint Meringue Christmas Trees
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl Jones

Recipe: Mint Meringue Christmas Trees

Baking these tree cookies at a low temperature for two hours will allow the meringue to dry out and stand firmly.

20 of 21

Nicola Blaque's Christmas Rum Cake

Nicola's Christmas Rum Cake
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Ali Ramee; Prop Styling: Giulietta Pinna

Recipe: Nicola Blaque's Christmas Rum Cake

This is one cake that you'll want to make sure you prepare a day in advance of serving. It needs at least 8 hours (or up to 24 hours) to soak up the rum.

21 of 21

Linzer Tree Cookies

linzer tree cookies
Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Recipe: Linzer Tree Cookies

Poking holes in the cookies and sandwiching a red jam, such as raspberry or strawberry, between the two pieces lends the appearance of ornaments.

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