60 Showstopping Christmas Cake Recipes
There's nothing more festive than our showstopping Christmas cake recipes. End your holiday meal with one of our beautifully garnished cakes. Sugar plum fairies will be dancing while you are devouring one—or more—of these showstopping Christmas cakes. In fact, these desserts are perfect for any time of the year. From cheesecake to Bundts and towering layer cakes, these Christmas cakes will sweeten any holiday. These holiday cakes have the perfect recipes for adding layers of delight to any family event.
White Cake with Peppermint Frosting
Garnish with a fondant bow or Peppermint Meringue Cookies.
Spice Cake with Cranberry Filling
Pipe a ring of frosting around the cake layer, just inside the top edge, to keep filling from oozing out.
Recipe: Chocolate-Peppermint Cheesecake
Don't worry if your cheesecake cracks; the light and fluffy layer of whipped cream will cover it.
White Cake with Bourbon Buttercream
Top this cake with Sugar-Coated Orange Slices and Sparkling Cherries.
White Cake with Cranberry Filling and Orange Buttercream
Acadian Syrup Cake with Roasted Pears and Caramel Sauce
A Cajun classic, this spice cake (aka Gateau au Sirop) gets much of its sweet flavor from a Southern staple, cane syrup. We love Steen's 100% Pure Cane Syrup, made in Louisiana. If you can't find pure cane syrup, don't sub a blended syrup; use honey instead. Roast the pears and make the caramel sauce while the cake cools. To dress up the cake for serving, we used a fleur-de-lis stencil to create a powdered sugar design atop this glorious dark and deeply delicious cake.
Gingerbread Cake with Buttermilk Frosting
Warm spices and molasses blend beautifully with tangy buttermilk frosting.
Rum-Glazed Sweet Potato Cakes
Recipe: Rum-Glazed Sweet Potato Cakes
This mini Bundt cake recipe features pureed sweet potatoes, raisins, rum, and toasted pecans along with cinnamon and nutmeg and is a perfect pick-up treat for a holiday dessert party.
Recipe: Cranberry-Apple-Pumpkin Bundt
The topping on this bundt—a maple glaze with sugared pecans and pumpkin seeds—will make your guests ooh and ahh.
Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake
Recipe: Hummingbird 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.
Tennessee Jam Bundt
Recipe: Tennessee Jam Bundt
The best way to enjoy this blackberry and caramel confection is with friends—it makes 12 satisfying servings.
Mama's German Chocolate Cake
Marbled Pumpkin Praline Cake
Recipe: Marbled Pumpkin Praline Cake
Marbled Pumpkin Praline Cake garnished with sugared pecans, kumquats, and bay leaves.
White Chocolate-Almond Cake
Recipe: White Chocolate-Almond Cake
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.
Red Velvet Cheesecake
Recipe: Red Velvet Cheesecake
If you love both red velvet cake and cheesecake, this perfect sweet-meets-rich-meets-creamy concoction is bound to be your new favorite dessert.
Recipe: Sugar-and-Spice 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.
Coconut Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting
If you bake anything this holiday season, let it be this. Not only is this 2020’s Big White Cake from the December cover, but it’s our 25th annual Big White Cake!
Buche de Noel
Recipe: Buche de Noel
Classic yule log cakes are a labor of love, but you should absolutely make one this year.
Spiked Eggnog Bundt Cake
Recipe: Spiked Eggnog Bundt Cake
This ultra-rich cake combines your favorite holiday drink with a sweet glaze on top.
Chocolate Peppermint Cake
Recipe: Chocolate Peppermint Cake
The Italian meringue frosting on top of this minty-chocolatey dream is fluffy and festive.
Snowy Vanilla Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream
We topped this Big White Cake with our adorable Cake Ball Ornaments.
Upside Down Pear-and-Gingerbread Cake
If you’re a fan of spice cakes, you have to try this holiday upside down cake.
Red Velvet Cheesecake-Vanilla Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
That’s right—we combined red velvet cheesecake and vanilla cake and THEN topped it with cream cheese frosting.
Eggnog Spice Cake with Bourbon Custard Filling and Eggnog Buttercream
This eggnog-flavored cake with boozy filling is a reader favorite, and we have a feeling it will quickly become a tradition in your home.
Red Velvet Peppermint Cake
Recipe: Red Velvet Peppermint Cake
Classic red velvet cake gets a holiday-ready makeover with the addition of peppermint and cream cheese icing.
Sea Salt-Caramel Cake
Recipe: Sea Salt-Caramel Cake
The caramel frosting on this tender layer cake is the true star of this beautiful recipe.
Cassandra’s “Light” Fruitcake
Recipe: Cassandra’s “Light” Fruitcake
This fruitcake will change your opinion about the holiday tradition for good.
Coconut Cake with Rum Filling and Coconut Ermine Frosting
If you’ve never baked with ermine frosting, you’ll fall in love with this vintage treat.
Bourbon-Chocolate Cake with Browned Buttercream Frosting
This layer cake is appropriate for celebrations year round, but this boozy dessert feels especially festive for the holidays.
Gingerbread Cheesecake with Lemon-Ginger Glaze
This absolutely gorgeous cheesecake can be made up to two days in advance to help you out during the busy holiday season.
Our Best White Cake
Recipe: Our Best White Cake
If you’ve been baking from a box, try out this easy, classic white cake recipe.
Peppermint Cake with Seven-Minute Frosting
We filled this layer cake with a pink peppermint buttercream for a fun surprise.
Christmas Confetti Roulade
Recipe: Christmas Confetti Roulade
This colorful cake includes an orange liqueur-spiked filling for an ultimate grand finale to your Christmas.
Recipe: Buttermilk-Chocolate Cake
A decadent chocolate cake topped with silky Swiss meringue buttercream…What could make this dessert better? Gorgeous magnolia and camellia flower cake toppers, that’s what!
Recipe: Baklava Cheesecake
We love a dessert mashup more than anyone, and this silky smooth cheesecake that includes a serving of baklava in each slice is the best combo we can imagine.
Coffee Baba au Rhum
Recipe: Coffee Baba au Rhum
This old-fashioned Christmas dessert is for all the coffee lovers in your life.
Milk Punch Tres Leches Cake
Recipe: Milk Punch Tres Leches Cake
If you’ve never tried Tres Leches Cake, you’re in for a tender, moist treat.
If you’re unsure if you should make this cake, read what one staffer said about it: "It tastes like all the wonderful flavors that come tumbling from a stocking: milk chocolate Santas, gingerbread men, and buttery toffee candy.”
Butterscotch-Bourbon Lava Cakes
Recipe: Butterscotch-Bourbon Lava Cakes
Looking for something a little more grown up than peppermint or sugar cookies? Try these photo-worthy, boozy lava cakes.
Recipe: Snowball Cake
This recipe turns a sheet cake into festive little snowballs with the help of your biscuit cutter.
Chocolate-Mint Whipped Cream Cake
We published this recipe all the way back in November 1990, so if it’s stuck around this long, you know it’s good.
Spice Cake with Citrus Filling
Recipe: Spice Cake with Citrus Filling
With frosting this fluffy and swirled, you don’t even need to add toppings to this layer cake.
Gingerbread Latte Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting
Three layers of spicy gingerbread are brushed with Espresso Simple Syrup and then covered in fluffy Vanilla Whipped Cream Frosting for your ultimate coffee shop order come to life.
White Chocolate Poinsettia Cake
Recipe: White Chocolate Poinsettia Cake
Leaf cookie cutouts make a festive poinsettia topping for this snowy white cake.
Rudolph's Chocolate Truffle Cake
Recipe: Rudolph's Chocolate Truffle Cake
Your family full of chocolate lovers will rave about this cake for weeks.
Coconut-Almond Cream Cake
Recipe: Coconut-Almond Cream Cake
Any coconut fanatics in your family? In this recipe, coconut cake layers are stacked with coconut-almond filling and topped with coconut-cream cheese frosting.
Homemade Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes
Looking for an afternoon baking project to try with the kids? This copycat recipe tastes even better than the real thing, but don’t tell Little Debbie.
Gingerbread Cake With Stout Buttercream
Because this rustic cake starts with a box of cake mix, you only need a few more ingredients to get it on your Christmas table.
Mini Red Velvet Cakes
Recipe: Mini Red Velvet Cakes
Mint leaves and fresh raspberries make for a festive green and red topping on these mini cakes.
Recipe: Bourbon-Praline Cheesecake
Graham crackers, pecans, butter, and brown sugar make the crust for this dessert, and it only gets better from there.
Mint Chocolate Chip Cake
Recipe: Mint Chocolate Chip Cake
Instead of mint extract, this homemade cake gets its flavor from fresh mint leaves.
Recipe: Icebox Fruitcake
Just like the icebox cakes you love in the summertime, this holiday dessert doesn’t require any baking.
Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake
Recipe: Fresh Orange Italian Cream Cake
We added sweet, tangy orange curd between this Italian cream cake’s layers adds a bright holiday spin to this classic layer cake.