All I want for Christmas is to gather the family together and enjoy each other's company over a beautiful meal. Once I have that...I might start adding Christmas wants. Like enjoying my favorite whiskey cocktails (or mocktails) by a roaring fire, and serving up an impressive Christmas cake that will make everyone hungry all over again. Maybe that's too much to ask, but hey: I want to have my cake and eat it, too!
There's something so incredibly festive about a Christmas cake. I love serving up a variety of Christmas cookies and cast-iron desserts on Christmas Eve but want to have cake for Christmas dinner. That tall cake seems to tower over the table, inspiring wonderment in the eyes of the young and old alike.
It's also a great way to get the family involved--everyone can help decorate! So pull out the nonpareils and whip your favorite icing and let's get to baking these Christmas cake recipes!
1. Gingersnap Spice Cake
Gingerbread cake may be my favorite flavor of this Christmas season. Don't get me wrong, I love everything pumpkin spice, but it seems like everyone is upping their gingersnap game this year and I'm all for it!
This recipe not only fills you with the warming flavors of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, but there's an icing on the cake: cream cheese frosting. My absolute favorite! I am definitely putting this cake on the table this year. Find the recipe here.
2. Christmas Tree Sheet Cake
It might not be tall, but boy is this Christmas tree sheet cake impressive. The cake itself is pretty simple, so you'll have time to get creative with the flavors and colors of the frosting. You'll have so much fun as you dress your second Christmas tree.
Putting this cake recipe together might be just as much fun as eating it, so get the whole family involved. Trim the sheet cake into a beautiful Christmas tree and let the kids loose on the decorating. Get the recipe here.
3. Fresh Cherry Cake with Chocolate Ganache
There's something about fresh cherries and chocolate. They're a classic combination, like rice and beans or macaroni and cheese. This cake oozes both - white chocolate cake topped with cherry buttercream...and then more chocolate. Just look at the way that chocolate ganache is positively dripping over the sides of this cake. How decadent and rich is that?
This recipe will look super impressive while it makes its way to the table, and it has a time-saving factor built in. Keeping the stems on the cherries makes it easy to eat them, and you won't have to worry about pitting them either. Get the recipe here.
4. Candy Cane Peppermint and White Chocolate Swirl Cake
Candy canes are my number one, most iconic Christmas candy. We always had candy canes dressing the tree, ready to be plucked and unwrapped at a moments notice. My favorite way to enjoy them was to stir my hot chocolate, melting the candy cane into the warm, chocolatey goodness.
This cake will make me nostalgic for that childhood favorite by combining white chocolate and peppermint flavors. Get ready to do some creative decorating with this recipe. Crush up some candy canes in a large bowl and get to sprinkling. Your candy cane placements will make it look like you're ready to take a walk down candy cane lane. Here's the recipe.
5. Spiced Clementine & Ricotta Cake
This is a one-of-a-kind Christmas cake that you won't find anywhere else. It uses strong brewed Roobios tea in the sponge cake to give it a depth of flavor, while the yogurt and ricotta bring a bright and zesty tanginess.
Once you make the Italian meringue buttercream frosting for this recipe, you may never make another frosting again. It's not too sweet but has the perfect texture to top off this unique cake. The clementines on top give it a festive look and a sweet flair, and it sure beats the traditional fruit cake. Get the recipe here.
6. Chocolate Winter Wonderland Cake
If you want to get completely lost in the beauty of your Christmas cake, this is the one to make. Dusting the entire cake with coconut flakes gives it the look of a delicate layer of snow. When you cut into the cake, you can see the beautiful contrast of the dark chocolate cake with the bright white icing.
This recipe goes one step further to creating a winter wonderland with the trees. They're Christmas tree cookies posted up on pocky sticks. They're totally Pinterest worthy. Make sure to make enough so you can serve one up with every slice of cake. Find the recipe here.
7. Christmas Yule Log
How could we not include a yule log in this list? Traditionally, the yule log was the largest piece of wood the family would burn in the hearth. Since not everyone has a fireplace these days, the French turned the Christmas emblem into a cake.
This recipe for the classic bûche de Noel is playful and fun, and it's sure to bring a smile to your family's faces as you bring it to the table. All you need is a jelly roll pan to roll this Christmas cake together. Get the recipe here.
8. Ugly Sweater Christmas Cake
This cake is hilarious and it will be the perfect dessert to serve after we judge the ugly sweater competition at the Christmas party. I mean, why make cake in a bundt pan when you can make one that looks like this? All you need is yellow cake mix, a sweater-shaped baking pan, and some ready-made fondant.
I can't wait to see the look on my family's faces when I whip up this recipe. Depending on how I decorate it, the cake could very well win our competition! I'll have to take a ton of pictures and put them up on Instagram next to our actual sweaters. Get the recipe here.
9. Chocolate Pine Cone Cake
Depending on what part of the country you live in, there may be no chance you'll have a white Christmas. This double layer chocolate pine cone cake is the perfect way to celebrate winter's beauty when the forest isn't covered in snow. Using rosemary sprigs as pine sprigs is a nice touch, too.
The chocolate pine cones in this recipe look like the real deal. Before you scroll past this one because they look hard to pull off, they're really quite simple. It's just chocolate fudge baked with slivered almonds on top. Get the recipe here.
10. Gingerbread House Cake
This gingerbread house cake may be the best way to invite your guests in to join you in eating Christmas cake. It even uses confectioners sugar dusted rosemary sprigs as trees! What a great way to showcase that perfect gingerbread house you spent so long creating.
When making this recipe, go the extra step and use some sprinkles to create a walkway up to your gingerbread house door. It's the little things like this that create lasting memories. Find the recipe here.
11. Eggnog Cake
Eggnog is 100 percent a part of my holiday tradition. We drink rum-spiked eggnog on Christmas Eve and bourbon-spiked eggnog on Christmas day. After the holiday is over, I use the leftovers to make smoothies and spiced oatmeal. I love the idea of baking it into my Christmas cake.
The cake itself in this recipe is a brown butter mixed spice cake, which on its own sounds pretty magical. Then, frost it with eggnog buttercream frosting and you have a recipe for delicious. Top it off with some toffee bits for a beautiful finish. Get the recipe here.
12. Sparkling Cranberry White Chocolate Cake
While I don't eat cranberries during most of the year, I love them around the holidays. They're so tart flavored and festive looking, it's hard not to smother something in cranberry sauce. Their appearance on this cake is stunning (and they'll taste delicious, too).
If you can't have a white Christmas, you may as well enjoy a white cake Christmas! This recipe uses fresh cranberries soaked in a simple syrup, but you could easily substitute the canned variety if you prefer. Find the recipe here.
Now that you're inspired, whip up some cake batter and get to baking your favorite Christmas recipes. You might even leave Santa some cake instead of the traditional Christmas cookies and milk.