When you think of Christmas cake recipes, you probably think of elaborately decorated, insanely decadent, over-the-top confections worthy of the best bakery in town.
Honestly, you’re not far off the mark.
Whether we celebrate Christmas as a religious or secular holiday, we all tend to go a little overboard when cooking our Christmas dinners and desserts.
That’s part of the reason it was so easy for me to find 30 Christmas cake recipes for this single list.
There are just so many great options out there from which to choose.
I’ve tried to pull together a wide variety for this list – the light and the decadent, the simple and the intricately designed, the chocolate, and the vanilla.
No matter your tastes, you should be able to find a Christmas cake recipe that works for you.
30 Show-Stopping Cake Recipes for Christmas
It’s hard to find a dessert more festive – both in appearance and taste – than this holiday peppermint cake.
It tastes like sweet candy canes and looks like one giant piece of peppermint, thanks to all the crushed-up candy canes on top of the frosting.
It’s gorgeous and tasty to the max.
The upside-down winter citrus cake is one of the most gorgeous cakes I’ve ever seen, and you won’t need any fancy decorating skills to make it.
All the beauty and color come from the fruit.
You’ll need blood oranges, navel oranges, and tangelos for the wide variety of colors; plus, you’ll still need all your standard baking ingredients.
The cake is easy to make and has a bright, citrusy flavor that almost everyone will appreciate.
Yule log cakes are pretty standard holiday treats, and they’re unbelievably easy to make. If you can make a pumpkin roll, you can make this cake.
The processes are very similar; only, once you’ve made the yule log cake, you’ll ice it to make it look like an actual log. Don’t worry; that’s not hard either.
All you’ll need is chocolate ganache icing, a fork to make the lines, and some powdered sugar and sugared cranberries for decorating.
The orange slice cake is a simple, flavorful cake that requires no decorating and very little work to make.
It’s packed with sweet orange and coconut tastes and some chopped pecans for crunch.
It makes a wonderful Christmas cake, but it tastes great as a breakfast pastry, as well.
If you’re looking for a Christmas cake that perfectly walks the line between sweet and tart, the cranberry Christmas cake is it.
You’ll make it with eight simple ingredients, and it’s moist, dense, powdery, and crumbly. Each sweet-and-tangy bite will practically melt on your tongue.
The white Christmas cake is a gorgeous, elegant cake that’s ideal for any formal holiday occasion.
The ingredients list is a bit long, and it takes about 35 minutes of prep, but it’s worth it.
It’s three layers of light, fluffy cake, and crunchy pecans, topped with delectable cream cheese icing. It doesn’t get much better than that.
If you’ve ever had it, you already know precisely how good gingerbread cake is.
Now, imagine that rich, spicy flavor but with vanilla cream sauce, whipped cream, and bananas on top!
It tastes just as good as you’d imagine it would.
Plus, the vanilla cream sauce adds a bit of moisture to the sometimes dry gingerbread, making the cake softer and lighter.
If your ultimate goal for your Christmas cake is to make it look fantastic, then this Christmas cookie cake is the dessert option for you. Luckily, it also tastes great.
But thanks to the lovely iced design, it looks absolutely marvelous – just like a bright green Christmas wreath complete with snow, cranberries, and a big red bow.
It tastes like a supremely chocolatey chocolate chip cookie with additional icing for extra sweetness.
If pure holiday decadence is more your style, you’ll undoubtedly want to try this Hershey’s chocolate cake.
It’s melt-in-your-mouth soft and 100% chocolatey deliciousness.
It’s simple to make, taking only 15 minutes to prepare and another half hour to cook, and it serves 12, so it’s the ideal cake for small to medium holiday gatherings.
This splendid red and white cake is for anyone who loves the delightful sweetness of homemade vanilla cake and the slight tartness of pomegranate arils.
This cake has plenty of both; you’ll use pomegranate to make the topping, the cream frosting, and the syrup that you’ll drizzle all over the cake layers.
And the pomegranate topping makes the cake look remarkable. People will swear you bought it at an upscale bakery.
11. Rum Cake
Rum cake is like a mixture between bundt cake and pound cake, but it’s juicier and sweeter than both, thanks to the butter-rum sauce.
You’ll make that sauce with four simple ingredients: butter, water, white sugar, and rum.
You’ll poke plenty of holes in the cake and pour in the rich, decadent rum sauce.
This is one cake that doesn’t need any icing, powdered sugar, or anything else on top. It’s perfect just the way it is.
These are Rice Krispies Treats with a bit of holiday flair. Each crunchy ball of goodness features the Rice Krispies, butter, and marshmallows, as usual.
But additionally, you’ll also use raisins, your favorite milk chocolate candy bar, crunchy peanut butter, and decorative and edible holly leaves for decoration.
Each cake is crispy, scrumptious, and 100% festive!
13. Carrot Cake
Ah, carrot cake – it may not be fancy and flashy enough to turn heads, but I don’t know very many people who don’t love its delightful spicy flavor and moist fluffiness.
It requires fewer than ten ingredients to make and will make your whole kitchen smell like cinnamon and brown sugar while it’s baking. It’s phenomenal.
If I’m honest, pound cake has never been one of my favorite desserts. Of course, it tastes fine, and I enjoy its spongy texture, but it’s a bit plain for my taste.
However, once you stuff it with chocolate chip cookie dough and smother it in chocolate ganache, that’s a totally different story.
I’ll be the first in line for a piece of this pound cake.
The chestnut chocolate chip cake is a relatively straightforward cake that you can make with only eight ingredients in just a little over an hour.
You’ll make it with sweetened chestnut puree, butter, flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, powdered sugar, and chocolate chips, and it has a bold, nutty flavor that’s perfect for Christmas.
The addition of dark chocolate chips makes it richer and sweeter.
They’re also a pleasant surprise for anyone who isn’t suspecting to bite down into chocolate in this otherwise unassuming cake.
16. Applesauce Cake
It doesn’t get much more comforting or nostalgia-inducing than this filling, spiced applesauce cake.
Chances are you may remember your gramma making these for you at Christmas.
Now, with this recipe, you can make your own.
It’s just like the ones grandma used to make, complete with cinnamon, cloves, raisins, walnuts, applesauce, and other standard baking ingredients.
It’s a dense, hearty cake that you can serve for dessert, breakfast, or a mid-day snack.
Eggnog cheesecake is pretty much the quintessential Christmas cake recipe.
It combines all the best flavors of Christmas — a wonderful graham cracker crust, butter, brown sugar, cream cheese, sugar, eggnog, rum extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, and heavy whipping cream.
It’s lovely, simple to make, and doesn’t even require any cooking!
If you’re the kind of person who spends hours agonizing over Christmas dinner, this will be a refreshing change of pace.
If you’re looking for a cake that looks like it came straight from Mrs. Klaus’ kitchen, the candy cane layered cake is most certainly it.
It consists of four layers of marvelous vanilla cake with mint buttercream frosting sandwiched in between each one.
But the delectableness doesn’t stop there!
You’ll also frost the entire cake in thick, rich cream cheese frosting and top that with plenty of crushed and whole candy canes for a charming confection straight out of Candyland.
Chocolate, marshmallow creme, hot fudge sauce, marshmallows, graham cracker crust – what more could you possibly want in a s’mores cake?!
This one is chocolatey, creamy, and the closest thing you can get to having s’mores without a campfire.
Serve it with some Christmas hot chocolate for an extra bit of indulgence.
This dense, crumbly cake is another pound cake variation that I enjoy, but instead of chocolate, this one tastes vibrantly citrusy, thanks to all the orange ingredients.
You’ll also use an entire can of Orange Crush soda in it, so it’s much lighter and juicier than traditional pound cake.
Ask me tomorrow, and I may tell you something different, but as of right now, I can’t think of a single cake that’s more elegant, sophisticated, gorgeous, and self-indulgent than black forest cake.
I love this cake. I love the way it looks; I love the way it tastes; I even love the way it smells.
There is nothing about it that isn’t just shy of perfect.
If you want to impress your guests this holiday season, trust me on this, and just make the black forest cake.
This cake is another one that I just adore, but for a different reason. It’s just so much fun to make.
You can go crazy with it and make it as ridiculous or as cute as you like.
Follow the recipe or adjust it to make up your own “ugly sweater” design. The most important part is to enjoy yourself while making (and eating) it.
23. Atomic Cake
From the outside, the atomic cake just looks like a round cake covered in whipped cream, but all the exciting stuff is going on beneath the surface with this one.
All that whipped cream hides a lot of yumminess, including three different cake layers – banana, chocolate, and white cake!
There are also fresh bananas and strawberries and three different Jello pudding mixes – banana, chocolate, and vanilla.
It’s a cool, creamy, fruity cake that tastes a bit like a banana split without the ice cream.
After talking to friends and family, I was frankly shocked at how few people have ever had butter pecan cake.
Plenty have had the ice cream, but almost none had tried the cake.
With that in mind, I had to include the recipe for one of the most buttery, nutty cakes you’ll ever taste.
It takes a little time and effort to get right, but once you do, you’ll enjoy every bite.
25. Oreo Cheesecake
Here’s another excellent no-bake cheesecake that you can use to help lighten your Christmas cooking load.
It takes 15 minutes to pull together, and the only ingredients you’ll need are Oreos, butter, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and Cool Whip.
Just make sure you let it chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving it.
I know! Technically, these are cupcakes, not cakes, but they were too enchanting to leave off the list.
They have all the yumminess of homemade vanilla cupcakes, and they look fantastic.
Plus, they’re perfect not only for Christmas but for a Frozen-themed party, as well!
Unless you’ve tried this cake already, you’ll probably never believe that hot chocolate is the key ingredient to creating such a moist, light, and fluffy cake, but it is!
This cake is so spectacular – and so chocolatey! – that it’s almost fudgy, so if you have chocolate addicts anywhere in your house, they will go crazy for this tasty cake.
And just because I believe in making things as easy as possible whenever you can, here’s one more easy-to-make, no-bake cheesecake recipe.
You can fix this one in just 10 minutes, though it’ll need 4 hours to chill, and you’ll only need five ingredients to make it (six if you want a pie filling topping). Easy peasy, nice and breezy!
If you’re a fan of Andes or York mints, then these cake pops are the Christmas dessert for you. Each one is a bite-sized ball of peppermint and chocolate flavor.
Plus, they’re super cute and fun, and they’ll be a hit with kids and adults alike.
And they’re much less messy than traditional cakes and pies, especially with the kiddos.
Finally, if you’re looking for the ideal Christmas breakfast cake, this snickerdoodle coffee cake recipe is the best of the bunch.
It’s filling but not heavy, and it has the perfect combination of vanilla sweetness and cinnamon spice.
It tastes unbelievably good with a cup of hot coffee, and it’ll help you get your Christmas morning started off right.
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