10 Mouth-Watering Cake Recipes for the Holiday Season

Christmas Cakes

With Christmas almost here, we’re sure you’re planning the menu for your holiday meal. Let these festive cake recipes inspire you and get you and your guests in the Christmas spirit.

10. Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread Man
Source: Pexels

Gingerbread is a Christmas tradition that’s been around a long time. You can continue that tradition with this recipe for gingerbread cake:

Cake Ingredients
-Nonstick vegetable oil spray
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon ground ginger
-3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces
-1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
-1/2 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
-1 large egg, beaten to blend
-2 teaspoons grated peeled ginger

Topping Ingredients
-1 cup chilled heavy cream
-1 tablespoon powdered sugar
-1/4 cup store-bought lemon curd
-Finely grated lemon zest

Cooking Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat the pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper; spray the paper. Whisk the flour and the next five ingredients in a medium bowl. Place butter in a large bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over; whisk until melted. Whisk in sugar and the next three ingredients. Add dry ingredients; whisk to blend. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. In the meantime while the cake is baking, you can prepare the topping as follows: Beat cream and sugar in a medium bowl until firm peaks form. Fold in curd, leaving swirls. Next, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto a wire rack; let cool. Remove parchment. Spread the topping over the cake. Lastly, garnish with zest.

9. Chestnut Coffee Cake

Source: Pexels

Forget about roasting chestnuts on an open fire. Enjoy them in this chestnut coffee cake recipe instead:

Streusel Ingredients
-1/2 cup almond flour or meal
-1/3 cup sugar
-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces

Cake Ingredients
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more
-2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
-1 cup sugar
-2 large eggs, room temperature
-1 cup sour cream
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chestnut Filling Ingredients
-1/2 cup coarsely chopped vacuum-packed or jarred roasted chestnuts
-3 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Special Equipment
-9″ springform pan

Cooking Directions
For the streusel: Combine almond flour, sugar, all-purpose flour, and salt in a small bowl. Work in the butter with your fingers until the mixture holds together when pinched but is still crumbly; cover and chill.

For the chestnut filling: Cook chestnuts, 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, and 2 Tbsp. water in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the pan is almost dry and the chestnuts are coated in syrup (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a small bowl and let cool. Toss in cocoa and remaining 1 Tbsp. brown sugar.

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter the pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper; butter the parchment and flour the pan. Whisk baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 2 cups flour in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat sugar and 1/2 cup of butter until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle chestnut filling over; top with remaining batter, then streusel. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake the cake until the top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean (45–55 minutes). Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cake cool before unmolding.

NOTE: The cake can be baked a day ahead. If you choose to do so, store it tightly wrapped at room temperature.

8. Figgy Pudding

Source: Pexels

Now, we know what you’re thinking. Pudding?? Well, figgy pudding isn’t pudding in the U.S. sense. In the British sense, the word “pudding” simply means dessert. With that said, here’s a recipe for some warm, sticky figgy pudding:

Pudding Ingredients
-1 1/2 cups chopped dried pitted dates
-1/2 cup chopped dried figs
-2 cups water
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-100 grams (3 1/2 ounces or 7 tablespoons) butter, softened
-1 cup superfine sugar
-2 eggs
-2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
-75 grams (2 1/2-ounces) dark chocolate, grated
-Butter, for coating ramekins
-Ice cream or whipped cream, for garnish

Sauce Ingredients:
-2 cups brown sugar
-2 cups heavy cream
-200 grams (7-ounces or 14 tablespoons) butter
-Fresh figs, quartered, for garnish
-Vanilla ice cream, optional
-Whipped heavy cream, optional

Cooking Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the dates, dried figs and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the baking soda. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then add to a blender and puree. Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the eggs and beat well. Fold in the flour, the pureed date mixture and the chocolate. Put the mixture into 4 buttered, 1-cup individual ramekins, filling halfway or slightly under. Put in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Prepare the sauce by stirring the sugar and cream in a medium saucepan over low heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until incorporated. Remove the ramekins from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. May be served in the ramekin or unmolded onto a small serving plate. With a paring knife, cut a cross in the top of the puddings for the sauce. Pour the sauce into the cross in the center of each pudding, then pour more sauce over the puddings and it allow to soak in slightly. Top with fresh figs and vanilla ice cream or heavily whipped cream. Serve warm.

7. Candy Cane Cake

Candy Cane
Source: Pexels

Candy canes are good alone or in a cup of hot chocolate. But, here something else you can try this holiday season: candy cane cake!

-Cooking spray
-3 1/2 cups cake flour, spooned and leveled
-2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
-3/4 tsp. baking soda
-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
-1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
-6 large egg whites, at room temperature
-2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
-1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 recipe 7-Minute Frosting (4 large egg whites, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar, 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, 3 tbsp. water, and 1 tbsp. corn syrup)
-3 candy canes, crushed (about 1/4 cup)
-Store-bought peppermint bark, roughly chopped, for decorating

Cooking Directions
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease three 8-inch round cake pans and line with parchment; grease parchment. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy (3 to 4 minutes). Add egg whites, one at a time, beating just until incorporated after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, alternately, beginning and ending with flour mixture, just until incorporated. Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean (25 to 30 minutes). Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes, then invert onto racks to cool completely. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Top with 1 cup frosting and sprinkle with half of the crushed candy canes. Repeat one more time. Cover top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Press bark into frosting on the sides of the cake.

For the frosting: Bring 2 inches of water to a gentle simmer in a large saucepan. Place egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, salt, water, and corn syrup in a very clean bowl. Place bowl over saucepan and cook, whisking on low speed with a hand mixer, until mixture registers 160°F on a candy thermometer (8 to 9 minutes). Remove bowl from saucepan and continue to whisk on medium speed until thick, glossy peaks form (2 to 3 minutes).

6. Fruitcake

Decorated Fruitcake
Source: Wikimedia Commons By Jonathunder [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)]

What would Christmas be without that beloved (or hated) fruitcake? According to The New York Times, most of the hate comes from bad recipes that “skimp on fruit and load on the batter.” With that said, here’s a recipe The New York Times suggests you try out on your guests:

-Butter for pans
-1 pound pitted Medjool dates
-1/2 pound prunes from Agen or use more dates
-1 pound candied pineapple
-1 pound candied cherries
-1 cup chopped candied orange peel, or 1/4 cup freshly grated orange zest
-2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
-2 teaspoons double acting baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
-4 eggs
-1 cup granulated sugar
-2 teaspoons almond extract
-2 cups shelled salted pistachios
-1 cup shelled almonds
-2 1/2 cups shelled pecans
-2 cups shelled walnuts
-White corn syrup
-1/3 cup Armagnac, bourbon or whiskey

Cooking Directions
Butter two 9-inch springform pans. Line with parchment paper, and butter again. Heat oven to 275 degrees. Coarsely chop dates, prunes and pineapple. Combine fruit in a bowl with cherries and orange peel. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Sift this over fruit. With your hands, toss to coat. In medium bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Beat in sugar, then almond extract. Pour over fruit. With wooden spoon, mix well. Fold in pistachios, almonds, pecans and walnuts, and mix until coated with batter. Divide mixture between pans. Using your hands, pack batter firmly and fill in open spaces. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, until tops of cakes look dry but not brown. When cakes are done, transfer to cooling racks. Let stand for 5 minutes, then release springform and peel off parchment paper on sides. While cakes are still hot, brush lightly with corn syrup. Let cool 30 minutes, then spoon Armagnac on top. When completely cool, remove cakes from pan base and peel off parchment paper on bottom. If not eating right away, wrap fruitcakes in plastic wrap. They will keep for two months in refrigerator. If storing, sprinkle with more Armagnac an hour before serving.

5. Spiked Eggnog Cake

Source: Pixabay

This decadent treat is infused with rum and topped with a with a cream cheese and nutmeg frosting and white chocolate ganache. Here’s the recipe:

Cake Ingredients
-1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp nutmeg ground
-1/4 tsp cinnamon ground
-1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
-2 large eggs room temperature
-1 tsp vanilla
-3/4 cup eggnog room temperature

Rum Simple Syrup Ingredients
-1/2 cup water
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-1 Tbsp rum

Frosting Ingredients
-1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
-6 oz cream cheese full fat, room temperature
-3 cups powdered sugar
-1 tsp vanilla
-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, optional

White Chocolate Ganache Ingredients
-3 oz white chocolate chopped
-1 oz heavy whipping cream

Cooking Directions
For the cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour three 6″ cake rounds, line with parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add sugars and beat on med-high until pale and fluffy (2-3mins). Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla. Alternate adding flour mixture and eggnog, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of eggnog). Fully incorporating after each addition. Do not overmix. Spread batter evenly into prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula. Bake for approx. 25-30mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean. Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10mins then turn out onto wire rack. Poke holes into the warm cakes and brush with some of the cooled rum simple syrup to moisten them***. Allow cakes to cool completely.

For the rum simple syrup: Place sugar and water into a small saucepan and cook over high heat until simmering and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Allow to cool slightly before using on cake.

For the frosting: Beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy (2 mins). Add powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add vanilla & nutmeg and beat until fluffy (3 mins).

For the white chocolate ganache: Place chopped chocolate and cream into a microwave safe bowl. Stir to combine. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir. Microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth and silky. Set aside to cool and thicken slightly before using on cake.

Assembly Instructions
Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with 2/3 cup of frosting. Repeat with remaining layers and apply a thin coat of frosting all over the cake. Use a bench scraper to smooth the sides. Chill for 20 minutes. Using a teaspoon, drip ganache along the edges then fill in the top and smooth. Chill for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with nutmeg and top with rosettes if desired.

NOTE: Replace the rum with vanilla for a kid-friendly eggnog cake. If the ganache is too thick, add in a tsp. of heavy cream until it reaches the desired consistency.

4. Rum Cake

Source: Pexels

Speaking of rum, here’s a recipe for homemade rum cake:

Cake Ingredients
-1 1/2 cups pecan pieces, reserve 1/4 cup
-4 whole eggs
-1/2 cup water
-1/2 cup canola oil
-1/2 cup gold rum, Bacardi
-1 (18.25-ounce) box classic yellow cake mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe)
-1 (1-ounce) small box sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix (recommended: Jell-O)

Glaze Ingredients
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1/4 cup water
-1 stick butter
-1/2 cup gold rum (recommended: Bacardi)

Cooking Directions
For the cake: Grease a Bundt pan and spread pecans on the bottom of the pan. Beat eggs, oil, water and rum in mixer just until incorporated. Add pudding mix and cake mix and beat on med, about 3 to 5 minutes just until you get a smooth texture. Pour into pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes. The cake should have a light golden brown color, but will darken with the glaze.

For the glaze: Melt butter in saucepan and add the sugar and water, bring to a boil. Once it starts to boil, take off the heat and add the rum. Pour into a large measuring cup that will hold that amount or more. Set aside. Once cake is ready, take out of oven and leave in pan. Gently prick holes into the cake with a skewer. Slowly pour half of the glaze over the cake making sure to fill in all the holes. Once the cake has soaked up the glaze, turn cake over, removing pan, onto the base that the cake will stay on. Gently prick more holes on other side and slowly pour other half of glaze over cake. Fill the center of the cake with reserved pecans. Let cool and enjoy. The cake is best if left at room temperature.

NOTE: The glaze needs to be prepared approximately 10 minutes before the cake is ready. Make sure you have plenty of paper towels underneath the base as the glaze will run down the sides of the cake.

3. Yule Log

Yule Log
Source: Wikimedia Commons By Mitantig [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

The Yule log cake dates back to Europe’s Iron Age, before the medieval era. It consists of a rolled, filled sponge cake, frosted with chocolate buttercream that’s made to look like tree bark. It’s then adorned with edible decorations like meringue mushrooms, marzipan holly sprigs, and spun sugar cobwebs. Here’s a Yule log recipe you can try at home:

Cake Ingredients
-1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
-6 large eggs, separated
-1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
-Pinch of salt
-3/4 cup granulated sugar
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

Filling and Frosting Ingredients
-2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
-8 ounce pkg. cream cheese, softened
-6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
-16 ounce box confectioners’ sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-3/4 cup heavy cream
-Pinch of salt
-Chocolate shavings
-3 marshmallows
-Candy Mushrooms, optional

Cooking Directions
For the cake: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with wax paper and coat paper with spray. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk cocoa powder, flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, whip egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until frothy. Gradually beat in 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar until medium shiny peaks form, about 5 minutes. Set aside. With the same beaters, beat egg yolks, remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the vanilla until pale and thick, about 4 minutes. Fold egg yolk mixture into whipped egg whites. Fold in flour mixture in 2 batches. Spread into prepared pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes, until cake springs back lightly when touched. Dust confectioners’ sugar on a clean cotton kitchen towel. Run a thin knife around cake edges and invert onto prepared towel. Remove wax paper. Roll up cake and towel, starting from a short side. Let cool completely.

For the filling and frosting: While cake cools, heat chocolate in microwave 1 minute, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Spoon 11/2 cups of the cream cheese mixture into a medium bowl. Beat 1/2 cup of the heavy cream until medium soft peaks form. Fold into first bowl of cream cheese mixture to lighten. Beat melted chocolate, salt and remaining 1/4 cup heavy cream into second bowl of mixture. Carefully unroll cake. Spread white filling to within 1/2 inch of edge of cake. Re-roll cake (without towel) and place seam side down on platter. Refrigerate 30 minutes, if very soft. Spread with chocolate frosting, using a fork to give the ridged appearance of bark. Top with chocolate shavings. To create ‘knot’ on side of cake, place 3 marshmallows in a tight cluster on one side. Cover with frosting, swirling decoratively. Add Candy Mushrooms to platter, if using.

For the candy mushrooms: Snip a marshmallow in half with scissors. Unwrap two Rolo candies and place a marshmallow half, cut side down, on top of each candy. Dust with a little cocoa powder. Repeat as desired.

2. Red Velvet Cake

Red Velvet Cake
Source: Pixabay

The following is a recipe for moist, flavorful red velvet cake with a fluffy cream cheese frosting:

Cake Ingredients
-3 cups cake flour
-3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
-1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-1 cup light brown sugar, packed
-1 cup granulated sugar
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-3 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks
-3 tablespoons red food coloring, more or less according to your color preference
-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
-1 cup buttermilk
-1 cup vegetable oil

Frosting Ingredients
-2 blocks (16 ounces) full-fat cream cheese, VERY soft
-1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, VERY soft
-1 tablespoon vanilla pure extract (omit if you want a stark white frosting)
-4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, more if needed

Cooking Directions
For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Cut out two 9-inch round segments of parchment paper to line your cake pans with. Spray two 9″ round cake pans generously – sides and bottom – with nonstick cooking spray, then place the parchment paper cut out in the bottom of the pans and spray again. It’s important to make sure every bit of pan and paper are sprayed so your cakes don’t get stuck. Set pans aside. In a medium-sized bowl sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add in the eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the red food coloring and apple cider vinegar and beat smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk. Finally beat in the oil, mixing just until combined. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the tops are firm and and a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist (but not wet) crumbs clinging to it. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before gently running a knife around the edges to loosen any stuck bits, then turning them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. While the cakes cool, you can make the frosting.

For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium-high speed until completely smooth; about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Once all of the sugar has been added beat on high-speed for 1-2 minutes.

Assembly Instructions
Using a serrated knife, carefully trim the raised top of each cake. Set the cake trimmings aside – you’ll use them for decoration later. Transfer one cake layer to a large plate or cake stand. Spread a thick layer of frosting on top, then gently add the second cake layer, pressing down lightly to seal them together. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Crumble up the cake trimmings and sprinkle them on the top and sides of the cake. Slice and serve, or store in the fridge for 2 days.

1. Ferrero Rocher Cake

Ferrero Rocher
Source: Pixabay

Who doesn’t love these chocolatey balls of candy? And, while they’re quite tasty all on their own, why not enjoy them atop a hazelnut sponge layer cake?

Cake Ingredients
-7 large eggs room temperature
-1/2 cups sugar granulated
-2 cups finely ground hazelnuts or hazelnut flour
-3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
-3 Tbsp cocoa powder
-3 tsp baking powder

Frosting Ingredients
-300 grams butter, unsalted room temperature
-2 1/4 cups chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, semi-sweet
-1/2 Nutella spread
-1.5 cup wafers crushed

-10 Ferrero Rocher Candies
-3/4 cup chopped hazelnuts or 3/4 cups crushed wafers

Cooking Directions
For the cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Line two – 8 inch round pans with foil and spray with non-stick spray, or butter the sides. Sift flour, cocoa & baking powder. Stir in ground nuts. Whip eggs on high speed, until frothy, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the sugar and continue whipping until tripled in volume, about 15 minutes. Carefully fold dry ingredients into the eggs in 3 additions. Divide the batter evenly between two – 8-inch pans and bake at 350F for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Once baked, leave in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely

For the frosting: Melt chocolate in the microwave, on low heat, in short intervals, stirring between each time. Bring to room temperature. Whip chocolate, room temperature butter & Nutella until thoroughly combined and fluffy.

Assembly Instructions
Once the cake is cool, split each cake into two even layers. Crush wafers by putting in a Ziplock bag, then going over them with a rolling pin or something heavy. Reserve 3/4 cup frosting for decorating. Place a small dab of frosting onto a serving platter. Put the first cake layer on top and press to adhere. Top with 1/4 of the remaining frosting and spread around evenly. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the crushed wafers. Repeat above two steps with the remaining cake layers. Cover the cake sides with reserved frosting. Press the crushed wafers or chopped hazelnuts onto the sides of the cake. Pipe 8 stars on top of the cake. Place 1 Ferrero Rocher candy on top of each piped star.

NOTE: Keep refrigerated if not serving right away. Bring to room temperature before serving.


Feeling inspired and in the Christmas spirit yet? We knew you would :-). By the way, if you’re planning on serving one or more of these cakes this holiday season, make sure you come back and tell us how they turned out. Thanks for reading, and happy baking!