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5 Christmas Desserts Sure to Wow Your Friends and Family

Traditional Christmas cake topped with white icing and cherries on a wooden table.
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Let’s get real, one of the best things about Christmas is the desserts! Most people look forward to those tasty puddings, pies, and cakes all year. Whether you’re looking to make a traditional dish, or something seasonal with a twist, these amazing recipes are sure to impress the whole fam.

Christmas Fruitcake Pudding

Christmas fruit cake, pudding on white plate.
Anna_Pustynnikova/Shutterstock.com

Also known as Panettone in Europe, this traditional fruit-packed dessert is adored worldwide. Folks especially like to dunk it in their tea on Christmas morning. Our recipe has been tweaked slightly to make it a bit healthier. This means everyone can go back for guilt-free seconds, or even thirds.

You’ll need the following ingredients for the fruitcake:

  • 1 Cup of sugar-free mixed raisins
  • 1/2 Cup of sugar-free goldenberries
  • 1/2 Cup of sugar-free chopped prunes
  • 1/2 Cup of dried sugar-free currants
  • 1/2 Cup of dried sugar-free apricots
  • 1/3 Cup of dried sugar-free mango
  • 2 Tablespoons of finely chopped sugar-free dried ginger
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 Cup of bourbon or rum (or orange juice for the non-alcoholic version)
  • 1/2 Cup of unsalted butter
  • 1 Cup of brown or coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of honey
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 1 Cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 Cup of almond flour
  • 1/3 Cup of finely ground almonds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of ground cloves

You’ll need the following ingredients for the syrup:

  • 1/4 Cup of brown or coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of water
  • 2 Tablespoons of bourbon, rum, or orange juice

Instructions for fruitcake:

  1. Mix the fruit, orange zest, and bourbon, rum, or orange juice in a bowl and let soak overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, grease a Bundt pan with butter, and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, and honey until creamy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, and beat until fluffy.
  5. Incorporate dried fruit mixture.
  6. In a separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients: flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  7. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture and gently stir to combine. Avoid overmixing, but also try to prevent clumps from forming.
  8. Transfer the batter to the tin and press around the surface to remove any pockets of air.
  9. Cover pan with foil and bake for about 2 hours, checking often for burnt edges. When it’s golden brown, check to see if it passes the toothpick test.

Instructions for syrup:

  1. Combine the brown sugar, water, and bourbon, rum, or orange juice in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then remove from heat.
  3. Brush a generous amount of syrup on the fruitcake and let it soak in for a while before serving.

A Yule Log

A chocolate yule log christmas cake on a cutting board.
etorres/Shutterstock.com

Also known as Bûche de Noël, this traditional chocolate-rich and impressively decorated dessert is a crowd favorite, especially for kids. Make it a bit different this year, just be prepared for everyone to ask you for this recipe.

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1/2 Cup of all-purpose flour
  • 6 Large eggs, separate yolks
  • 1/4 Cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 Cup of brown or coconut sugar, divided
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of salt

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 2 Cups of full-fat coconut cream (coconut milk cooled in the fridge)
  • 2 Tablespoons of honey
  • 6 Dates, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes
  • 1 Teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt

Ingredients for the chocolate frosting:

Ingredients for decorating:

This is where the dessert really shines, so use whatever your heart desires. From chocolate shavings or pieces of fruit to marzipan figurines or caramelized nuts, the sky’s the limit!

Instructions for Yule Log:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and grease with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
  4. In a separate large bowl, beat egg yolks until thickened.
  5. Slowly add 1/2 cup of brown sugar and beat until pale, and then add the flour/cocoa mixture.
  6. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, and then slowly add remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar while continuing to beat.
  7. Gently fold egg white mixture into your batter in two batches, making sure the peaks don’t collapse.
  8. Pour batter onto jelly roll pan and bake for about 12 minutes or until the top springs back when pressed lightly.
  9. Dust a kitchen towel with powdered sugar and invert the cake.
  10. Starting at the short end, gently roll the cake into a log, and then set aside to cool.

Instructions for filling:

  1. Pour coconut cream and honey into a mixing bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form.
  2. Blend the dates, salt, and vanilla extract in a food processor until creamy.
  3. If needed, fold a splash of coconut water into the cream and honey mixture.
  4. Gently unroll the Yule log and spread the filling evenly over it.
  5. Roll it gently back into a log and place it seam-side down on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Instructions for frosting:

  1. Melt chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler, and then fold it into the coconut cream, mixing well.
  2. Remove log from fridge and cover entirely with frosting.
  3. Pull a fork across the entire surface of the log and make shapes and spirals.
  4. Decorate as desired, and then keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Cranberry and White Chocolate Red Velvet Cake

A slice of red velvet cake on a plate.
pickingpok/Shutterstock.com

Nothing beats a slice of scrumptious, moist red velvet cake after a savory Christmas dinner. This recipe spices things up a bit with cranberries and white chocolate. The combination of sweet and fruity flavors makes this holiday classic extra special.

Ingredients for red velvet cake:

  • 2-1/2 Cups of cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 Cup of finely diced, steamed beets
  • 1/4 Cup of brown or coconut sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2/3 Cup of coconut oil, melted
  • 2/3 Cup of plant-based milk
  • 1/4 Cup of beet juice
  • 1 Teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2-1/3 Cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/3 Cup of granulated or coconut sugar
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons of baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Ingredients for filling:

  • 1 Cup of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup of white chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup of powdered sugar, and a bit more for dusting

Instructions for red velvet cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lightly grease and flour two, eight-inch round cake pans.
  3. In a medium saucepan combine cranberries, brown sugar, and lemon juice over medium heat. Stir often and allow mixture to stew for 10 -15 minutes. Periodically mash cranberries against the side of pan to thicken mixture. Once it reaches a jam-like consistency, turn off heat, and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Place beet cubes and juice, coconut oil, plant-based milk, vanilla extract, and apple cider vinegar in a blender and blend on high until completely smooth. Pause periodically to scrape down sides of blender if necessary.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking and cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  6. Add all blended wet ingredients, along with the stewed cranberries. Stir well until a fairly smooth batter forms, but be careful not to overmix.
  7. Distribute batter equally into two prepared cake pans.
  8. Cover loosely with foil and bake for around 30 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test, and then set aside. Allow to cool completely.

Instructions for filling:

  1. Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth (about two minutes).
  2. Add melted white chocolate and continue to beat until completely incorporated in cream cheese mixture.
  3. Add softened butter and beat around two more minutes, until it’s completely incorporated.
  4. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy.
  5. Place one cake on your working surface and spread the mixture evenly across the surface.
  6. Place second cake cake on top.
  7. Lightly dust surface with powdered sugar, and then place in fridge to cool before serving.

Gingerbread Mousse

A glass filled with chocolate mousse and topped with cream.
nerudol/Shutterstock.com

Step aside, gingerbread cookies! This incredible dessert will have your friends and family asking for more the second they finish their last bite. Take the gingerbread route differently this year and play with this easy recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large can of full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated
  • 1/2 Cup of maple syrup or coconut nectar
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 Teaspoons of ginger
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of allspice
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of nutmeg

Instructions:

  1. Scoop the coconut cream from the top of the coconut milk can into a large bowl.
  2. Using an electric mixer, stir in maple syrup, honey, and vanilla, and mix well.
  3. Add cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, stirring constantly until everything is well-combined. If mousse seems a bit watery, don’t worry—it will harden after refrigeration.
  4. Pour mixture into two glasses and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  5. Top with whipped cream, chocolate curls, cocoa nibs, or your favorite gingerbread cookies.

Sticky Peanut Butter Toffee Pudding

Date pudding with caramel on top.
zoryanchik/Shuttserstock.com

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without some toffee, and these gooey, mouth-watering peanut butter sticky puddings will fit the bill! Get ready to indulge every sweet tooth and craving this seaosn with these decadent treats.

Ingredients for pudding:

  • 1 Cup of pitted dates, soaked in hot water or brewed coffee for at least 20 minutes
  • 1/2 Cup (125g) of peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Cup of coconut flour
  • 1/4 Cup of tapioca starch
  • A pinch of salt

Ingredients for toffee sauce:

  • 1/2 Cup of pitted dates
  • 1 Cup of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of salt

Instructions for pudding:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a muffin tin or mini Bundt pans and set aside.
  3. Transfer dates and water/coffee mixture to a food processor.
  4. Add peanut butter, lemon juice, and vanilla, and pulse a few times, keeping some date chunks.
  5. Add coconut flour, tapioca starch, and salt, and then process until well-combined.
  6. Transfer to greased tins and bake for 30 minutes or until center feels firm to the touch.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before flipping onto a cooling rack.

Instructions for toffee sauce:

  1. Combine sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour sauce over the cakes right before serving.
  3. Add a drizzle of peanut butter, if you prefer.

Armed with these delicious holiday dessert recipes, you’ll never run out of ideas for pleasing everyone’s sweet tooth. Just be ready for them to ask you to make these again and again.

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »

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