62 Christmas Cakes That Will Make You Forget All About Cookies

cake decorated like an ugly christmas sweater
62 Creative Christmas CakesHearst Owned

A cake can turn any occasion into a celebration, and that holds especially true during the holidays. While cookies may reign supreme as THE dessert synonymous with Christmas, we think cakes are just as notable. From creamy cheesecakes to breakfast bakes, with multilayered masterpieces in between, we’ve got every cake you need to celebrate this holiday season.

We’ve got a little something for everyone here, whether you’re looking for a show-stopping centerpiece for a holiday dinner or simply an easy addition to a Christmas party dessert table. Not a super-confident baker but want to get in on the holiday spirit? Try our mini eggnog cheesecakes (no water bath!), our ugly sweater cake, our citrus upside-down cake (the fruit is the decoration), or our milk 'n' cookies icebox cake. They're full of seasonal flavors and easy decorations but don't require a ton of effort.

Have more experience in the kitchen and are looking for something that’ll blow your guests' minds? Check out our (9-layer!) Christmas tree cake, our lemon meringue cheesecake, our bûche de noël, or our peppermint bark cheesecake. Plan ahead, as these babies will take some extra time but are so worth the extra effort.

We’ve even got things here to make your breakfasts festive, like our cranberry cake, our salted caramel pound cake, our fruitcake, or our cookie dough pound cake. Serve them alongside some Christmas coffee, our cranberry mimosas, or our best hot chocolate for the perfect holly jolly morning.

Want more Christmas inspiration? Check out our best Christmas appetizers, side dishes, and dinners for ideas to round out your holiday meals all season long.

Bûche de Noël (Yule Log Cake)

Bûche de Noël cakes are a French Christmas tradition dating back to the 19th century. Decorate it like a log, as is traditional, or try any other variety of frosting and topping combos—it's all about that gorgeous swirl, so anything else is a bonus.

Get the Bûche de Noël (Yule Log Cake) recipe.

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Parker Feierbach

Gingerbread Cake

Want your kitchen to smell like Christmas? Make gingerbread cake! Enjoy it warm or cold, for breakfast or after dinner, plain or topped with whipped cream, from a plate with a fork or straight out of your hand. No judgment here!

Get the Gingerbread Cake recipe.

gingerbread cake

Cranberry-Mimosa Breakfast Cake

Cranberries, oranges, and bubbly Prosecco incorporated into a tender cake? And for breakfast too? This is exactly what Christmas morning dreams are made of.

Get the Cranberry-Mimosa Breakfast Cake recipe.

cranberry mimosa breakfast cake with orange zest and sugar

Ugly Sweater Cake

Unlike our ugly sweater cookies, which involve some pretty serious piping skills, all you need to do for this cake is pipe a few thick lines on a store-bought (or homemade cake) to make it look like somewhat like a sweater, then go crazy with the décor!

Get the Ugly Sweater Cake recipe.

ugly sweater cake
Andrew bui


Fruitcake is an iconic holiday dessert that doesn't get the love it deserves. This is the one you should take the risk on though. Freshly baked, fruitcake is delicious and studded with dry fruit and pecans and warmly spiced. The glaze is optional but is a helpful, sweet addition.

Get the Fruitcake recipe.

glazed fruitcake

Christmas Tree Cake

Nine layers of breathtaking beauty! This Christmas tree cake is perfect for when you really want to show off this holiday season. We recommend using a homemade cake recipe, like our chocolate or yellow cakes, but boxed cake mix will work too.

Get the Christmas Tree Cake recipe.

christmas tree cake
Erik bernstein

Chocolate Bundt Cake

Calling all chocolate dessert lovers—this fudgy Bundt cake is really something special. We’re partial to covering it in a rich ganache and serving it after a nice dinner, but keep it plain and it can be the perfect indulgent Christmas brunch or midday pick-me-up.

Get the Chocolate Bundt Cake recipe.

chocolate bundt cake

Citrus Upside Down Cake

We used slices from navel, blood orange, Cara Cara oranges, grapefruit, and lemons, but really any of your favorite wintery citrus can be used for this stunner of an upside-down cake.

Get the Citrus Upside Down Cake recipe.

citrus upside down cake
Lucy Schaeffer

Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake

With an Oreo crust and ganache topping, this is our favorite cheesecake to make for Christmas. It's like peppermint bark in cheesecake form, and we can't get enough.

Get the Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake recipe.

chocolate peppermint cheesecake
Parker Feierbach

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Traditionally a date-studded sponge cake topped with a rich toffee sauce, this the perfect dessert for holiday meals or special occasions. It’s truly a dessert like any other and is best served still slightly warm out of the pan with extra toffee sauce drizzled on top.

Get the Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe.

sticky toffee pudding

Milk 'N' Cookies Icebox Cake

Want to turn Santa's milk and cookies into a dessert you can serve a crowd? This no-bake icebox showstopper is for you—did we mention it only has 4 ingredients?

Get the Milk 'N' Cookies Icebox Cake recipe.

milk n' cookies icebox cake

Snowman Cupcakes

Baby, it’s cold outside! We can’t think of a better way to welcome the first snow of the season than with these adorable snowman cupcakes. Marshmallow snowmen sit atop sweet, frosted coconut cupcakes to create a dessert guaranteed to put you in a festive mood.

Get the Snowman Cupcakes recipe.

snowman cupcakes topped with shredded coconut snow, marshmallow faces, candy scarves, and peanut butter cup hats

Red Velvet Cake

Everyone should have a good red velvet cake recipe in their back pocket—and this is it. It has a decadent chocolate flavor and the creamiest cream cheese frosting, and the striking red color makes it unforgettable (and perfect for the holidays!).

Get the Red Velvet Cake recipe.

layered red velvet cake with cream cheese icing and pieces of cake

Figgy Pudding

Contrary to the name, Figgy Pudding isn't pudding (at least not by America's definition). "Pudding" in this case refers to the British style of a steamed cake-like dessert that will perfume your entire house as it bakes, thanks to its dreamy combination of spices.

Get the Figgy Pudding recipe.

figgy pudding

Cranberry Cake

This cranberry pound cake is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. The cranberries will burst and release all of their juices while baking, making each bite extra exciting. The sugar topping adds a subtle crunch too, and the sour cream keeps this cake moist for days.

Get the Cranberry Cake recipe.

cranberry cake
Andrew Bui

Cake Pops

We chose to make vanilla cake pops with white chocolate frosting and sprinkles, but you can switch it up based on your favorite flavors! Do vanilla cake with chocolate frosting (semisweet would be perfect), white cake, chocolate, or red velvet with any icing and decorations you please.

Get the Cake Pops recipe.

cake pops covered in chocolate and white cocolate icing and sprinkles

Kranky Cupcakes

Bake up an ode to our favorite grumpy Christmas character complete with a bright red Santa hat made from buttercream.

Get the Kranky Cupcakes recipe.

kranky cupcakes, aka grinch heads with santa hats on top of chocolate cupcakes
Joel goldberg

Chocolate Cheesecake

Have you ever wondered what a gooey chocolate brownie paired with cheesecake would taste like? Look no further! This chocolate cheesecake recipe is a chocolate lover’s dream. It’s rich, silky smooth, moist, and almost fudge-like—everything you want in a chocolate dessert.

Get the Chocolate Cheesecake recipe.

chocolate cheesecake

Vanilla Cake

You know about the sun-kissed yellow cake smeared with chocolate buttercream frosting and the classic yolk-less white cake. But what about the one in between, the one speckled with vanilla bean? THIS is the best vanilla cake recipe around.

Get the Vanilla Cake recipe.

vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting

Almost Flourless Chocolate-Orange Cake

This almost flourless chocolate cake gets its orange flavor from both zest and 2 to 3 tablespoons of Cointreau or other orange liqueur. Using a full 3 tablespoons will give the cake a slightly boozy taste, not unlike the foil-wrapped chocolates in a box of truffles.

Get the Almost Flourless Chocolate-Orange Cake recipe.

almost flourless chocolate orange cake with candied orange peel

Lemon Cream Cake

Even if you've never had the Olive Garden version, this is a lemon dessert worth making. The vanilla cake is soft and fluffy with a hint of lemon and gets a thick lemon cream filling that’s just tart enough.

Get the Lemon Cream Cake recipe.

copycat olive garden lemon cream cake

Santa Hat Cupcakes

Bake off your favorite cupcakes, pipe a tall swirling mound of red frosting on top, then add a little white around the edges and top. You'll have the cutest Christmas dessert in no time, and everyone will be obsessed.

Get the Santa Hat Cupcakes recipe.

santa hat cupcakes
Joel goldberg

Battenberg Cake

Want to feel like you’re on The Great British Bake Off? Make Battenberg cake. White- and pink-tinted slices of rich almond cake are brushed with apricot jam, artfully stacked, and covered with sweet almond marzipan for a cake that’s stunning and delicious enough to win any day of the week.

Get the Battenberg Cake recipe.

pink and white checked battenberg cake covered with marzipan

Christmas Light Cupcakes

These cupcakes look so impressive but are actually so easy to make. You could have these done before your aunt can finish decorating her first sugar cookie.

Get the Christmas Light Cupcakes recipe.

christmas lights cupcakes
Parker feierbach

Tres Leches Cake

We use sweetened condensed, evaporated, and whole milk for this Latin American sponge cake. Some recipes use heavy cream in place of whole milk, but we feel the mixture is already so decadent and that milk helps balance it.

Get the Tres Leches Cake recipe.

tres leches cake

Andes Chocolate Cake

Andes chocolate lovers, meet your new favorite layer cake. The layers of chocolate and mint buttercream will have you falling in love.

Get the Andes Chocolate Cake recipe.

Andes Cake - Delish.com
Ethan Calabrese

Cookie Dough Pound Cake

This perfect pound cake is sliced, then stuffed with delicious cookie dough for the most epic of combos. We are dreaming up excuses to make it over and over again this Christmas (we might leave some out for Santa in lieu of regular cookies!).

Get the Cookie Dough Pound Cake recipe.

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Parker Feierbach

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

If you’re looking for a showstopping, mouthwatering dessert to impress dinner guests, look no further than this lemon meringue cheesecake recipe. The layers of graham cracker crust, creamy cheesecake, bright yellow lemon curd, and a big swoop of toasted meringue will get everyone in a frenzy even before their first bite.

Get the Lemon Meringue Cheesecake recipe.

lemon meringue cheesecake

Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes

Eggnog is one of the best ways we know how to celebrate the holidays so, naturally, we had to turn some into mini cheesecakes. Using a gingersnap for the crust makes these extra easy and makes them taste even more seasonal.

Get the Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes recipe.

mini eggnog cheesecakes
Parker Feierbach

Glazed Rum Cake

Popular in the Caribbean, rum cake is a vanilla Bundt cake that has rum in the batter. Traditionally, dried fruit is soaked in rum for months and then added to the cake batter too, but we've made a more accessible homemade version here.

Get the Glazed Rum Cake recipe.

rum cake
Parker Feierbach

Chocolate-Covered Cake Balls

You could use any type of cake for this recipe, but truthfully, we actually prefer starting with boxed mix. With the homemade buttercream, chocolate coating, and festive sprinkles, no one will notice or care.

Get the Chocolate-Covered Cake Balls recipe.

cake balls with rainbow sprinkles
Parker Feierbach

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Nothing screams Christmas dessert like red velvet cake, and we made it even crazier by layering two cakes between a thick layer of plain cheesecake. You're welcome.

Get the Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake recipe.

red velvet cheesecake cake vertical

Peppermint Bark Cheesecake

It doesn’t get more festive than everyone’s favorite holiday menu special from The Cheesecake Factory. Peppermint bark meets cheesecake in this minty, chocolate-y epic dessert. Studded with chopped chocolate and candy canes, it tastes just like the real thing.

Get the Peppermint Bark Cheesecake recipe.

peppermint bark cheesecake vertical — delishcom

White Chocolate Cake

A classic chocolate cake is always a good idea, but if you want to switch things up a bit, give this white chocolate cake a try. It's soft and layered with a white chocolate mousse and then frosted with a simple cream cheese frosting.

Get the White Chocolate Cake recipe.

white chocolate cake

Tiramisu Cake

It’s hard not to love a creamy, light slice of tiramisu, but we especially love it in cake form. Whether you’re looking for a slightly more approachable take on the Italian classic, or are just a tiramisu fanatic looking for a clever twist, this recipe will make for the perfect addition to any holiday celebration.

Get the Tiramisu Cake recipe.

tiramisu cake

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Love cookie dough? This cheesecake is about to blow your mind. Hot tip: leaving a slice of this out for Santa guarantees you a spot on the nice list.

Get the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake recipe.

cookie dough cheesecake
Ethan calabrese

Crêpe Cake

If you love sky-high, show-stopping desserts, prepare to meet your new obsession. Crêpe cake is a cool, lofty masterpiece composed of layers of crêpes and lightened vanilla pastry cream, all topped with a billowing cloud of whipped cream and a crown of fresh berries.

Get the Crêpe Cake recipe.

slice of crepe cake on a plate topped with whipped cream and mixed berries

Flourless Chocolate Coconut Cake

Say hello to the most decadent flourless chocolate cake, upgraded with fragrant toasted coconut in both the batter and on top. Because it's grain-free, this cake is perfect for anytime you need a last-minute gluten-free dessert too.

Get the Flourless Chocolate Coconut Cake recipe.

flourless chocolate coconut cake

Chocolate Pudding Cake

Chocolate cake meets chocolate pudding in this decadent dessert. This sliceable homemade pudding in cake form is a great dessert for the non-cake lovers this holiday season. Warm up your knife to ensure clean slices!

Get the Chocolate Pudding Cake recipe.

chocolate pudding cake

Salted Caramel Pound Cake

This is no ordinary pound cake. It's swirled with a sweet and decadent caramel batter and topped with a healthy drizzle of salted caramel after it's baked. We recommend using our perfect caramel sauce for this recipe (but store-bought works too!).

Get the Salted Caramel Pound Cake recipe.

salted caramel pound cake
Charlie Gillette

Lemon Icebox Cake

Icebox cake may be an old-school concept, but this recipe is truly spectacular. The combination of lemon curd and cream cheese frosting is intensely citrusy and refreshing, and the quick candied lemon peel makes it priceless.

Get the Lemon Icebox Cake recipe.

lemon icebox cake
Erik Bernstein

Eggnog Spice Cake

The holidays aren't the holidays without eggnog. This layer cake takes cues from the classic holiday drink for a perfectly decadent and festive dessert. We'd take a slice of this over a Christmas cookie any day.

Get the Eggnog Spice Cake recipe.

eggnog spice layer cake
Charlie Gillette

Candy Cane Cheesecake

This cheesecake will make ALL your Christmas dessert dreams come true. It's perfectly peppermint-y, and extra cute, thanks to mini candy canes (but crushed regular size or rounds will work too!).

Get the Candy Cane Cheesecake recipe.

candy cane cheesecake
Chelsea Lupkin

Crème Brûlée Cheesecake

To get that perfect caramelized sugar topping crème brûlée is known for, we highly recommend using a torch. If you need more excuses to get one, check out our crème brûlée cupcakes or sugar cookies too.

Get the Crème Brûlée Cheesecake recipe.

crème brûlée cheesecake
Chelsea Lupkin

Snickerdoodle Cheesecake

Snickerdoodle lovers, have we got the cheesecake for you. It's FULL of cinnamon sugar goodness and is even topped with cookies, so you get the best of both worlds.

Get the Snickerdoodle Cheesecake recipe.

snickerdoodle cheesecake
Alexa Payesko

Creamsicle Cheesecake

Orange and vanilla is one of our favorite flavor combinations, year-round. You too? Try our creamsicle milkshake or our homemade creamsicles next.

Get the Creamsicle Cheesecake recipe.

creamsicle cheesecake
Park Feierbach

Hot Cocoa Poke Cake

Beat those winter blues with this soft, luscious, comforting chocolate cake stuffed with marshmallow crème. Perfectly paired with a hot mug of? You guessed it...hot chocolate!

Get the Hot Cocoa Poke Cake recipe.

hot cocoa poke cake vertical
Jon Boulton

Icebox Cake

Few desserts are as easy as an icebox cake. If you can whip cream, you're basically halfway there. Oreo Thins make a great cookie base because they can soften perfectly all the way through, but, honestly, a a regular Oreo or even holiday Oreos will work just as well if you have those on hand.

Get the Icebox Cake recipe.

icebox cake
Park Feierbach

Peppermint Poke Cake

This poke cake is a must make this holiday season. Topping chocolate cake with peppermint-flavored marshmallow topping and Cool Whip would be delicious enough, but we take it over the top with fudge sauce and crushed peppermints too.

Get the Peppermint Poke Cake recipe.

Peppermint Poke Cake Vertical
Chelsea Lupkin

Polar Bear Paw Cupcakes

Take a batch of boxed cake mix cupcakes to the next level of cuteness with some shredded coconut, M&Ms, and Oreos. These are perfect for a holiday bake sale or classroom party.

Get the Polar Bear Paw Cupcakes recipe.

polar bear cupcakes
Alexa Payesko

Amaretto Cheesecake

Love cheesecake, but hate water baths? This cheesecake has the best work around to avoid one—blanket your cheesecake with delicious sugared almonds to cover any cracks. That and the almond flavor here makes this cheesecake a winner, for the holidays and beyond.

Get the Amaretto Cheesecake recipe.

amaretto cheesecake vertical
Jonathan Boulton

Chocolate Cake

Our main goal in developing this chocolate cake recipe was to make sure the chocolate was the star, so we tested it over 10 times (and the frosting 5 times!) to guarantee it. Read on for all my tips and tricks to get the most fudgy, rich chocolate cake imaginable.

Get the Chocolate Cake recipe.

chocolate cake

Grinch Pull-Apart Cupcakes

Don't be intimidated. These pull-apart cupcakes are wayyyy easier to make than you'd think. (Just watch the video a couple times 😉) If you're not willing to put in the work on decorating with frosting, make our Grinch Kranky Treats instead.

Get the Grinch Pull-Apart Cupcakes recipe.

grinch pull apart cupcakes
Charlie Gillette

Citrus Olive Oil Cake

If you've never had olive oil-based dessert, this citrusy, tender cake is a great place to start. Wintery lemon and orange zest play super well with the grassy, bright flavors of olive oil.

Get the Citrus Olive Oil Cake recipe.

citrus olive oil cake
Erik Bernstein

Marshmallow Cake

Classic buttercream is great and all, but have you ever had Italian meringue? The not too sweet frosting pairs well with the rich chocolate cake and looks great swirled or toasted on the outside. Pipe it on to make pretty swirls and rosettes, or use a kitchen torch for a s'mores vibe.

Get the Marshmallow Cake recipe.

marshmallow cake

Igloo Cake

We turned two store-bought cake mixes, one 8" cake pan, one 8" heat-safe bowl, marshmallows, and one cake donut to create this joyful igloo cake. Check out our video for tips, and then use this recipe to spark your baking imagination.

Get the Igloo Cake recipe.

igloo cake
Jonathan Boulton

Pistachio Cake

Ground pistachios and cardamom are added in with the flour here to create a subtly spiced, green-hued cake with a nutty flavor and texture. The cake then gets a thin layer of cream cheese frosting for a tangy addition that perfectly ties it all together.

Get the Pistachio Cake recipe.

closeup of pistachio cake with a slice missing on a blue plate
Joel Goldberg

Milk & Cookies Cake

It's hard to beat a great chocolate chip cookie. A chocolate chip cookie + milk? Perfection. This cake has it all and more (more being... cake) and we think it's the perfect celebration cake to welcome Santa down the chimney this holiday season.

Get the Milk & Cookies Cake recipe.

milk and cookies cake
Brandon Bales

Sparkling Cranberry Cheesecake

This cheesecake will be the star of all your holiday parties this year. Sugared cranberries look crazy impressive on top but are actually very simple to make (once you learn how, you might just want to put them on everything).

Get the Sparkling Cranberry Cheesecake recipe.

sparkling cranberry cheesecake
Jon Boulton

Thin Mint Cheesecake

This Girl Scout cookie-inspired cheesecake is extra minty, perfect for the winter holidays. Go extra hard on the Christmas theme by adding crushed peppermints too!

Get the Thin Mint Cheesecake recipe.

dish, food, cuisine, dessert, cake, whipped cream, torte, baked goods, buttercream, ingredient,

Gingerbread Cheesecake

Gingerbread cookies are a holiday staple. That said, no one EVER turns down a slice of cheesecake at our holiday celebrations. This beauty merges the two, for a festive cheesecake worthy of your holiday table.

Get the Gingerbread Cheesecake recipe.

gingerbread cheesecake recipe delish
Charlie Gillette

Eggnog Poke Cake

It doesn't get more Christmas than eggnog, and this poke cake makes it extra easy to get those spiced custard vibes (without having to drink any eggs!).

Get the Eggnog Poke Cake recipe.

eggnog poke cake horizontal
Jon Boulton

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