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25 Days of Christmas Desserts

Spread the Christmas joy this holiday season with a countdown of our most festive dessert recipes. From fruitcake and gingerbread cookies to RumChata cheesecake, you're going to want to make every recipe on this list!

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Day 1: Spiced Eggnog Rum Cookies

One year, when I had a lot of eggnog on hand, I created a new holiday cookie recipe. The flavor is subtle, but somehow it transforms regular sugar cookies into something special for the holidays. —Mark Banick, Turner, Oregon
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Day 2: Spiced Rum Fruitcake

This fruitcake not only can be made weeks ahead, it tastes better that way! You can substitute Brazil nuts, pecans and hazelnuts for the walnuts—or use a combination of nuts. —Jason Boor, Manchester, New York
3 / 25

Day 3: Finger-Licking Good Mini Cream Puffs

This recipe is quick and easy to whip up and the kids will love it! They are perfect to pack for a picnic or to have as a snack for family game night I guarantee you can't eat just one…hey are so addicting & they're perfect for satisfying any sweet tooth! —Jennifer Erwin, Reynoldsburg, Ohio
4 / 25
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Day 4: Gingerbread-Spiced Pumpkin Pie

The first time I made this was for Christmas a couple of years ago. The following year, I received a gift with all the ingredients for the pie in it and a note asking me to make it again as soon as possible. Make extra pastry if you want to decorate the top.—Rod Dombek, Mazeppa, Minnesota
5 / 25

Day 5: Pineapple & Macadamia Nut Cake

This delicious cake is one of my own invention. It's been a huge hit among family and friends and even inspired fierce bidding at a local charity auction! —Greta Kirby, Carthage, Tennessee
6 / 25
Day 6: Sparkly Meringue Snowmen

Day 6: Sparkly Meringue Snowmen

For my son’s first Christmas home from Iraq, I wanted everything to feel magical. He loves meringue cookies, so I made a big batch of minty snowmen and snowflakes. —Patricia Lindsay, Independence, Kansas
7 / 25
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Day 7: Peppermint Cheesecake on a Stick

Surprise guests with a fun holiday treat—dipped cheesecake wedges you can eat without a fork. Whenever my son has one, he jokes that he wants to quit his job so he can sell them! —Maria Morelli, Kelowna, British Columbia
8 / 25

Day 8: Apple Cranberry Cutout Pie

My husband loves pie, so I made one with apples, raspberries and cranberries. It’s so good, I bend the rules and let the grandkids have it for breakfast. —Brenda Smith, Curran, Michigan
9 / 25
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Day 9: Christmas Lights Cookies

What better way to brighten chilly winter days than with light-shaped cookies? My classic dough recipe has been a holiday tradition in our family for years. —Carolyn Moseley, Dayton, Ohio
10 / 25
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Day 10: Grandma's Christmas Cake

One bite of this old-fashioned spice cake will bring back memories. Loaded with raisins and nuts, it tastes extra special drizzled with the rich buttery sauce. —Linda Stemen, Monroeville, Indiana
11 / 25
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Day 11: RumChata Cheesecake

I like to experiment and make new and unusual-flavored cheesecakes. When I tried RumChata at a friend's party, I knew it would make a great cheesecake. For a pretty presentation, drizzle it with caramel syrup or topping, or sprinkle on some toasted coconut. —Christine Talley, Hillsboro, Missouri
12 / 25

Day 12: Spiced Butternut Squash Pie

My mom always made this dessert with her homegrown squash. It was my dad's favorite after-dinner treat. I continue to make it to this day. —Johnna Poulson, Celebration, Florida.
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Day 13: Santa's Stuffed Belly Cookies

I have been seeing "surprise inside cookies" for a few years and really wanted to come up with my own version. After a little brainstorming, I came up with the idea of making Santa's belly cookies and filling them with miniature cookies. These are so much fun to give as gifts—just wrap in colored cellophane and tie with a festive ribbon. You can exchange the mini cookies for candy or anything you'd like; if desired, you can color the cookie dough red, too. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
14 / 25

Day 14: Cranberry-Orange Cake with Lemon Glaze

I used cranberries for decorations in a wedding, then challenged myself to find a way to use up the surplus. This pretty, super moist cake with cranberries in the batter and sometimes, sugared ones on top, was the result! —S. Jade Klope, Paducah, Kentucky
15 / 25
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Day 15: Triple Chocolate Mousse Torte

When it's too hot to bake something sweet but you're craving chocolate, my chocolaty mousse tart is all you need. Stack up the layers any way you like. —Samantha Hernandez, Vacaville, California
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Day 16: Easy Pumpkin Spice Pudding Pie

Caramel, pumpkin, nuts and cream cheese—classic winter flavors combine in a no-bake pie that couldn't be easier or more delicious. —Cynthia Brabon, Mattawan, Michigan
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Day 17: Holiday Meringue Miniatures

My kids love these light melt-in-your-mouth cookies, and have fun making them. These were always on our Christmas cookie plate when I was a kid, and now the tradition continues. —Susan Marshall, Colorado Springs, Colorado
18 / 25

Day 18: Reindeer Cake

Whether you turn this cake into a reindeer or decorate it with your own creative vision, it’s a three-layer stunner that will command center stage at your next holiday get-together. Embrace your baking prowess! —Lauren Knoelke, Des Moines, IA
19 / 25
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Day 19: Amaretto Ricotta Cheesecake

There's a good reason why this cherished recipe was handed down to me by a relative. It's a keeper! The amaretto and ricotta make for a truly unique dessert. —Isabel Neuman, Surprise, Arizona
20 / 25
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Day 20: Citrus Gingerbread Cookies

Orange and lemon zest give gingerbread cutouts a refreshing twist. Brushing a honey glaze over the top adds a subtle shine and an extra touch of sweetness. —Monique Hooker, DeSoto, Wisconsin
21 / 25
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Day 21: Holiday Honey Cake

Thirty-five years ago, I gave a friend of mine a platter of my assorted home-baked Christmas cookies. The next day, she brought over slices of this delicious cake, which she made for Hanukkah. Naturally, we exchanged recipes and my family and I have been enjoying this moist and flavorful honey cake ever since! I top my cake with a creamy caramel glaze. —Kristine M. Chayes, Smithtown, New York
22 / 25
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Day 22: Chocolate Chip & Pecan Meringue Bars

I've had recipes for chocolate chip cookies and pecan meringues in my collection for a number of years—and I combined them to make these bars! They're a lovely addition to any holiday cookie tray. —Dawn Lowenstein, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
23 / 25

Day 23: Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake

My New York-style cheesecake has tart cranberries, white chocolate chunks and a smidge of yuletide red. It's an impressive addition to holiday dessert tables. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
24 / 25

Day 24: Snow Globe Keepsake Cookies

Make holiday magic! These extra-special ornaments are totally customizable—each filled with a little snowfall of edible sprinkles. Let it snow in your house with the prettiest of decorative cookie keepsakes. —Josh Rink, Food Stylist, Taste of Home magazine
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Day 25: Raspberry Red Bakewell Tart

I fell for the Bakewell tart, a British dessert, while stationed in Dubai with the Navy. Jam with almond filling is traditional, but red velvet makes this a holiday dazzler. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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