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40 of Our Very Best Christmas Cakes

This holiday season, bake up a cake filled with the flavors that remind you of Christmas: ginger, cranberry, mint and—of course—chocolate! These homemade holiday treats start the celebration right.

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Grandma’s Red Velvet Cake

In our family no one thinks it’s Christmas without this Red Velvet Cake recipe. I baked the first one for Christmas in 1963 when I found the recipe in the newspaper and my Mother kept the tradition going into the ’80s. It’s different than other Red Velvet Cakes I’ve tasted over the years, since this one tastes only mildly chocolate and the icing is as light as snow. —Kathryn H. Davison, Charlotte, North Carolina

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Reindeer Cake

Whether you turn it into a reindeer or decorate this cake 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
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Minted Chocolate Torte

Our family has enjoyed this remarkable layered cake for years. It's a favorite for many occasions. —Barbara Humiston, Tampa, Florida
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Upside-Down Fruitcake

I get tired of people bad-mouthing holiday fruitcakes. It’s one of my favorite holiday flavors and I look forward to it every year. This year, I decided to combine it with everyone’s favorite, upside-down cake. Try to say no to this fruitcake; I dare you! —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Shortcut Peppermint Layer Cake

When I first made this cake it was snowing outside, the entire family was home, and we enjoyed it all together. A perfectly pretty holiday cake for a perfect holiday moment! Be sure to measure the the peppermint extract carefully—it’s strong, and a little bit goes a very long way. —Mindie Hilton, Susanville, California
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Cranberry Layer Cake

I adapted a Bundt cake recipe to create this layer cake. Cranberries, walnuts and homemade frosting make it taste so delicious that you'd never guess it starts with a convenient cake mix. —Sandy Burkett, Galena, Ohio
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Mocha Yule Log

This eye-catching dessert is guaranteed to delight holiday dinner party guests. Chocolate lovers will lick their lips over the yummy cocoa cake, mocha filling and frosting. For a festive touch, I garnish the log with marzipan holly leaves and berries. —Jenny Hughson, Mitchell, Nebraska
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Eggnog Pound Cake

When you're having company, this cake—served with a custard sauce and a dash of nutmeg—inspires oohs and aahs.
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Mama's Spice Cake

Whenever I get a craving for tasty old-fashioned desserts, I make this cake. Great cooks in my family have been baking it for generations, and their families have been enjoying the wonderful spice flavor and rich frosting. —Nancy Duty, Jacksonville, Florida
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Holiday Snow Globe Cake

I can change up the decorations on this cake depending on the holiday—or birthday. My daughter loves this Christmas version. —Marie Louise Ludwig, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
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Coconut-Layered Pound Cake

If you love chocolate, almonds and coconut, this cake is for you. It comes together in a flash and tastes just like an Almond Joy candy bar! —Linda L. Nichols, Steubenville, Ohio
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Butter Pecan Layer Cake

Pecans and butter give this cake the same irresistible flavor as the popular butter pecan ice cream flavor. —Becky Miller, Tallahassee, Florida
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Peachy Gingerbread Cake Roll

My father loved gingerbread so I combined two or three recipes to create this one for him. This fruity, spiced cake roll gets kudos every time I serve it. —Dawn DePew, Blacklick, Ohio
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Ginger-Glazed Lemon Bundt

Tangy ginger, tart lemon and puckery cranberries make this melt-in-your-mouth cake as crisp—and gorgeous—as autumn. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Mint Angel Cake

One sight of this lovely cake will have guests saving room for dessert! For an easy garnish, sprinkle with crushed mint candies.—Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
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Black Walnut Layer Cake

My sister gave me the recipe for this beautiful cake years ago. The thin layer of frosting spread on the outside gives it a chic modern look. —Lynn Glaze, Warren, Ohio
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Holiday Snowflake Cake

The coconut sprinkled on this old-fashioned fluffy white cake gives the impression of snow inside the house without the cold. It’s a beautiful vintage Christmas dessert that is a fitting end to a delicious winter meal. It’s best to frost the cake just before serving as the frosting may soften over time. —Lynne Peterson, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Maple Walnut Cake

This maple-flavored cake with candied walnuts honors beloved my grandpa, who made maple syrup when I was a child. This cake honors his memory and has proven to be a favorite with family and friends throughout the years. —Lori Fee, Middlesex, New York
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Holiday White Fruitcake

Years ago, when I attended Koloa Missionary Church in Hawaii, a friend gave me this recipe. Now I whip up at least 60 loaves for the holidays. —Eileen Sokolowski Flatt, Chandler, Arizona
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Walnut Pumpkin Cake Roll

This is one of my favorite and best Christmas recipes, especially for holiday gatherings. —Mary Gecha, Center Rutland, Vermont
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Spiced Devil's Food Cake

One of my mom's friends gave her this recipe when I was a child, and it has been a family favorite ever since. When your chocolate sweet tooth acts up, this really hits the spot! —Linda Yeamans, Ashland, Oregon
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Rich Rum Cake

We like a touch of rum for the holidays, and this orangy rum cake is decadent alone or with big swoops of whipped cream. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Chocolate Cake Roll with Praline Filling

This show-stopping cake roll was one of the first “complicated” recipes I ever attempted to prepare. I discovered it was easier to make than I’d thought--and worth every bit of effort! — Joan Carrico, Grand Junction, Colorado
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Coconut Chiffon Cake

Toasted coconut adds visual appeal to this tall and impressive cake. With an airy texture and heavenly coconut-ginger flavor,it's a lovely end to meals throughout the year.
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Ganache-Topped Chocolate Cake

To say this cake is elegant would be an understatement. It’s worthy of special occasions, but once you learn how to make chocolate ganache, it's so easy to whip together that you can enjoy it any day of the week. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Rawhide's Whiskey Cake

For several years, our neighbor gave us a moist, whiskey-flavored cake. I’ve tweaked the recipe, and now my friends want this cake instead of platters of homemade cookies. Fair warning; this cake takes 3 days to make but it is very easy to prepare. —Cindy Worth, Lapwai, Idaho
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White Chocolate Christmas Torte

Talk about a scene-stealer! This raspberry-filled cake, an exceptional dessert for any meal, is an especially lovely ending for a holiday feast. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
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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
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Peppermint Cake Rolls

With angel food cake, fudge sauce and peppermints, this cake roll is easy and pretty. —Suellen Calhoun, Des Moines, Iowa
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Cranberry Bundt Cake

Cranberry sauce gives this moist cake its pretty swirled look. Serve slices for dessert after dinner or as coffee cake for bunch. —Lucile Cline, Wichita, Kansas
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Spiced Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I often bake this beautiful cake in a large cast-iron skillet and turn it out onto a pizza pan. —Jennifer Sergesketter, Newburgh, Indiana
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Toffee Bar Brownie Torte

Heads will turn when you serve this showstopping cake. The mild espresso frosting nicely complements the bittersweet brownie layers.—Megan Byers, Wichita, Kansas
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Lemon Ginger Icebox Cake

Everyone searches for grand desserts that have easy ingredients and minimal effort. My lemony ginger icebox cake is the answer. It’s a holiday lifesaver. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
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Layered Peppermint Icebox Cake

Our home economists take four ingredients and turn them into an impressive, no-bake cake. Make-ahead desserts don’t get any better! —Taste Of Home Test Kitchen
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Gingerbread Torte

This old-fashioned gingerbread cake is excellent. Lemon zest is a nice addition to the sweet cream cheese frosting. —Ginger Hendricksen of Plover, WI
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Brown Sugar Pound Cake

This tender pound cake is the first one I mastered. You'll want to eat the browned butter icing by the spoonful. It tastes like pralines. —Shawn Barto, Winter Garden, Florida
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Chocolate Gingerbread Yule Log

If you’ve tasted a yule log sponge cake, you’ll love this version with fresh ginger and spices. The holiday stunner can be made ahead. —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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White Christmas Cake

"Wow!" is the reaction from family and guests when they see and taste this lovely three-layer beauty. White chocolate, coconut and pecans make it so delicious. You can bake the cake layers in advance and freeze them. Then assemble and decorate the cake the day of the party. —Nancy Reichert, Thomasville, Georgia
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Sacher Torte

Guests will be surprised to hear that this Sacher torte recipe starts with a convenient cake mix. Each bite features chocolate, almonds and apricots. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Sugarplum Cake

Family and friends are surprised to hear this simple cake gets it moist flavor from a jar of baby food. It’s a nice, light dessert. —Denita DeValcourt, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an associate editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.
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